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Self-sabotaging: What causes it and how to rise above it


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Self-sabotaging it’s an obsessive phenomenon that has popped up in my life each f*cking morning, afternoon, evening. 24/7. That’s why I ate myself, blamed. There’s in each of us so-called inner critic—sneaky creature with sharp teeth. Do you know how to control it? I know how! Oh yes, I managed to win a fight with him. So today I will reveal to you my secrets!

What is self-sabotaging: About a boogeyman living inside us

In psychology, it’s defined as behavior that undermines one’s own current or projected accomplishments. Self-sabotage can be understood as actions or thoughts that hold you back from accomplishing your goals.  

Self-medication with drugs or alcohol, procrastination, comfort eating, and self-injury such as cutting is among the most common self-sabotaging activities.

What causes self-sabotage

1. Negative mindset

If you have a negative mindset, you have greater chances to become a victim of your own thoughts. 

Our brains are hardwired to cling to what we know, overestimate risk, and avoid attempting new things. The familiarity heuristic causes us to overvalue things we are familiar with and undervalue things we are unfamiliar with. Even when an alternative option offers a clear advantage, we are drawn to the familiar.

Instead of going with what intuitively sounds like the best option, try to make crucial decisions when you’re not pressured and examine the advantages and cons of each option.

2. Lack of confidence

A lack of confidence is one of the main reasons people self-sabotage. Feelings of worthlessness or inadequacy, the perception that you don’t deserve achievement, and even self-hatred can all contribute to this.

3. Emotional incompetence

Low EQ might be indicated by an inability to cope with emotionally charged events. For persons with low emotional intelligence, strong emotions, whether their own or others’ are difficult to comprehend.

People who have emotional incompetence have a limited understanding of how their emotions can cause problems. A person with little emotional intelligence will not hold oneself accountable.

4. Uncertainty about what is worth pursuing

Self-sabotaging behavior stymies your progress toward your objectives and may hinder you from enjoying a life that you truly value. Some people obstruct their own happiness and success in only one area, while others obstruct their happiness and success in multiple areas. Romantic connections, jobs, education, and relationships with family and friends are all common areas where self-sabotage occurs.

5. Environment 

You can be concerned that if you fail, your family will disapprove of you or that your coworkers will be envious of you if you succeed. Negative self-talk is fueled by these deep-seated beliefs and sentiments, which promote your anxieties and self-destructive habits.

How can you know if you are self-sabotaging?

It’s pretty hard to understand when you are hurting yourself. But it’s possible to do so. Start observing yourself. How am I doing it? I ask myself some damn questions.

Damn questions that can save your ass:

  • Do I trust myself? 
  • If you don’t trust yourself, it means that you still believe the thought that you are not trustworthy. These thoughts arise because you try to punish yourself; you think you don’t have enough experience, so your actions are hurting you.
  • Does my mood depend on the negative thoughts that come from within me? 
  • Do I worry too much about things I don’t need to worry about?
  • Do I put my happiness off until later? 

It’s true; I feel fed up with these questions. I don’t like asking them because it’s a kind of self-interrogation, but you have to do it. And if you don’t want to, then ask another person, but be prepared to be criticized, okay? 

Important: You should be careful and honest when answering questions!

How to fight a sabotager!

Let’s agree on one thing, sabotaging is not an evil thing, okay? For example, you can improve your life by sabotaging bad thoughts, bad habits but not yourself. By the way, it’s not my idea. This thought was brought to me by Jordan Peterson, who states, “You have to be a monster to survive these times.” He believes that arrogance and cheekiness can be used to achieve good results. That’s why I once sabotaged myself in a good way on purpose. 

For example, I once committed to writing a PDF book and giving it away for free in two weeks. It was a fantastic commitment; it worked, I did it.

Such commitments sabotage your comfort zone, which is okay. 

I often sabotage myself, but only because I want to improve. 

This phrase would be a right fit here: Be bad! Be angry, but not with people, with thoughts that keep you from fulfilling your dreams!

Do you understand what I want to say?

Self-sabotaging: What causes it and how to rise above it

So one way to beat the inner sabotager is to sabotage it. As I want to give you more benefits, I will introduce you to a small but effective list of actions.

List of tools fighting with self-sabotage 

1. Use self-sabotaging for your own benefit. 

I told you about it a few moments ago. Read the last ten sentences!   

2. Change your environment. 

Imagine that many of your friends and acquaintances drink, smoke. You may not be attracted to it, but others are. They start to drink. Drinking is direct harm to yourself. Depression, bad mood, suicidal thoughts overwhelm you. 

The problem is not just with alcohol. For example, you may find yourself among people who blame each other, willing to share bad moods and offensive “compliments” with you. You can believe what they say and… You know how this can end. Therefore, it’s not wise to be with such characters often. I propose to change the environment. Attention: I’m not suggesting you leave unhappy people. Because your sister, brother, childhood friend may be among them. And friends are wealth, so keep it. But do it wisely. Don’t leave them for good. As you become more positive and feel like negative people are not influencing you, you will be able to be with them more often. It’s important because there’s a possibility that your changes will inspire them! Who knows, maybe they’ll start changing once they see your changes! 

When to get help

Seek the advice of a therapist or a life coach if you’re having trouble working through your anxiety and self-sabotaging behavior. We often have to talk about things going on to figure out why we’re sabotaging ourselves. Remember that sometimes all we need is a little assistance to get past the bad and make a strategy. Make looking after oneself a top priority and seek assistance if necessary.

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