We all do it from time to time; some of us do it all the time without knowing what we are doing to ourselves. What am I talking about? It’s self-sabotage. Self-sabotaging behaviour results from an erroneous attempt to rescue ourselves from our own negative thoughts.
Do you say that you really want something and then work really hard to make sure that it doesn’t happen? How do you get in your own way?
Need for control – if we keep telling ourselves something will fail/never work/never last then at an unconscious level we will engineer its failure so that we maintain a sense that we are still in control.
Self-esteem – sometimes our self-esteem or our own worth is low and we don’t believe we deserve to be happy or successful or in love etc.
Habits – we get ourselves into a cycle of bad habits. We may be used to things not ‘going our way’ or may have people in our life that always seem to be ‘spouting doom and gloom’. Those bad habits can be broken; after all they weren’t always there.
As I mentioned, some people do not even know they are self-sabotaging. I point this out quite often to people who come to see me for support. It is always met with disbelief, initially. Comfort eating, alcohol, substance misuse, imposter syndrome, procrastination, excuses are all forms of self-sabotage.
There is good news… you can change this. As much as we can introduce bad habits/patterns into our consciousness we can also develop good habits (and remove those bad habits that hold us back from being who and what we want to be).
1. See, hear and feel
Whenever you have a negative thought, catch it. Write it down and notice what emotions it brings and what behaviours stem from those emotions. This is not an easy thing to do initially; however the more you practice the more it becomes a positive habit.
Once the negative thought is there on paper, ask yourself whether the thought is rationale and helpful, is it fact or opinion. Is there another way you can look at a situation? Take control and above all stop making excuses.
2. Make the time
I don’t have the time to do that? Is this something you say to yourself and others? If you do then you are really fooling yourself.
You can always find time. Watch a little less TV or spend a little less time surfing the internet. Get up a little earlier in the morning or drop an activity you really don’t want to do (and have been waiting for a positive reason to drop it).
3. Visualise it
Visualisation (if you see things in pictures) is a really powerful tool. Try to visualise yourself already doing the thing you want to do; you've achieved that thing you want. Say the positive things that you would be saying or hear the positive things being said. Feel those positive feelings. Sometimes people also smell and taste so if this is you smell those smells that make you think about what it is you want to do or taste the tastes.
Make sure that you practice all these techniques. Breaking or making habits takes time (some people say it takes between 21 and 30 days to make or break a habit). Have patience in yourself and believe that you will achieve it.
‘You get what you ask for’ is a true statement. Start believing it, see yourself in the picture. As with everything in life, practice makes perfect and you also need to put in the effort to change the way you think.
If you need a little help getting started on your journey, ask for it. I'm always here and have a number of free 'let it out' sessions that you are more than welcome to book.
Much Love Jo xxxx