Why do we self-sabotage and how to beat it.

I think we can all agree that we have all sabotaged ourselves. Self- sabotage happens for so many reasons and is a normal response to fear and change. The worst part is when everything seems to be going well and everything is working out in our favor, only for us to freak out, out of fear. Raise your hand if you have been there because my hand is definitely up–shoot, both of my hands are up.

My self-sabotaging experience

For several years in a row, I was a self-sabotaging queen. I had no idea what I was doing and looking back now I recognize how often I did it. I think I did it so much because during that phase of my life there were so many unknowns and I felt like I had no control of my life. As I looked at my peers I felt like they had it all figured out and I was a fraud. Plus, I think I had been self-sabotaging myself for so long I no longer knew the difference.

I would do things like blame others for all of my problems rather than take responsibility. I would always make excuses and look for a ‘reasonable’ reason to my problems. If someone tried to point out the truth I would deny deny and deny. I would argue my way through anything– I had to be right. I would procrastinate like no tomorrow and wait until the last minute with everything, getting me into trouble. And I just carried so much guilt on my shoulders about letting people down that I would start the self-sabotage cycle all over again. And of course I would make decisions that helped keep me feeling safe. I didn’t always know I was doing this and yet it dictated so many of my decisions. Makes me wonder where I would be if I was more aware of it–then again we shouldn’t go down that road.

We become accustomed to problems


One of the reasons we start to self-sabotage is because we become accustomed to problems. So much so that we forget to put down the “sword.” Life is hard, no one said it would all be easy. Although life is beautiful and hardships help us grew and appreciate life, pushing through obstacles may force us to form habits to help us fight and push ahead–creating tough skin in a sense.

We do this to protect ourselves. It’s sort of a coping mechanism. It forces us to be on the look out and to be prepared for anything to go wrong. Therefor, keeping us from true joy and dismissing all the good that occurs in our life. We begin to look for faults in everything, that way we won’t be let down or disappointed. We decide that nothing is good enough before life can do it for us– self-sabotage at it’s finest.

A way to overcome this it to stop and do some self-reflecting. Ask yourself what exactly are you fighting against? These challenges that are in front of you, are you just responding to them or are you learning and gaining something from the experience? We are not living by waiting for the next shoe to drop. Just responding to situations doesn’t help us learn what we need to. Some obstacles are easier to overcome and others require you to change some habits, learn some new skill or even a life lesson. The more we struggle against life, and try to stick to our own ways, the more frustrated we will eventually become.

We self-sabotage for control

The day I realized I was self-sabotaging by my need for control, was a big moment. Still, I struggle with this but I have improved so much. I find myself enjoying moments of my day more and really appreciating my life. I used to control every aspect of my life or at least I would try to. I’m not going to lie, it takes a lot of energy and it was an internal battle I needed to conquer.

My need for control was clouding my judgement. It kept me blinded to the world around me. I didn’t realize how negative of a person I was becoming and how I was affecting those around me. When you are a negative person, you often don’t realize it. All you have to do is listen to the people around you to find out just how negative you are. They have probably already been telling you about how you need to make an attitude change.

Trying to control everything only makes you anxious and causes you to worry more. Instead focus on what you can control, which is yourself and your response to life situations. Focus on the people who believe in you, on the people who give you hope and stand by you. They are the people who want the best for you and are willing to help you through you journey.

So, it may be time to let go. Not everything can be controlled and not everything should be. Letting go of the uncontrollable will give you an inner peace you probably haven’t felt in a long time. And will help you put more trust in the process and have faith that everything will eventually turn out exactly as it should be.

You feel like a fraud

When you feel like a fraud, you might end up feeling numerous things. Maybe you feel guilty, ashamed, low self-esteem or social anxiety. And when you feel like this you may try to regain some more control, focus on negative thoughts and even ignore your own needs or priorities because you feel like you don’t deserve it.

When I was newly working on building my business and working on myself I felt like a giant fraud. I would constantly compare my current self to my “future self.” I feel like I was constantly letting myself down despite how blessed and grateful I was and still am. Deep down I felt like not only was I capable of achieving more but that I was fooling myself and everyone around into thinking I had my life all put together. I wanted to catch up to the version of me I envisioned without having to wait and do all the work.

A way to overcome these feelings is by forgiving yourself and stop caring so much about what other people think. Forgive yourself for what you have or haven’t done. For the mistakes you made and what you haven’t accomplish. Start to see your life as a journey. Every moment is building you up and directing you where you need to go. Start taking it one day at a time and do what will get you closer to your goals. We are so hard on ourselves, but there is no need. Not everything will get done all at once, there is no reason why we should hold onto meaningless guilt when it just weighs us down.

Fear of failure or success

Fear will always be part of the journey. Your fear is trying to protect you but for most cases (unless you are in immediate danger) there is no real danger. It is about what you are willing to do despite the fear. We have got to get used to being uncomfortable. I’ve found it best to identify my fear. See it as a challenge. Create steps to overcome those fears and use them as tools to learn and grow. When you truly know what you want then your choices become clearer and your journey a bit easier. Your confidence will grow and any challenge that comes your way will be something you know you could handle.

It’s just like working out. You eat clean, workout, and drink water and you know you will eventually see results. When you do the work, you have earned the results. This applies to life in every way.

“There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.”

Oprah

Life is complicated enough without self-sabotage

At the end of the day it’s important to stay true to ourselves. To grow and keep on developing ourselves as human beings. What really helps is surrounding myself with positive information and listening to people who know more than you. I spend a lot of my time with my nose stuck in a book and my ears tuned in to only helpful information. It also really helps to have short and long term goals. It can be a goal on any area of your life. This will keep your mind on something positive and unique just to you. Your goal will act as a mental blinder. Everything you do should get you closer to your passion and fueling you with good energy. Without a goal you can become lost with no definite direction. Nothing gets accomplished this way. Eventually frustration, disappointment, anger, or all three, will start to invade.

Self-sabotage originates from negative feelings. It’s a form of protection that is often not needed. Life can be hard all on it’s own, it doesn’t need our help to throw curve balls.

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And if you liked this post, make sure you also read this post on change.

Until next time,

Evelyn.