“Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn’t happen.”
Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby
When you undermine your own best-laid plans, you are committing self-sabotage.
Just imagine the following scenarios…
You spend two hours sweating it out at the gym. But when you get home, you can’t stop yourself from overeating and drowning yourself in alcohol.
Instead of studying to ace tomorrow’s college entrance exam, you went partying with some friends all night long.
You simply need to show up for the interview to land that dream job you’ve been after. Instead, you missed it at the last minute.
How many times have you engaged in the act of self-sabotage only to later question why you did so?
Self-sabotage occurs when you deliberately undermine your own progress and well-being by sabotaging personal goals and values.
These acts of self-sabotage, according to Psychology Today, are behaviors that “creates problems in our life and interferes with long-standing goals.” When any behavior of yours does not match your positive intentions – you can consider them as self-sabotaging behaviors.
You realize the reason for your failures is that instead of shooting for the moon, you aimed for your foot. But how did this happen?
How did you become your own worst enemy? So, how can you keep yourself from causing further damage?
Before you can stop self-sabotaging your life, you need to understand the underlying reasons for behaving in such a way. Self-sabotage, according to Dr. Judy Ho, author of Stop Self-Sabotage, is a biological response that was originally vital for survival.
As humans, we are motivated by two survival instincts: avoiding threats and attaining rewards. When these two instincts work in tandem, we are in a healthy state of mind.
It’s only when the urge to reduce threats outweighs the desire to achieve goals, self-sabotage kicks in.
As Dr. Ho puts it:
“However, when these two desires are out of whack, we are primed to self-sabotage. Specifically, the pursuit of avoiding threats at the expense of attaining rewards takes us away from our desired goals. Self-sabotage occurs when your drive to reduce threats is higher than your drive to attain rewards.”
Self-sabotage happens when your subconscious mind interferes with your rational, conscious mind. Most of these self-sabotaging behaviors are latent.
They are in the deep recesses of your subconscious. The act of self-sabotage may begin subtly. Then it gradually eats you up.
You wouldn’t realize it until you find yourself in a deep hole that you can’t dig yourself out of.
But take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. In fact, self-sabotaging behavior is the most common reason why people fail to achieve their goals and live their dreams.
You undermine your own success either by:
1. thwarting your own best intentions and goals
2. acts of omission where you fail to take the appropriate and necessary actions.
In other words, you are self-sabotaging when you passively or deliberately impede yourself from achieving your goals. Be it a relationship, a career goal, or a personal goal.
Here are 3 telltale signs of someone who has committed self-sabotage and is shooting themselves in the foot:
People with a low self-esteem may unconsciously feel undeserving of success or happiness. They may put in more effort in every endeavor they undertake to compensate for their inadequacy (which is usually self-imposed).
But as soon as things start to go their way, they all come crashing down like a house of cards. Because deep inside they feel like a loser, their inner critic will validate their thoughts of worthlessness.
When two actions are psychologically inconsistent, the subconscious mind will use all of its resources to make them so.
This is known as the Cognitive Dissonance Theory. When someone feels unworthy of becoming slim and attractive, they’ll start binge eating as soon as their fitness program progresses.
Picture this scenario:
You should be working on a project right now. Instead, you spent your time binge-watching Netflix or scrolling through your Instagram feed.
This habit of neglecting tasks with deadlines and making excuses to complete them later is known as chronic procrastination.
If you’re someone who “works better under pressure,” procrastination may not appear to be a significant issue at first. But completing your work in the 11th hour too often will become habitual and you’ll begin to miss deadlines.
People procrastinate on a regular basis because anxiety, fear of failure, and weariness overwhelm their willpower and motivation. These concerns frequently result in self-perpetuating procrastination cycles, in which people procrastinate indefinitely.
This is form of self-sabotage where things can spiral out of control.
Have you ever walked away from an important goal because things did not go smoothly as planned? This self-sabotaging behavior could stem from the perfectionist “all-or-nothing” mindset.
When one feature of your goal is not achieved, you might just abandon the whole project in its entirety. When you possess a perfectionist mindset, you would often view mistakes as failures.
And you will end up with a set of unrealistic goals and thought patterns that are self-defeating.
Because you can’t accept any flaws in yourself, you’ll start sabotaging your projects when you’re close to achieving them.
Breaking out of a self-sabotaging behavior is not easy. Before you can tackle this, let’s take a quick peek into how your behaviors become habitual.
Habits are what drive your life. Taking the same route to work is a habit. So is washing your hands before a meal. The neurons in your brain are responsible for grouping your behaviors together into a single habitual routine.
As the saying goes, “neurons that fire together wire together”. Therefore, the more you run a neural circuit in your brain, the stronger that circuit becomes. To form new habits, you would need to identify your current patterns of behavior and find ways to counteract them.
These self-sabotaging thought patterns been imprinted in your subconscious mind for years (or even decades). Undoing these self-sabotaging triggers will take some introspection.
Unraveling self-destructive behavior is similar to sifting through old, dusty boxes that you have stored in your basement.
You’re studying memories from a long time ago, much like you’re looking inside those boxes for objects you’ve stored away. It could be past events that may still be triggering self-sabotaging behavior in the present.
Once you’ve identified the past events that shaped your current thought patterns, you can adopt new behavioral mindset. However, you must repeatedly reinforce and put into practice this new thought patterns. Or the old ways of thinking may slip back into your subconscious mind.
Since self-sabotaging behaviors are caused by existing thought patterns that no longer serve you, they must be changed. One of the most effective ways to stop self-sabotage in its tracks is via hypnotherapy.
With hypnotherapy, you can “communicate with your unconscious mind” to replace unwanted thought patterns with productive ones. You can also your subconscious to create a positive self-image, think constructively and have a positive approach towards everything.
Hypnotherapy can help you identify events from your past (or present) that led to your self-sabotaging behavior.
Before you can overcome your self-sabotaging behavior, you must first decide that you want to transform your life. Then the healing process can begin.
So, are you ready to begin the process of positive change in your life? Let me treat you to a self-hypnosis script that will help you start the journey of overcoming self-sabotaging behavior.
Let’s begin with a hypnosis script that helps you relax and calm you mind. As you immerse yourself in this script, you’ll gradually be introduced to suggestions that assist you in eliminating self-sabotaging behavior.
The objective is two-fold:
Find a quiet comfortable place where you are able to relax.
Gently close your eyes and take a deep breath…with each breath you are feeling more and more comfortable and more and more relaxed…where ever you are now…you are experiencing a very calm and confident feeling…even if you can hear sounds coming from around you… it only helps you to relax even more.
Because you are so relaxed …with every breath…you begin to feel free from all tensions…all anxieties and all fears…you realize this first step that you have just taken will lead your life to greater joy and success…
And you begin to feel a strength from within you…a strength that motivates you to overcome any and every obstacle…anything that may stand in the way of your happiness…and success.
From this moment onwards…you will find that you have greater self-control…and you are able to face every situation in a calm and relaxed state of mind…and this is also the moment where your life will be different…
Because of how your subconscious mind will handle and manage information…this difference will allow you to make the appropriate choices at the appropriate times.
And from this moment onwards…your mind only attracts all that which positive, loving and empowering…
It takes in the positive and expel all negative beliefs and thoughts from your mind…it will only accept suggestions that will influence you in a positive, forceful and empowering manner.
With each breath…you can now feel that negative thoughts, beliefs and concepts have absolutely no control over you…whether you are in a conscious or subconscious state…it does not really matter at all…you will remain in complete and total control at all times…
Positive thoughts, positive actions, positive beliefs will follow you… throughout the rest of your life and just as the day follows the night…from now on you will experience positive and empowering changes that is spontaneous and natural…and you will be absolutely and totally free of self-sabotaging beliefs.
As you are in a comfortable state right now…with each breath…you begin to feel that your confidence is increasing as the days and weeks and months go by… your fears and helplessness in the past are now being overwhelmed with confidence, strength and self-control…and with each passing moment…
You are becoming a more joyful and happy person with a positive attitude towards life…you will begin each day with a fresh vibrant attitude…and right now you have all the abilities necessary for success.
Now…just enjoy this moment…as your body and mind are filled with positive energy…and in that comfortable state…be aware that you will awaken in a few moments time…you will wake up feeling fresh, energized and empowered…
Upon awakening…you will find that your past habits and beliefs that no longer serve you today will gradually be replaced by powerful new habits that you will be creating… because you know that the power is in the present…and from this point forth…you will take the necessary steps to create something fulfilling in every area of your life.
As the word ‘self-sabotage’ suggests – it all begins with your ‘self’. This means that if you can undermine yourself, you can also pull yourself up and make better life decisions. It means you can choose to create a more fulfilling and successful life for yourself.
Once you assume control of your life, your inner critic can no longer hold you back. You can choose and create your own outcome for your life.
All it takes is just to make up your mind about your path moving forward. I hope that this article and script provide you with a head start on a new and better future.