By exploring your desires and wanting to go deeper into your own life, you begin priming your brain to think about the possibilities of having MORE for your life. And as such, you begin to take action that aligns with your desires. Then, just as you realize that life is really good, something throws you off track. You’d love to blame it on circumstances or someone else. But the truth is: you are the one getting in your own way. And you find yourself asking WHY. Why do we self-sabotage?
First of all, if you realize that your lack of progress is self-sabotage, you’re ahead of the curve. And can do something about it. Because, in all honesty, most folks don’t realize that their own actions and habits are at the heart of their lack of progress. That’s because knowledge is power. And allows you to nip your self-sabotaging ways in the bud.
What is self-sabotaging behavior?
Before exploring why we self-sabotage, first let’s explore what self-sabotaging behavior is. It’s any actions or habits that interfere with making progress towards living our lives to the fullest. This can be the ways in which our habits stall progress towards our goals. Or behaviors that may come across as something we tell ourselves is a win, but in all honesty, it’s a way we sacrifice the long-term goals for a short term win.
Examples of self-sabotaging behaviors include procrastination, over-scheduling yourself, overindulging in food or alcohol, and crossing boundaries that you or someone else has set.
What are some causes of self-sabotage?
Fear is of failure is one of the number one causes of self-sabotage.
Despite things going really well for us, if we have a history of not reaching goals, we subconsciously believe that failure is inevitable. It’s the ways in which we wait for the “other shoe to drop”.
Say, for example, you want to lose weight. But no matter how often you’ve tried, you always go off your diet. Or stop exercising. Because your personal history is “I will never lose weight”? When you begin losing weight, your inner critic pipes up and reminds you that you will inevitably fail. So, self-sabotaging behaviors pop up. Since you already fear you’ll fail, it’s just helping you fail sooner. Before you break through the barrier of what you may see as true success.
Especially if others have begun to notice your progress. Because, no matter what area of your life is going well, we’d rather fail earlier so not as many people will witness our failure. Then, the cycle begins again. Because your inner critic will celebrate that it was “right”.
Remember: our inner critics were born from a place of keeping us safe. Especially safe from being shamed or ridiculed.
No matter how good things are going, because you deeply believe success will never be yours. No matter what area of your life you’re focusing on? Your subconscious can take pleasure in being “right”. And so, you indulge in the feelings of disappointment that you never be successful. And then, you get to indulge in behaviors and habits that are ingrained.
So, when you wonder: why do we self-sabotage? First look to the ways in which you’re afraid. And the dialogue of your inner critic.
Surprisingly, fear of success is an all-too-common way we self-sabotage.
When you begin to make progress on a big goal, that means that things in your life are changing. And as much as we desire things in our life to be different, we also fear this difference. Because, what will it MEAN when our life isn’t the same as it was before?
The thing is, even when say we want something, a part of us is afraid that if life is different, everything will be different. What if our family members no longer love us? What if our friends abandon us because we’ve changed?
And changing old habits and behaviors is hard. Because deep down, a part of us will always look back t the “old” ways of doing things as easier. And sure, that may seem easier, but deep down you wanted life to be different for a deeper reason.
When fear of success arises, I want to gently remind you that life is always changing. So, when you make changes from a space of what you desire? It’s worlds better than allowing others to direct the changes in our life. And, if you’ve already made some progress, as evidenced by feeling that things are going really good, you cannot go back to the old you.
Why do we self-sabotage? A part of us believes we don’t deserve to be happy.
Just like we fear success and failure, fearing that we aren’t worthy of having our desires is another cause of self-sabotaging behaviors arising. Yes, we say we want to be happy. But we all know that saying something and doing it are two different things.
Sometimes, too, we struggle with believing we’re worthy of something when our life is already pretty good. That wanting more is selfish. And therefore, we don’t or shouldn’t want more.
If you’ve struggled with self-esteem issues. Or lack confidence in yourself. Then your subconscious may not believe that you are unworthy of having your desires or reaching goals. Our thoughts can create our reality, so thinking that you don’t deserve something or unworthy of it opens the door to self-sabotage.
How do you deal with self-sabotage?
Since most of the reasons we self-sabotage begin from a place of fear, it’s important to Answering the question why DO I self-sabotage is the key to dealing. we self-sabotage is the key to dealing with the ways in which you getting your own way.
- Identify your self-sabotaging behaviors. When you are clear on the ways in which you personally self-sabotage, you can recognize it when it begins to happen. Before you go too far, so to speak.
- Get clear on the underlying reason why you self-sabotage. When we know what the core cause is, it’s easier to shine a light on that fear. And take action anyway.
- Get super clear on your desires and why you want them. I like to play the game of “The 5 Shades of Why”. Asking “WHY do I want X. And what would THAT give me?” Going through this process to get to an underlying truth allows you to stay motivated when you’re tempted to self-sabotage.
- Break down a goal or desire into small steps and identify milestones. This allows you to recognize success. This helps when you believe it’s pointless to keep trying. Because you’ve already made progress.
- Take all of this information and write it down. Because information is powerful, keeping a long-range, big goal in your mind is possible. Even when it’s tempting to give into a temporary pleasure. Writing down your goals and keeping a journal can help you deal with self-sabotage.
- Begin a courage practice. Make a list of things you want to try and then start acting! Action allows you to gain momentum. When you have some momentum, it’s easier to overcome self-sabotaging behaviors. And get back on track more quickly if you have self-sabotaged in some ways.
- Begin a gratitude practice to help re-wire your brain to the positive. This will help shift you from negative thinking.
- As part of your gratitude practice, record and celebrate your wins. It will also help you with your self-confidence. And remind you that you are worthy of having your dreams be a part of your reality.
Darling, you are human. And as such, there will always be moments when you get in your own way.
However, if you are super clear on how and why you self-sabotage, it allows you to correct your course. You are a beloved child of God and deserve happiness, love, and delight. Don’t allow your fears of failure, success, or worthiness get in the way of all your hard work.
Sometimes, it’s hard to get to the root cause of why we get in our own way. Or making a plan of attack to deal with it.
That’s when you sometimes need another person to help you figure it out. To have someone that you know is on your side that believes what you desire is entirely possible.
Coaching can be an amazing way to get the support you need. Coaching allows you to talk about your dreams. And then have someone help you create a plan to usher them into reality. You can find details about packages and pricing here.
Get in touch or drop me an email at: debra AT debrasmouse.com and we’ll schedule a call to see if we’re a good fit.