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How to Stop Sabotaging Yourself

Sabotaging yourself

Sabotaging yourself and your relationships create unnecessary pain and self-generated stress.

To stop sabotaging yourself, you must first recognize when you’re getting in your own way. You need to figure out your patterns of behavior and then find creative ways to counteract them and form new habits.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Stop Sabotaging Yourself

How to Stop Sabotaging Yourself

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_stop_sabotaging_yourself

greatergood.berkeley.edu

8

Key Ideas

Sabotaging yourself

Sabotaging yourself and your relationships create unnecessary pain and self-generated stress.

To stop sabotaging yourself, you must first recognize when you’re getting in your own way. You need to figure out your patterns of behavior and then find creative ways to counteract them and form new habits.

Know your typical thinking patterns

Our personality and life experiences predispose us to dominant modes of thinking, but these can be biased in ways that are unhelpful in the majority of situations.

Maybe you tend to worry people are angry at you when usually this isn’t the case. Or you tend to hesitate too much in making decisions.

When you thoroughly understand your personal thinking errors, you’ll be able to correct these, and this will become easier and almost automatic with practice.            

Prioritize one-time behaviors that reduce stress

Streamline your workflow so you can get simple things done without significant willpower.

For example, instead of having a container for pens and scissors in only one room of the house, have these in three different rooms to ensure better tidying.

Strategies like these save time and, more importantly, help free you up mentally.

Use heuristics (rules of thumb) for decision making

Decision making is hugely draining.  If you can reduce cognitive fatigue from decision making, you’ll have more emotional energy for other things.

“Rules of thumb” is aimed at producing a good outcome most of the time with minimal case-by-case effort. “If I’m going to run out in less than two weeks, order it online now.”

Love incremental improvements

A paradox perfectionists face in trying to reduce self-sabotage is their tendency to have inflexible standards and be dismissive of incremental gains.

When you start to appreciate the beauty of making incremental improvements, you’ll see easy solutions that you’d previously been overlooking. Over time, even tiny improvements add up significantly.

Combat avoidance and procrastination

  • Use project to-do lists to outline every step involved in a particular project.
  • Shrink relatively unimportant tasks to the bare minimum required for getting them done. 
  • Try “last things first.” Sometimes the typical final steps in a task are easier to start with than the typical first steps.
  • Pretend you’re going to outsource a task and write the instructions you’d give someone else. 

Understand your seemingly irrelevant decisions

“Seemingly irrelevant decisions” comes from treatment for addiction: a recovering alcoholic might decide to call an old drinking buddy, just to say hello or for a game of basketball, and soon finds that this minor decision takes them down the slippery slope of resuming alcohol abuse.

You can use this same concept to understand much less destructive, but still sabotaging, behaviors. You can also learn what makes it more likely you’ll do positive, wanted behaviors

Practice acceptance and self-care

Sometimes people get into a trap of thinking, “When I’m being more self-disciplined or more productive, then I’ll do more self-care.” But, if you’ve run yourself to empty, try it the other way around.

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Why You Self-Sabotage

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These fears are based on false beliefs, such as success or failure defines my worth as...

How You Self-Sabotage

Relationships:

  • You keep yourself isolated.
  • You make so many demands on your partner that he or she feels smothered and ends the relationship.
  • You judge everyone you meet as not being good enough for you.

Work:

  • You keep putting off looking for the kind of job you want.
  • You are able to work, and say you want to, but keep living off other means.
  • You stay in a job that you hate.
  • You keep yourself uneducated regarding doing what you really want to do.

Healing Your Self-Sabotaging Behavior

  • Notice self-judgments.
  • Shift your definition of your worth, from outcomes to effort. Decide that you will define your worth by the loving actions you take for yourself and others.
  • Consciously see mistakes and failure as stepping stones to success, rather than as definitions of your worth. 
  • Learn to be kind and compassionate toward your own feelings
  • Make a decision that you are willing to lose another person rather than lose yourself. 

Self-sabotage

Self-sabotage

Self-sabotage can be defined as the action through which you undermine your worth and goals. Even though you want something, you do actions that are contrary to achieving your targ...

Self-sabotage and its diversity

Self-sabotage can appear in our lives under many shapes:

  • procrastination: putting off what we should be doing now
  • substance abuse: consuming alcohol and drug often leads to us not reaching our goals
  • chronic lateness: this will usually result in you being perceived as a not so trustworthy person
  • stress eating: we all know the end of this one- poor diet or even illness
  • intimacy and commitment issues: the negative consequence refers to you ending up alone.

Self-sabotage and its causes

Studies revealed two main causes of self-sabotage:

  • modeling: individuals tend to self-sabotage as they grew up seeing this in their parents' behavior
  • power: persons may tend to self-sabotage by entering into relationships with people who are, one way or another, inferior to them

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Self-sabotage

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Understand self-sabotage

Self-destructive behaviors can become habits and can continually undermine your success and happiness.

Self-sabotage is when we want something, but somehow we never accomplish it, because somewhere deep in our subconscious we’re fighting against that goal:

  • Our disorganization distracts us.
  • We’re constantly overthinking all of our decisions.

Recognize self-sabotaging habits

  • Procrastination. Start setting deadlines and mini-deadlines to work toward your objective.
  • Negative self-talk/negative thinking. Be patient with yourself; be kind to yourself. Work to build yourself up.
  • Perfectionism. It is an impossible standard that keeps you from moving forward.

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