Monday, April 28, 2014

Get Out of Your Own Way: Putting an End to Self-Sabotaging Behavior

Self-sabotage could be defined as deciding you want something and then making sure it doesn’t happen. Have you ever found yourself close to achieving a goal, only to throw it all away at the last moment? Did you look back later and kick yourself for being so foolish? Most of us have.

Why did you do this? There are several possible explanations, ranging from a need to control the situation to feeling unworthy. But regardless of the cause, the solutions are similar.

Eliminate self-sabotage from your life using these tips:

1.      Observe yourself. Look back at the times you’ve sabotaged yourself or come up short. You probably try to justify the sabotaging behavior in your mind. But, ignore the reasons and just observe the behavior. What conclusion would a casual observer draw from your behavior?

·         Learn to notice the signs of self-sabotage. How and when do you do it? Be objective and recognize your patterns.



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2.      Remember that success isn’t perfect. Sometimes we quit because things aren’t turning out the way we imagined. Setting more reasonable expectations can help ensure that you’re seeing things through to the end. Nothing in life is ever perfect.

·         For instance, maybe you’re in a great relationship, but you imagined there wouldn’t be any disagreements. That isn’t a practical expectation. Another common issue: Making a lot of money is helpful, but it won’t solve all of your challenges.

3.      Consider the other people in your life. Self-sabotaging behavior is selfish. You’re hurting yourself and others.

·         Before you throw in the towel, consider how it will affect those around you. That might provide enough motivation to continue pressing forward.

4.      Be willing to be adventurous. Those who self-sabotage tend to stay in their own little worlds. Seeing a project through to completion means adjusting your outlook. Whether it’s a different job, a new relationship, or something else, your life will be changed to a certain degree. Be brave enough to take that adventure.

·         If you tend to start new projects, but then stop yourself before ever completing them, nothing will ever change and you’ve just wasted time.

5.      Start small. Give yourself the gift of having a few small successes. Then take the time to notice that these successes aren’t perfect, but they still made your life better.

·         Enjoy the victory and imagine how great it would be to accomplish greater successes.

6.      Take some time before making major decisions. Before making a big decision, give yourself some time to think about it. Decisions can be impulsive. A few days can give you the perspective you require to make a wise decision.

Self-sabotage can be frustrating. In the moment, it might seem like you’re making a good choice, but eventually the truth becomes more apparent. It’s easy to beat yourself up over your self-sabotaging behavior, but that can make it even harder for you to succeed the next time.


Be good to yourself and avoid “shooting yourself in the foot” with self-sabotage. You can and will be successful!

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