Self-sabotage is a behavior that can have a significant impact on our lives, whether it's in our relationships, work, finances, or personal goals. It's an incredibly frustrating cycle of behavior that reduces our self-confidence and leaves us stagnant. But what does self-sabotage feel like? As an expert psychologist and therapist, I'll explain what self-sabotage is, why it happens, and how to overcome it. Self-sabotage is when we actively or passively take steps to prevent us from achieving our goals. It can be rooted in counterproductive mindsets such as negativity, disorganization, indecision, and negative self-talk.
Common types of self-sabotage include postponement, perfectionism, relationships, work, finances, time, and change. Perfectionism and imposter syndrome are also forms of self-sabotage. One of the key reasons people self-sabotage is a lack of self-esteem. Postponement is a way to show others that you are never ready and postpone a good result. It's because people fear disappointing others, failing, or succeeding.
According to Joseph, self-sabotage occurs when you do certain things that were adaptive in a context, but that are no longer necessary. An insidious and pervasive form of self-sabotage is senseless distractions that prohibit the achievement of goals. We all postpone things from time to time, for example. Like everyone else, we use food or other substances for emotional rather than strictly nutritional reasons occasionally. But when these things become consistent patterns with significant negative effects, that's when it's worth looking at them more carefully. Just as self-sabotage can take an almost infinite variety of forms, there are many ways in which it develops and takes root.
There is no single reason why self-sabotage occurs. People who chronically self-sabotage learned at some point that it “works” very well - even though it works in the short term but has the opposite effect in the long term. The fact that self-sabotage “works” on some level or at least it did at some point is absolutely fundamental and is the starting point for changing your self-sabotage behaviors forever. Before you can undo unhealthy behavior, you need to understand the role it plays. If you want to stop self-sabotaging, the key is to understand why you're doing what you need to fill. It's self-sabotage because the way they've learned to satisfy their need for trust and self-esteem is by fostering relationships that don't really work but make them feel superior and secure.
Obviously, this gets in the way of their long-term goal of having a healthy romantic relationship but they keep falling into it because their self-esteem is so low and they don't have a better way to approach it. Before you get hard on yourself and commit to change, be compassionate with yourself and commit to understanding. Only when you understand the need that your self-sabotage is filling can you cultivate alternative behaviors to meet that need. And only when you manage to satisfy that need in another way can you abandon self-sabotage forever. One of the best ways to develop alternative behaviors for your self-sabotage is to study other people like you. First make a list of others you know with similar circumstances.
Then communicate and do some research. Ask them how they handle work stress and gather all these ideas in a list. Even if you've identified the underlying need and a set of healthier behaviors to address it, you still need to anticipate potential obstacles to using those new behaviors. If your alternative behavior to stress eating after work is going for a walk instead, make sure you have comfortable shoes with you at all times!Self-sabotage can affect almost every aspect of our lives but understanding why it happens and how to overcome it can help us break free from this cycle of behavior. By understanding the need your self-sabotage covers and developing alternative behaviors to meet that need in a healthier way, you can abandon self-sabotage forever.