You might be self-sabotaging without even knowing it. Many people do and they fail to analyze and understand the reasons behind this behavior. Why do we do it? We all have goals and dreams. We know what to do to get there. But when the time comes to take action, something happens. We just cannot seem to be “in the zone.” How can we recognize the signs and symptoms of a self-sabotaging behavior? Here are five clues for you to think about.
1. The most important reason why is that we do not feel worthy enough. We have low self-esteem. When we feel low self-esteem, we get angry towards ourselves, we get frustrated. Low self-esteem can also manifest itself as obsession with perfection. But nothing and no one is perfect. In times we lack self confidence, we seem to love ourselves less. We cannot seem to forgive ourselves for the mistakes that we have done or even worse, we blame ourselves for the things that are out of our control. Sometimes we hate our appearance and we punish ourselves by mistreating our bodies. We think we have nothing good to offer to the world.
2. We try to control things that are out of our control. And when we lose control, we blame ourselves. We feel tense when we cannot control things that are happening around us.. The need to control comes from our survival instinct. We feel like when we are weak, we will not be able to maintain our living standards, be it materialistic or spiritual. Lack of control creates uncertainty. Uncertainty blocks our intuition and understanding.
3. Sometimes life’s responsibilities are too hard to handle and we try to find ways to avoid them, which in return creates fear of failure. Nobody likes to fail. As humans, we always feel the need to succeed and to get what we want. But this is not always possible. And it is OK to fail every once in awhile. But when the fear of failure takes over, it controls our present moment as well our future decisions. We get too consumed with what others might be thinking about us. We think we won’t be loved and liked as we deserve. We are worried about disappointing our loved ones.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
4.We procrastinate too much. Procrastination often makes us face a deadline at the very last minute. Because we keep putting things on the back burner until the last day and on the last day we push ourselves to the limit to finish it. Needless to say, our performance suffer and we deliver a subpar product instead of a good one.
5.We are mindless. Of course this doesn’t mean that we don’t have a brain and we can’t think. But it means that we sometimes say and do things without thinking about the consequences of our actions. It is not because we are ignorant, but it is because we are stuck in a narrow perspective. We are not open to subtle changes. Usually we contemplate on the past too much. And because we dwell on the past too much, we put ourselves in a vicious circle only to repeat things over and over again like a broken record. Another way that mindlessness manifests itself is the accepting behavior in a person who doesn’t want to analyze and think why things happen the way they happen. They just go with the sheep psychology and take whatever is given to them.
Now that we looked into some of the reasons why we self-sabotage, let us now take a look at what we can do to rise above negative thoughts and feelings.
1.Accept things as they are. We can spend a hundred lifetimes in regret. But what does it solve? Nothing. When you feel like you are constantly telling yourself things like “I should have done this better,” make it a habit to stop yourself. Remind yourself that past is past, and there is nothing you can do to change it. Now it’s time to look into the future. Because you CAN do something about it.
2.Don’t be afraid of your feelings. We feel uncomfortable for the way we feel sometimes. It can be because of the society’s labels on individuals, or it could also be due to our exaggerated reactions towards people and things when they are not necessary. We are afraid of our feelings because we don’t have a bridge between our feelings and our actions and reactions. In times like these, analyze your feelings in a calm and peaceful manner. Give yourself time to think and reorganize your thoughts and feelings.
3.Take notes of your thoughts and feelings. You don’t need the skills of a fiction writer to keep a journal. But writing things down will help you in two ways. Firstly, it will give you the opportunity to honestly put them into words in writing, and secondly, it will help you go back and read them later to look at them from a different and broader angle.
“There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.”-Carl Jung
4.Try meditation or yoga. Both of these will help you get in the habit of positive thinking. And the fact that you know you are doing something good for yourself spiritually, mentally and physically will boost your self-esteem.
5.You are unique, so don’t compare yourself to others. A little bit of competition can sometimes have a motivating effect on us when we set our goals. But the people who constantly sabotage themselves have a bad habit of thinking they are not good enough. The truth is you are unique. You cannot live in anyone else’s shoes, and you cannot be in someone else’s reality. You have your own reality, your own reasons, and your own ways. Be aware of your own inner and outer beauty and honor yourself. You might be surprised to find out that many people might be thinking about being just like you.