From time to time, everyone feels stuck in some area of their life. Whether it comes in the form of procrastination, self-medication such as comfort or stress habits using food or substances like alcohol, tobacco and drugs, anger (most often causing relationship conflicts), lack of commitment, not following your dreams, or acknowledging everyone else’s accomplishments except your own….self-sabotage is a real thing. It comes in so many forms, but the definition is any behavior that creates problems in your daily life and interferes with you reaching your goals. But how do you get unstuck? That is the question at hand.
First, you must ask yourself a few questions. The first is, “How is that working for you?” Is what you are doing now helping you achieve what you want most? Or have you found yourself in a cycle of self-destructive habits that seem endless? The second question is, “What is it costing you to stay that way?” in terms of time, money, relationships, emotionally and physically. And the last question is, “What are you gaining from staying where you are?” These are questions I help my Hypnotherapy clients answer. What are you REALLY getting out of staying where you are? It’s sometimes a difficult question to answer, because the real underlying motivations may be hidden in your subconscious.
There are many reasons why we self-sabotage. The first is that we may have a low self-worth. This is the cause when we feel undeserving of happiness and success. Even high achievers can suffer from this. They work so hard to be successful because they have such a strong need to make up for feeling unworthy. But what happens when they reach the top of their game? They can feel even worse when they succeed because no matter what they do, they still feel unworthy of that success. Our minds will always work to be consistent in our actions with our values. If these don’t match our internal beliefs, that’s an issue. Think of all the celebrities who from the outside appear as if they have all the money and success, but then they sabotage with drugs, alcohol, and other destructive behaviors. Sometimes even causing their own deaths. Next is called the Imposter Syndrome. It may sound similar to Self-Worth because it’s not feeling good enough, but there are slightly different motivators. It’s when you fear that you will be “found out” as a fake. So, you either do the bare minimum necessary to not be noticed, or you go for the big wins but constantly worry you will be revealed as a fraud.
Another reason we may be self-sabotaging is that we want to stay in our comfort zone. We will always choose the comfort of consistency over even our very own happiness by putting ourselves in the position of feeling how we are used to feeling, as opposed to venturing out into the unknown. Or perhaps we feel more in control of our failure than we do of success. If we go for our dreams and goals, what if we achieve success only for failure to then come unexpectedly and we aren’t prepared for it? Think of this as a controlled burn. When forest fires happen unexpectedly, the results can be devastating. But when it’s controlled burn, we
feel better about it because we are the ones who started the fire and we can control when and where it happens.
The next couple of reasons why we self-sabotage puts the blame outside ourselves. You may look for a scapegoat, which would be another person, or perhaps the process of situation. Anything other than yourself can be a reason for your lack of progress. Instead of owning the fact that you didn’t study for that exam, you blame the way the test was written, the instructor, or maybe even your own perceived inadequacies (i.e. you aren’t smart enough to retain the information). And finally, do you remember that old saying that misery loves company? Sometimes rather than admit we aren’t doing the work, or looking within to find out WHY we aren’t getting where you want to go, we pick a fight with a loved one, or with anyone, because if we are at the bottom we may as well dig ourselves in deep and bring others down with us.
Did any of those strike a nerve? If so, how do you stop? The first step is always awareness. Look at the root of the problem. Where does it comes from? The next step is clarity. You must have a clear vision of what you want and why you really want it, or you will slip back into old habits again and again. Only when you identify the cause of your self-sabotage can you look closely at the symptoms, and work to create new healthy habits to support your goals, build your belief, and expand your comfort zone. It takes some serious self-reflection, and diligence to notice when those old habits pop up. If you need professional help, please reach out. Hypnotherapy is an amazing tool to gain clarity, identify the root cause of self-sabotage and the behaviors surrounding it, create a vision and make a plan for who you want to become. Once you build your belief in yourself, and strengthen your vision, you will be able to remove those blocks and start striving toward your goals-and feel good about reaching them. That’s when you will truly become the you that you’ve been dreaming of!
If you are in need of additional support with coping with all the challenges right now, or in communicating better with the ones you love, please feel free to reach out for assistance.