Advertising
Advertising

Stop Sabotaging Yourself in 5 Easy Steps

Stop Sabotaging Yourself in 5 Easy Steps

If you find that you are not moving progressively in the direction of your dreams and goals, or that you begin projects and never finish them, most likely you are sabotaging yourself somewhere in the process. This could be from negative self-beliefs or unhealthy behaviors, a fear of failure or success, or a combination of these things. It is important to realize that sabotage will limit your ability to move toward your goals and the future that you desire.

In this article, I will share with you 5 steps to stop self-sabotage. Self-sabotage prevents or limits you from achieving your goals due to negative self-image, fears and a lack of confidence. Often times, we are our own biggest enemy. We have a mental tug-of-war between the conscious and the subconscious mind. The fear of failure, lack of confidence, and fear of change is in our subconscious mind, causing us much grief.

1. Discover why you are sabotaging yourself.

As crazy as it sounds, many people sabotage themselves on a routine basis. This isn’t done intentionally or even knowingly often times; it is just a mechanism that many have built up within themselves throughout the years that simply keeps them within their “comfort zone.” What they fail to realize is that they are actually missing out on some of the best things life could offer them if they only step out and defeat this ideology.

The reason why self-sabotage is prevalent is because it is an outer manifestation of an inner struggle with shame, anger, or unworthiness. To begin to make progress, it is vital that you identify the areas where you are practicing self-sabotage. Look at the various areas of your life, such as finances, health, career and relationships. Determine which areas you need to defeat this monster in.

To give you an example, I will present an overview of an eye-opening discovery I made concerning myself and why I was sabotaging myself.

Advertising

I bought myself a journal book for the purpose of getting back into writing after a time of inactivity. I had barely begun writing when negative voices and comments began to attack me. Why bother? You will never really do anything with your writing anyway. What makes you think you will progress this time? Who do you think you are? What do you think you could ever do for anyone else by your writing? They are all just dreams, not reality. And on and on it went.

I was being bullied by my own mind. For whatever reason, that day was the wrong day to pick on me! I decided then and there I was going to work this out. I was tired of living a life without fulfillment and purpose because every time I would try to succeed I would be shot down before barely beginning. I knew I needed to discover why I did this to myself, and I needed to look deep inside to combat this ugliness. It was high time for me to arise and conquer! After some soul searching of my own, I discovered I had a fear of rejection, ridicule or not being accepted. I had been feeding myself self-limiting negative beliefs and sabotaging my own progress in life.

2. Journal, journal, journal.

One of the best tools, I have found, when embarking on a course of self-discovery and change, is to invest in a journal-type notebook that allows you to write out the many things that you discover, feel and think.

A few simple guidelines about journal writing:

• There are no rules.

Advertising

• Write freely without concern with grammar.

• Express yourself openly.

• This is for your eyes only.

• Enjoy!

When you first begin to journal, it may be intimidating to see the empty page. Some people love an empty page and are full of thoughts and inspiration. Others may stare blankly at the page without any idea of what to say.

Advertising

The main thing is just to begin to WRITE. It doesn’t matter what the topic is. Whatever is on your mind, just begin to express it. There are many sites online that offer Journal Prompts to help you begin to write. I find the more freedom of expression you have in your journal the more useful it is. I love motivational and inspirational quotes! Sometimes I will just write a quote down and then it opens my mind for response.

Doodle, draw, or write down lyrics to songs you like. Whatever feels good to you, simply do it! I love having a splash of color so I add scrap booking material onto some of my pages or photos. You may just surprise yourself with how creative you can become.

3. Practice positive “mental chatter.”

One of the most powerful ways to destroy self-limiting beliefs is through positive self-talk. Whether you realize it or not, you talk to yourself every day. Self-talk is the conversation that goes on in your mind about your performance and behavior.Your self-talk is built by your thoughts. Apparently we each have over 50,000 thoughts each day (that must have been an interesting study!).

Most of us are involved in constant mental chatter. We talk to ourselves all day long and, unfortunately, this self -talk is frequently negative. Often it is peppered with guilt about our past or anxiety about our future. This negativity destroys our hope. Each conversation that you have with yourself reinforces in your mind who you are and what you are capable of and, most critically, builds or demolishes your self-esteem and self-worth.

The approach to changing the way you speak to yourself is quite simple and yet, it can be so difficult to put into practice merely because you are unaccustomed to speaking to yourself in positive ways.

Advertising

Once you begin to put this into practice, however, several things will happen. First, you will realize just how often you berate yourself. Secondly, you will begin to adjust the way you talk to yourself. Thirdly, you will begin to think differently about yourself, as your self-esteem and confidence builds.

4. Stop comparing yourself with others.

Do you constantly compare yourself to others? Comparison doesn’t motivate us to do more or be better; instead, it makes us feel even more inadequate. When we compare ourselves with others, we place unmerited worth on the person we are focused on. There are so many variables in each person’s life that it is unrealistic to try to be who they are. By comparing ourselves with others, we are lessening the view of our own beauty and potential. We are not made to be clones of one another. We need to be true to our authentic self rather than a replica of someone else. When we compare, we limit our own potential. We break away from our true selves by imitating or wanting to imitate someone else. There is nothing more liberating than being authentic!

a789bff55ac029875a2b8c3a39e681d2

    5. Become your own best friend.

    How often do we overlook other people’s faults and mistakes and then come down hard on ourselves for the same type of behavior? We give time and attention to everyone in our world and leave no time to nurture ourselves. When dealing with self-sabotaging behavior, it is crucial to become your own best friend. Personally, I feel it is a vital key for anyone desiring to reach their potential and live a quality life. Self sabotage causes us to run away from ourselves and fill our days with activity. Set time aside to spend quality time doing things that you love to do.  Embark on a journey of self love and discovery. Unleash your true potential. You are an amazing person and it is time to end sabotaging yourself. Stop sabotaging yourself and live in freedom!

    Featured photo credit: Photo Pin via

    More by this author

    30 Fun Things to Do at Home 7 Things To Do When You Want To Give Up 10 Don’ts to Avoid Unproductive Mornings 15 Things You Should Do To Make The Most Out Of Summer This Year 7 Ways to Beat the Summertime Blues

    Trending in Communication

    1 5 Steps to Cultivate a Positive Mental Attitude 2 9 Ways to Prepare for Change and Live Your Dream Life 3 7 Steps to Start Living Your Dream Life Right Now 4 How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want 5 What Happiness Is and Is Not: The True Meaning of Being Happy

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on August 19, 2019

    How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

    How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

    We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

    When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

    In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

    Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

    If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

    According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

    No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

    When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

    Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

    1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

    When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

    Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

    When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

    Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

    In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

    Advertising

    It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

    You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

    Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

    What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

    You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

    That’s where we all should be.

    So, answer me this:

    How are you, really?

    And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

    Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

    Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

    Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

    Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

    It’s taking control.

    Advertising

    2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

    You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

    You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

    In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

    Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

    You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

    Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

    But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

    It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

    In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

    It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

    Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

    Change will happen.

    Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

    You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

    Advertising

    And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

    You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

    That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

    You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

    When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

    There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

    3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

    Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

    In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

    If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

    Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

    Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

    How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

    Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

    “Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

    Advertising

    Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

    Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

    It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

    Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

    “If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

    What would you do if you felt you were enough?

    By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

    So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

    Final Thoughts

    By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

    Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

    When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

    You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

    More About Living Your True Self

    Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next