14 Aug Are you getting in the way of your own success?
We have all heard the saying “You are your own worst enemy” but have you ever stopped to think about what this really means?
It means we are our own toughest critic and often indulge self-sabotage. According to Entrepreneur.com“Self-sabotage occurs when your logical, conscious mind (the side of you that says you need to eat healthily and save money) is at odds with your subconscious mind (the side of you that stress-eats chocolate and goes on online shopping binges)”.
These thoughts and behaviors can hold you back from living your life to the fullest. Self-sabotage or negative talk can also occur without even realizing we are doing it. These destructive thoughts can create a vicious cycle full of negative habits which become hard to break.
Below we look into ways to recognize and overcome self-sabotage so that we can live our best life and reach success.
Understand and Recognize
The first step in breaking the vicious cycle of self-sabotage is to understand what self-sabotage is and recognize when/why it is occurring. Negative subconscious thoughts can be the result of many things such as, a reflection of an early childhood experience, an active defense mechanism or a self-preservation reaction. Whatever the reason may be, it is important to become aware of these thoughts and doubts so you can start to break the cycle. Some common behaviors and thoughts to look out for are:
– Negative self-talk. Thinking things such as “I can’t do this”, “I’ll never be good enough” or “I deserve what I get”. It is these subconscious thoughts that can get in your way of success.
– Destructive behavior. This could be anything from procrastination to gambling away your rent. Whenever you act out in a way that goes against your true goal this can be considered destructive behavior.
– Constant worrying. Worry and anxiety can often come from the fear to fail, focusing on things that have very little consequences in your everyday life, and doubting yourself in the things you KNOW you are good at. It is important to try and recognize why you are feeling anxious or worried so you can start to figure out why these feelings are occurring.
– Most of know what anger is and when we are acting out of anger, however overacting to situations and using aggression over communication can also be a sign of self-sabotaging behavior.
Identify, Reflect and Challenge
Once you begin to understand what self-sabotage is and recognize when it occurs in your day-to-day it is in important to take the steps to change these behaviors.
– Figure out why these thoughts or actions could be occurring. Could these they be stress induced? Are you doubting your self-worth? Are you in an unhealthy relationship? Did you have to act a certain way as a child? Once you realize what may be causing these detrimental behaviors and thoughts you will be able to reflect upon them so you can start to challenge and change them.
– Stop and think about what is causing the self-sabotage and then think through these choices and decisions. Entrepreneur.com said it well, “Only through self-reflection will you gain the necessary insight, perspective and understanding to begin the process of change and transformation.” One tip to help with this reflection is to note or jot down when you are having negative thoughts or doubts. Doing this exercise of writing them down could potentially help you realize your surroundings when the self-sabotage is happening and what could ultimately be triggering them.
– Once you are conscious of your self-sabotaging behavior it is important to challenge these thoughts and start making the change to the positive. Mindtools recommends focusing in on these thoughts. Are they based on anything factual, are they rational? Challenging these behaviors can help change what is currently preventing your success. Look for triggers in things such as stress or negative relationships, then you can start to change how you react to these triggers. Additionally, when you experience negative thoughts or doubts think about how they may be holding you back from your true potential and start to transition your negative thoughts to positive.
Self-Support, Set Goals and Make Plans
In order to change and avoid self-sabotage you must rebuild your self-confidence and align positive beliefs with your goals. Speaking of goals, start with small ones and then as you start to conquer these goals and build your confidence. Try making plans and outline how you will get achieve your goals. When you actually write it down and build out a plan it makes it harder for self-sabotage to creep in because you have created a step-by-step on how to achieve your goals making thus making them more achievable. Once you have your intentions set and your mind in a good place you will be able to achieve more than you ever thought possible.
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