Have you ever left the house and somehow ended up at work, but don’t remember how you got there or what happened in between? Like clockwork, you have a routine you follow that is almost thoughtless. You get stuck in a limiting pattern of behavior and feel like you always get the same results. Self-sabotage is the vehicle and you’re in the driver’s seat.
What is Self-Sabotage?
Self-sabotage is any behavior, thought, emotion, or action that prevents one from living up to their full potential. It is a safety mechanism that protects us from disappointment and makes us feel comfortable. It’s that mundane drive to work you never alter even though there is a different route with fewer traffic lights and a cute coffee shop you’ve always wanted to try.
Self-sabotage can come in various forms and affect our lives in a multitude of ways. Here are some examples of sabotage we often use on our own route to success:
- Fear of making mistakes
- Fear of failure
- Worrying endlessly
- Comparing ourselves to others
- Critically judging ourselves
- The habit of procrastinating
- The habit of gossiping
- Enhancing a negative situation or outcome
- Having unrealistic expectations
- Rigidity in patterns of behavior
- The habit of perfectionism
- Being too humble
- Justifying excuses and bad choices
- Staying where it’s comfortable
Break the Cycle
Whether your self-sabotaging habits are hindering your personal life or professional career, there are a few steps you can take to break the cycle.
Focus on What You Want and Why You Want It
Envision your future self and who she is as a person, friend, and coworker. She is successful. She is confident. She keeps her goals as her driving force. Success comes from staying focused on exactly what you want regardless of the obstacles or how long it will take. Staying mindful of your goals and why you are striving for them gives purpose to your actions and fuels the fire of success.
Hold Yourself Accountable
If you’re a tangible person, writing down your focus and triggers that detract from your goal can help keep you on track. If you prefer others to hold you accountable, tell a friend or trusted colleague your focus and why, so you have someone to check-in with and talk to when things get difficult. Friends are a great sounding board and can provide practical advice to help you move past your self-sabotaging obstacles and set you on a forward path towards defeating your bad habits.
Enjoy the Process
Work can be mentally and physically draining. Personal development doesn’t need to be that way. Take pride in the changes you have set for yourself and enjoy the process. There are plenty of other things in the world that will bring stress and worry into your life, don’t let improving yourself be one of them. Don’t forget to reward yourself for the small successes too!
You are the best judge of your needs and how you work the most optimal. Wherever you are on your journey is where you are supposed to be. You will not be victorious overnight and you may lose a battle or two. However, persistence will have you winning over your self-sabotage patterns quicker than you think. Be patient with yourself and know that any progress, big or small, is a step in the right direction.