HOW TO IDENTIFY SELF-SABOTAGE
EVER WONDER WHY YOU KEEP REPEATING THE SAME NEGATIVE PATTERNS?
It’s because nothing changes if nothing changes!
If you don’t want to be in a toxic relationship, then continuing to surround yourself with toxic relationships isn’t going to get you a different result. But yet people continue to repeat the same negative patterns, over and over and over again!
It isn’t lack of willpower or motivation. It’s the Cycle of Self-sabotage (I talked all about this in my last article titled Self-Sabotage: Why You Hold Yourself Back).
But you CAN overcome it through perseverance in the times of stagnancy, and tenacity in the times of adversity (yes, it really is that simple)!
There is a simple method to identify the pattern of self-sabotage which I’ll mention in this article, although consistency is key and overcoming self-sabotage requires consistent practice and effort.
If you make this simple method a priority, you’ll identify the root cause
(s) of your Cycle of Self-Sabotage in no time!
1. ACKNOWLEDGE IT
Many people engage in self-sabotage behaviours without even realizing it, and because of the unawareness that it’s happening in the first place, these behaviours then become habits that continually undermine their success and happiness. Why? Because rooted somewhere in their subconscious/unconscious they don’t believe they’re capable, willing or worthy enough to obtain their goals, and so they unknowingly fight against their goals and sabotage their potential.
The first step to overcoming self-sabotage is to identify that it’s happening in the first place. Without doing this, the Cycle of Self-Sabotage will continue to manifest.
Self-sabotage can manifest as the following (please keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list:
- Staying within your comfort zone and avoiding change
- Setting goals that are too low to ensure success, or too high to ensure failure
- Creating conflict with romantic partners, loved ones, friends, or coworkers
- Trying to control others
- Attempting to gain others’ approval/people pleasing
- Making excuses/ self-doubt and/or imposter syndrome
- Taking actions that don’t match your values and goals
- Comparing yourself to others
- Social withdrawal or isolation
- Risky behaviours (i.e. excessive drug and/or alcohol use)
2. IDENTIFY THE “WHY”
Secondly, after you’ve identified that you’re sabotaging yourself, the next step is to identify WHY it’s occurring. Oftentimes our self-destructive habits are rooted within our feelings of self-worth. You feel as though you’re not worthy, insignificant, unlovable, incompetent, a failure and/or are not safe.
There are 6 basic needs in order for self-esteem and emotional well-being to flourish, they include: Feeling worthwhile, loving and lovable, adequate, able to recover after failures, basically good and safe. If there are times where these 6 basic needs feel inadequate or unmet, self-esteem is damaged and negative core beliefs may form. Oftentimes, this is where our self-destructive habits are rooted.
Allow some time to identify what some of your negative beliefs are, as this will empower you to uncover the root cause for your self-sabotaging patterns. Keep in mind that our memory, feelings, emotions and attitudes are controlled by our Subconscious or Unconscious minds, meaning that we only have a limited amount of awareness around the negative experiences that have happened to us, and our self-worth.
Take out a pen and paper and write down which of the following experiences resonate with you. For this part of the exercise, don’t focus on identifying the experiences that have caused you to feel this way, just focus on the words and identify whether or not try feel true to you, even to some extent. Remember to be honest with yourself. This exercise is meant for you to withhold judgment, and allow yourself the ability for you to be open and transparent with yourself.
- I don’t matter/ I’m insignificant
- I’ll never be good enough
- I’m helpless/ powerless
- I’m incompetent
- I’m ugly/ unattractive/ flawed
- I can never do anything right
- I’m damaged
- I’m a failure
- I’m a terrible person
3. UNCOVER THE ROOT CAUSE
After you’ve written down the above negative beliefs that you resonate with, I want you to find a safe space that is a quiet and private environment for you to spend some time with yourself, uninterrupted. After you have found your safe space, bring one of the negative beliefs that you selected into full awareness, without tying to fight or change it.
Now, begin to identify the experiences from your past that have made you feel this way. It may take 5 minutes to identify the root cause of a belief, or it may take 30 minutes, 2 hours or even a few days. The most important part of this exercise is to remember to be patient and empathetic with yourself while you make the efforts to uncover your negative core beliefs. The purpose of this exercise is not to judge how you feel, but rather bring into your conscious awareness of the experiences that have negatively impacted you.
Each time you identify a new experience that triggers the memory of this negative belief, write it down, and identify how old you were when this experience occurred. If you resonate with more than 1 negative belief in the above list, take a day or two between identifying the experiences that have caused these feelings to manifest.
Having difficulty identifying the experiences that have negatively impacted your mindset? View my pervious article on How to Address Your Childhood Experiences.
The goal of this exercise is to acknowledge all of the events that occurred within your childhood-adolescents that triggered these beliefs to be formed, as it is between our childhoods and adolescents where our mindsets are formed, conditioned and engraved for years to come.
4. OVERCOME IT!
Lastly, after you’ve identified the root cause(s) to your self-sabotage, the next step is to overcome it!
Next week, I’ll teach you EXACTLY how to do this, so stay tuned!
JOIN THE COMMUNITY!
JOIN THE MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT GROUP WHERE PEOPLE SHARE THEIR STRUGGLES, AND SUCCESSES, GROW TOGETHER AND SUPPORT EACH OTHER TO TALK OPENLY ABOUT SYMPTOMS, CAUSES, TREATMENTS AND HAVE OPEN DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES WITH MENTAL HEALTH.