Self-Sabotage and How to Overcome It
By Andres Carvajal
Edited By: Stephanie Dawson
Everyone has potential, skills, and good qualities that makes us unique and special. Self-sabotage is a series of toxic or bad habits influenced by traumatic or painful experiences that act like ghosts in our lives, chasing and endangering our life in any dimension: professional, romantic, or personal. Every failure reinforces our negative beliefs that we are cursed or that we have extremely bad luck, this results in lower self-esteem and confidence.
The most noticeable characteristic of self-sabotage is that its often an unconscious act. The best way to detect and counterattack self-sabotage is by accepting, detecting, and applying new strategies for old problems.
Self-sabotage is a mechanism of defense for some people consisting of acts, behaviors, attitudes, or thoughts that apply when he or she feels condemned to failure or doesn’t deserve happiness. Some become worried when everything is fine, they are expecting and waiting for something bad to happen in order to feel right. In this sense, self-sabotage is close to fear and vulnerability. They tend to be hyper-vigilant to any clue or danger that could hurt them, without knowing it, they can approach those people and behaviors that hurt them more, because they think they deserve a sad life.
In many cases the tendency to self-sabotage arises from childhood, when one or both parents act in an aggressive way, dominant, aggressive, controlling, and inflexible. This style of parenting can create insecure children with many fears. Overprotective and controlling parents can create insecure children with fears of doing things by themselves.
Effects of self-sabotage:
Self-sabotage will have repercussions in all aspects of your life, the dimensions most affected are emotional and romantic. This usually happens because these dimensions require you to have more confidence, security, and concern for others than in other areas.
Its always a shame to see how people with innate potential being pessimistic and chained with fear and insecurity.
How to fix it:
The first thing is to recognize these unconscious and maybe involuntary acts. A good question everyday could be, “What have I done today to be closer to my goals?”
Its necessary to be conscious of any impulsive acts or strong reactions, remember not to be guided by guilt or remorse. Try to work with your feelings of feeling punished.
Addictive behaviors are often the gateway to expression of self-sabotaging behaviors. If you feel a void within yourself, don’t deserve good things, or if you feel that everything is worthless, maybe you started sabotaging yourself long time ago with behaviors that may provide instant gratification, in the long run these feelings might be counterproductive. Love-making and drug addiction and obsessive symptoms or psychosomatic pains can be interpreted as ways to sabotage your success.
Two ways to discover yourself and express self-destructive feelings in a non-harmful way is by going to a therapist or counselor and participating in sports or cultural groups. The therapeutic settings produce hundreds of insights concerning your defects and flaws, the roots of your fears and emotions, and reactions you are creating unconsciously. To include yourself in cultural or recreational settings can help you interact with others and focus on different aspects of life, rather than self-defeating behaviors.