Self-Sabotage, also categorized as self-destructive behavior encompasses actions, behaviors and characteristics we typically don't consider to be "sabotaging", e.g. selfishness, being controlling, pessimism, procrastination, etc.
Before I go any further, however, I feel the need to share that those of you who are self-sabotaging will probably be the most offended by this post, and may even wish to stop reading, but I beg of you, keep going. By the time you get to the end of this post, you may realize just how you were attempting to sabotage your growth by being unwilling to continue on.
Now that's out the way, I hope that you find a way to trust that this information can lead you to identify the best way to get you out of your own way!
I realize that many of those demonstrating self-sabotaging behavior have probably made it to this point because you more or less did not realize what self sabotaging behavior looks like, so first things first, let's explore that!
What does self-sabotaging behavior look like?
If you are a procrastinator, you can bet you are sabotaging your progress, peace and productivity. Waiting to the last minute to complete pre-assigned tasks is a recipe for stress. Ways to counter procrastination is to use a planner, whiteboard or generate weekly plans (even if it's in your head I tend to do this) that outline your workload, your week and how you will accomplish pre-assigned tasks. And by leaving yourself room in between tasks, you allow yourself the opportunity to absorb any of the "unknown" elements of the week, without adding any additional stress.
Something else to remember, however, is to anticipate that every plan is reworkable, so it's important to remain flexible. And as things arise, adjust accordingly but always remember to leave time to just exist and be in the absence of any obligations, whether that be an hour or two or even thirty minutes, it all counts.
#2 Blaming everyone but yourself for undesired outcomes!
If you're a regular on my blog you already know that accountability was just around the corner for discussion. But why does that become a problem of self-sabotage? Well let me explain...
Anytime you choose to neglect accepting accountability, you disarm yourself with an ability to own your mistakes and learn from them. As you know, many of the greatest lessons in our life involve us not only acknowledging who we are, but also acknowledging all of our deficits as well. However, failure to do so yields to consistently blaming others for many factors that are within our control. For example, let's say someone else treats you inappropriately, despite that individual's actions, you get to choose to sit in that negative emotion. No one is making you continue to cry, sulk, be angry or lash out. If you choose to rest in these negative behaviors, that choice belongs to only you. You control you, no one else. So your focus should always be on your decisions, your response and your perception, not others...
Resisting any ability to own your actions keeps you further away from growing and learning to be better and establish better behavioral responses.
#3 Picking fights when you don't get your way!
Similar to number two, when you fail to focus inward and identify your deficits and work at them, you tend to rest in the perceived deficits of others to keep the focus from yourself. This, in a nutshell, is a very immature response. Mature individuals understand that we engage with people and because of this, we must be just as considerate of someone else, as we are to ourselves to establish healthy relationships.
Neglecting consideration of others prompts focus on self (self-centered and selfishness) that again only blocks us from interpersonal and emotional growth.
#4 Giving up quickly (unwillingness to try)!
This will be brief, but I wanted to be sure to incorporate lack of effort because we tend to always find a way to justify giving up when it does not serve us. Now don't get me wrong, if the universe, God and or your intuition continues to tell you not to pursue something and you continue to do it, obviously you should let that go. But if you are pursuing something and you are learning from every effort you put into that pursuit, don't give up after one try. I can guarantee you there is a greater lesson in your persistence. Additionally, patience is our greatest test and lesson.
#5 Failing to ask for what you need and or say how you feel!
Those of us who fail to acknowledge and communicate our feelings and advocate for ourselves do ourselves a huge disservice. No one essentially will advocate for you like you. No one can speak to your needs, feelings and interests like you can. And while we learn in life there are moments we need to speak up, whereas other times we need to walk away, just know that there is always a way to communicate respectfully and professionally our feelings and needs. That's the best way to truly be seen, heard, valued and respected.
Getting out of your own way!
Now that we've addressed what self-sabotaging behavior looks like, let's address what we need to do to get out of our own way.
In order to pursue your highest good, my first suggestion would be to first identify your goals. Write down what you want and need from this life to feel fulfilled. Also, identify your passion and motivation, so you know what you are willing to work toward and for.
With that comes acknowledging your capabilities and limits. Ultimately, understanding each of these ensures that you are not only identifying realistic goals but that you recognize if you have a real capacity to achieve them.
Next, I would recommend that you identify things that trigger you. Nothing will hinder your growth more than unidentified triggers. By identifying all things, instances, circumstances and behaviors that prompt extreme anger/rage, depression, anxiety, etc. you learn how to navigate and or choose to avoid these things, instances, circumstances and behaviors. Being able to identify, navigate and avoid triggers will certainly ensure that you are operating at your greatest potential.
Something else that will help you get out of your own way is releasing the need to be controlling in general, whether that be the need to control people, outcomes and or desires. In life, there should be an anticipated element of unpredictability that we must embrace in order to experience all of the nuances of life. So it's important that we understand we only have control over ourselves, our responses, our reactions, our behaviors, our choices and our perception. Those are things we have control over and those are the things we need to work on managing in a healthy way.
Lastly, getting out of our own way also includes embracing failures and releasing worry about the perception of others. It's the failures that we learn from and that are the foundation of our development. However, worrying about what others think or perceive as "right", "perfection" or "ideal" negatively impacts our ability to fully embrace who we are, ultimately negatively impacting our ability to build resilience in unprecedented times. By constantly reshaping, refocusing etc. our priorities on others' perceptions, we enable ourselves to rest in a reactive state, constantly reshaping and restructuring our needs, focus, priorities, etc. to the benefit of others. Thus, resulting in frequent feelings of being unfulfilled and inadequate.
So, while we've explored some ways to identify self-sabotaging behavior, I hope that you've also discovered several ways to equip yourself with the ability to get out of your own way!
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