Could YOU be the reason things aren’t going your way? Keep reading to find out 8 ways you might be self-sabotaging and how to over come it!
Do you find yourself using distractions like overeating and being busy 24/7?
Do you procrastinate doing the things that would move you closer to your goals?
Do you avoid the uncomfortable?
Do you give up or not even try something because you know you’ll fail anyways?
Are you letting your past dictate your future?
Do you feel sorry for yourself?
Are you not taking 100% responsibility for your life?
Are you not asking for help when you need it?
If you answered yes to any of these, you are self-sabotaging. But don’t worry, it’s something we all do and is nothing to be ashamed of. I’m here to help you figure out exactly how you’re self-sabotaging and how to overcome it.
What is self-sabotage?
Self-sabotage is when you create unnecessary problems for yourself and getting in the way of your own goals and desires, usually without even being aware you’re doing it.
8 Ways You Might be Self-Sabotaging:
Distraction is basically anything we do to avoid being in the present moment or doing the uncomfortable things we know will bring us closer to our goal. Distraction can show up as drinking, getting high, binge eating, binge watching netflix, keeping yourself busy 24/7, etc. I’m definitely guilty of using busy-ness as a way to distract myself which is why I’ll occasionally do a 30 day productivity detox, where I slow the F down and let myself just BE.
Distraction can also show up as physical pain. A lot of times, physical pain is just another way our bodies try to distract us from our feelings or a reaction from the body to repressed emotions. This was the case for me when I had chronic back pain for 2 years. The doctors could never find anything physically wrong with me and it wasn’t until I read The Great Pain Deception, that I realized my back pain had everything to do with me distracting myself from my feelings and nothing to do with a physical injury. Since reading that book (I highly recommend it for anyone suffering with unexplained physical pain), my back pain is 95% gone and the 5% that occasionally comes back serves as a wake up call that I’m distracting again and need to check in with myself.
Procrastination is when we put off the things that would move us towards what we want because we’re scared of failure or scared of the uncertainty that comes with doing something different.
Avoiding is not showing up for others or yourself. It’s things like skipping appointments or not taking care of yourself.
For example, if you’re trying to have a better relationship with food and your body, but you keep missing the calls with your health coach, you’re avoiding. Avoiding the uncomfortable. Avoiding your feelings. Avoiding the uncertainty. Avoiding the inner work. Avoiding what you know deep down is going to get you where you want to be.
4. Giving up:
Giving up means you quit. You psych yourself out and convince yourself that you’ll end up with a negative outcome so you may as well give up now, right?
For example, maybe you’re trying to let go of the diet mindset because you really want to feel more free and confident with food and your body. But after a month, you give up because “it’s not working fast enough” or “it will never work for you”. Or maybe you don’t even try intuitive eating because you “know it won’t work for you”.
Giving up is the ultimate self-sabotage because you’re not taking responsibility for your future and you’re letting your fear of failure stop you.
5. Dwelling on the past:
This is when you use the past as “evidence” for how your future will be and you use that as a reason to not pursue your goals. If you let your past dictate your future, you’re bound to repeat history. How much longer are you going to keep doing the same things and expecting different results?
6. Feeling sorry for yourself:
Wallowing it self-pity gets you nowhere, which is exactly the point of self-sabotage. Instead, how can you have more self-compassion? How can you honor and accept your imperfections and open your heart to what is, rather than trying to fight it?
7. Not taking 100% responsibility for your life:
Are you letting the reason you don’t have what you want be because of something outside of you? Are you being the victim to your life? Are you blaming or making excuses for why things are the way they are?
Or are you standing in your power to create? Are you taking responsibility for EVERYTHING in your life? Are you being the creator of your life or the victim to your circumstances?
We all have areas in our life where we’re not taking responsibility. It’s easier when you have someone or something else to blame. Then you don’t have to face the uncomfortable. But that in and of itself is self-sabotage. The question is, are you willing to face those areas? Are you willing to ask yourself how you can own the role you played in a situation? Are you willing to ask yourself where you aren’t taking responsibility in your life?
8. Not asking for help when you need it
Are you sabotaging yourself by not asking for support? Why is it so hard to ask for help? Could it be because you know getting help will force you out of your comfort zone?
Many of my 1:1 coaching clients get stuck in the 7 patterns of self-sabotage above. In case you didn’t know, I’m a health coach on a mission to help women feel more free and confident with food and their body which I believe is the gateway to having freedom and confidence in ALL areas of life. Working through self-sabotage is just one of the many tools I use with my clients.
Why We Self-Sabotage
Our natural inclination is to want to feel safe and comfortable all the time. We’d rather avoid doing the scary things. We’d rather avoid feeling negative emotions. It’s a habit and it can easily become a downward spiral.
Most of us also want to feel in control. Being in control gives us this false sense of safety, comfort and certainty but strangling the universe with the ONE way we think things have to be is sabotaging the thousands of other paths that could lead us where we want to be.
How to Overcome Self-Sabotage
1. Recognize when you are self-sabotaging
A lot of us don’t even realize we are self-sabotaging so we first need to become aware of it. We all do it so let’s just own up to it (remember, we’re taking 100% responsibility for our lives). Accepting that you do it will open you up to being able to recognize it. The goal here isn’t to shame yourself and beat yourself up for it (which is another form of self-sabotage), it’s to become aware with curiosity, not judgement. Self-sabotage stems from a part of you that is trying to keep you safe, so it’s not like you consciously want to screw yourself over. This can help us look at it in a new way and be grateful for it: “thank you for trying to keep me safe, I see what you are doing but I am ready to move forward and let this go”.
What beliefs are behind your self-sabotage?
For example, if you dwell on your past with intuitive eating “well, I’ve tried it before and it didn’t work so I’m not doing it again”, the belief behind that might be, “it won’t work” and even deeper, the belief behind that belief might be “I don’t deserve to feel free around food and love my body”.
So we have to identify and deconstruct these beliefs. Start paying attention to the events that lead up to your act of self-sabotage. How were you feeling? Is there anything that went on that could have contributed to you feeling like you needed to self-sabotage? What were you believing or thinking to be true that is causing you to self-sabotage?
2. Get curious
Notice when you’re feeling negative emotions and what triggered those. Our negative emotions will be the biggest clues to figuring out where we are getting in our own way so don’t try to “get rid of” them. We actually create so much more suffering by believing we shouldn’t have suffering.
When we are triggered by something, it’s usually just reflecting back to us what we fear or believe to be true about ourselves. So being triggered is actually a good thing. It gives us clues into beliefs we have about ourselves that are not serving us. It gives us the opportunity to self-reflect and grow. It gives us the opportunity to get curious about our beliefs.
Ask yourself better questions; get curious. Why am I feeling this way? What meaning am I giving to this situation? What feeling am I avoiding? What am I afraid of? What am I not taking responsibility for? What am I believing about myself that creates unnecessary problems?
3. Embody the future version of you
Begin to imagine what it would be like if you overcame this self-sabotage. What would be possible if I was willing to become aware of the ways I am self-sabotaging? If I was willing to let go of control? If I was willing to allow myself to get uncomfortable? What would it be like to not give into the thinking patterns like this won’t work for me, I’m not good enough, I know I’ll fail, etc. ?
What would I know that I don’t know now? What would I be doing differently? How would I feel? What would I believe? If I knew what I needed to do, what would I do?
When you are stepping into the version of you who has already overcome self-sabotage, that’s when you will discover the answers you need (not when you’re beating yourself up and thinking “why is this happening to me?”).
Choose the more empowering beliefs and actions
The answers might scare you and this is when self-sabotage will try to creep in again. Notice it and choose the more empowering beliefs and actions even though you might not feel like it. Even though it’s uncomfortable. Even though you’re scared. As you take more actions that are aligned with your highest self, you will start to form new pathways in your brain and new habits will begin to form. When this positive momentum takes over, self-sabotage will start to disappear.
Don’t forget to schedule your free initial coaching call with me if you’re READY to let go of self-sabotage and step into the best version of yourself 🙂