What Is Self-Sabotage – Part One

by 23rd July 2020

What is Self-Sabotage?

Let’s Explore

One of my clients asked me if I knew anything about self-sabotage. Through reading various books and documents, what my research found was that it involves our thoughts and behaviours. This can prevent you from doing what you want with your life. It could be your internal dialogue that you hear yourself saying “you can’t do this”, “you’re no good” “you will never be able to afford that”, “You’ll never lose weight” etc. It’s all those negatives that we hear internally. This is your sub-conscious in a way protecting you from getting hurt. You might even find this voice internally sounds like someone you knew or know.

Self-sabotage not only happens in our personal lives, but it can also happen in our business lives too. The logical, conscious mind, can say you need to eat healthily and save money, but your subconscious is fighting against that, and because you are becoming increasingly stressed from feeling blocked, you eat chocolate or go on a shopping spree online or at a shopping mall, buying things that you don’t really need. The other forms of self-sabotage are procrastination, self-medication with alcohol, drugs and comfort eating, or self-harm. People are not even aware that they are doing this to themselves as they are doing it unconsciously.

This can also be your self-critical voice that holds you back and sabotages all your efforts. This inner voice is a major problem to a lot of people; “you can’t do this”.

This is a real problem to some people, and it is a big problem. It may be there to protect you from deep-rooted pain or to protect you from fear; False Evidence Appearing Real. This self-sabotage stops you from taking on new challenges within your life.

The 8 steps that may help you

1. Understand your Self-Sabotage.

At one time in our lives, I believe we have all engaged in self-destructive behaviour. This self-destructive behaviour then becomes a habit, and we may not even realise it.

This behaviour, if it continues, can prevent us from being happy, and stop us from achieving the success we deserve in our lives. This is may even be so much of a habit to you that you may not even be aware of what you are doing, and it gets in the way of our dreams and our goals. We want to be our ideal weight, we want to be healthy, we want to be successful in business etc. We want something in our lives. However, we never seem to be able to accomplish it. For what purpose is this happening to us? Deep inside your unconscious, or as some people refer to as sub-conscious, for whatever reason you are fighting this goal.

Your sub-conscious/unconscious is protecting you from being hurt or let down. In a way, it’s a form of self-preservation and self-guarding yourself even though you no longer require this. It is a programme that you are running and people fail to recognise that they are doing this unconsciously and that we are hurting ourselves consciously.

The other form of self-sabotage is when we overthink things. We make life difficult for ourselves, and in some people, this leaves them feeling paralysed, stopping them from taking those vital steps forward.

2. Find out what your self-sabotage habit is

From being an NLP Master Practitioner and Trainer I have found that we need to look at these behaviours from the outside looking in…

So what mindset patterns or self-destructive habits are stopping you moving forward in your life?

My next common practices some of my clients have presented over the last few years since being qualified.

3. For you to be aware of

Procrastination: This problem goes back to modelling your parents, or even teachers as a child, that left things to the last minute, for when the deadline was due. People say they like working under pressure – hands up I’m not one of those people working under pressure would cause me more stress and in some cases -Anxiety.

Successful people plan, mini-deadlines to achieve the end goal, and work towards the final goal. My advice is getting your difficult jobs done first. The rest of the day will become easier. I promise.

I often call this eat the biggest ugliest frog first thing in the morning. Brian Tracy wrote a book called Eat That Frog! Get More Of The Important Things Done Today.

The Negative Self-Talk: I often refer to this as the two-year-old. Would you take notice of a two-year-old telling you, you are no good, you’re going to fail, telling yourself off for past mistakes, and criticising yourself even when you have done a good job.

Change that to, and why not tell the two-year-old to shut up and tell it to be kind to you and be patient with you. Work to build yourself up. My advice for doing that is to invest in Personal development reading a book 10 mins a day, listening to an audiobook. Listening to positive music. Feed your brain with positive material.
I believe this will help you greatly.

Perfectionism: This is another way we self-sabotage ourselves, our lives and our businesses. The concept is that an individual won’t take any action until they believe ‘it’s the right time’, or the situation is ‘perfect’. The individual may feel like they need to learn more (in some cases the person on the training knows more than the trainer!), that they need more skill, they aren’t enough of an expert; this is all impostor syndrome. Perfectionism will sadly never be achieved and it is an impossible standard that will simply just stop you moving forward.

All this my friend, will hold you back from the success you so rightly deserve.

4. The Root Cause Of Self-Sabotage

We develop unhealthy ways of dealing and coping with life, which once again self-sabotages our lives and we develop stress. We often drop our commitments, fail to look after ourselves, and take relationships with our loved ones for granted. We allow ourselves to react out of character, with negative coping mechanisms – like having a panic attack. However, we don’t seem to able to see how this self-sabotages our life.

Most likely, our self-destructive habits are deep-rooted in our feelings, affecting our self-worth, making us feel we that we don’t deserve the success, as our competitors do – we think we are no good.

The inadequacies that we feel, our overcompensation or setting goals that are unrealistic, are all there for us to prove to ourselves that we are no good. In some cases, we use this self-sabotage as a twisted form to control our fates.

Listen up! It is better to learn from your failures and to be in control or your success and take responsibility than to have your unknown circumstances blind you and stop you moving forward. You may need a coach to help you to identify and find out why you are self-sabotaging your life, and your coach can help you to stop these negative behaviour patterns happening.

5. Do you take time for Self-Reflection

Take time out to find out why you keep shooting yourself in the foot in the first place. We are a bit like onions we must take one layer off at a time to get to the real issues, which can lead to a deeper awareness, and in turn will give you more insight into yourself and your underlying motivations and desires with life.

What I have found from studying successful people and modelling them is that they take time to think things through; it’s their choices, their decisions and their actions. Successful people learn what works for them, and what fails to work. They then adjust their course of action accordingly and take a different approach. By engaging in self-reflection you gain the necessary insight, perspective and understanding to begin changing and transforming yourself.

6. Find the positive voice inside you

Fear holds us back. We believe that critical two-year-old is right and we start to agree with them that we don’t deserve to be happy and we’re just simply no good. I’m telling you it’s time as of now, to tell the two-year -old that you are not going to take any more notice of them. You’re no longer going listen to the negative self-talk of “I can’t” or “I’m a failure”. It’s time to silence that negative internal voice. I always ask my clients, would you take notice of criticism from two-year-old? Their reply is always no.

So, why do we listen to the negative internal dialogue? The negative dialogue is a pattern of self-limiting thoughts and beliefs. Start replacing the critical voice with, positive and encouraging thoughts.

If you look for areas of your life that you are limiting yourself in, you can choose not to engage in that self-sabotaging behaviour. You can start changing by focusing on positive behaviour which creates a confident alternative voice to guide you. So, I know you can change, but the question is, do you want to take responsibility?

7.Pattern of behaviour needs to change

Our behaviour and actions move us towards or away from the person we really want to be, and the life we really want. Just imagine, if you will for a moment, how the inner conflict with your happiness, can hold you back from your true potential.

So, I have created techniques that can replace old techniques and programmes, with new ones that will help you achieve your goals. A good coach can you help you in this area.

Change one area of your life at a time remember:

“Rome was not built in a day.”

It’s not realistic to change everything all in one go, so work on one thing each week, and slowly you will create and transform your life.

Example: If you realise that deadlines are self-sabotaging by persistently missing them, or you are not following through leads, or maybe you are even being disorganised. Stop… take a step back and look for one small meaningful change that you can honestly make to set you on a more successful course.

However, if you are constantly getting off track from what you should be doing, take five minutes or last thing at night and tidy your desk and write the to-do list for the following day. Always put the ugly frog first, or that deadline task first. If you’re constantly missing deadlines come up with a reasonable timeline to get your project done. Then take the baby steps to meet these goals, so you can accomplish your objective and build self-confidence.

8. Set the goal and decide to plan

This self-sabotaging behaviour we so frequently struggle with often appears when we don’t know what to expect. The unknown in life can make us feel inadequate and nervous, and leave us on an unsure footing. Instead of moving forward confidently, we respond nervously and negatively, and we allow ourselves to feel incompetent and incapable.

A way to limit this is to lay down some solid plans and goals in the future. By having firm thoughtful plans for each step we take we will feel more confident about our actions and what we are doing. You can do this daily. Think:

“What steps am I going to do today to get me closer to success?”

Thinking of how are you going to respond positively to situations, people and circumstances that arise that day.

By taking control of your life and your situation you will banish self-sabotage.

Please feel free to contact me if you feel that I can be of help to you.

About Karen Baughan

Karen Baughan is an NLP Master Practitioner based in Bromsgrove, UK. Having used NLP to affect her own personal transformation, she now helps clients, from around the world, to transform their lives and achieve their dreams.

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Get in touch today and find out how Karen can help you to start achieving the results you want.