Last week, I provided you with the information that showed you how you could be sabotaging yourself, whereas this week I’ll be showing you how you can stop sabotaging yourself. So as promised, this is the follow-up to ‘Why do I Sabotage Myself?‘ and contains tips, tricks, and life hacks on how to stop sabotaging yourself.
Before we begin, I thought it might be an idea to get you to ask yourself a couple of questions. That way, the ways you keep sabotaging yourself will be fresh in your mind, and thus you’ll be able to identify which strategies might work best for you. Feel free to share your answers to these questions in the comment session below as well, as it might help someone else.
- If I want to carry on self-sabotaging, then what things will I keep doing? e.g. (keep using bad habits).
- What other reasons might I or someone else sabotage themselves? (e.g. fear of success).
- Why do I keep sabotaging myself?
How To Stop Sabotaging Yourself
The first two critical steps to take to stop you from sabotaging yourself are to understand what sabotaging yourself means and how to recognise your self-sabotaging habits and behaviours. If you’ve already read ‘Why do I Sabotage Myself?‘ then you’ve already taken the first two steps. If you haven’t read it yet, then click here to complete the first two steps before carrying on with how to stop sabotaging yourself.
One of the reasons we end up sabotaging ourselves is that we’re a people-pleaser. Being a people-pleaser will mean you put the needs of others before your own, which means the things you want to achieve or do won’t get done, thus you’re sabotaging yourself. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered on how you can overcome that too. Just check out my article: How To Stop Being A People-Pleaser.
Having low self-esteem, a low opinion of yourself, and doubt about yourself and your abilities, in general, will always hold you back in life. I know it holds me back. Often we feel like this because of the way we’ve been treated in the past, such as it being the result of abuse. For me, my self-esteem was destroyed by a childhood of constant racial abuse.
There are a number of ways you can work on your self-esteem. Counselling would be one method, but another method you could try using right now is positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are positive statements you repeat to yourself until you start to believe them. Like they say, fake it to you make it.
Pretty much any statement can be made positive by adding ‘I can’ at the start. For example, I can complete this task, I can learn a new skill, etc. other examples of positive affirmations are:
The tools I need to succeed are in my possession (DevelopGoodHabits.com)
My life has worth
I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful (HuffPost)
I have value
I love and approve of myself (Prolific Living)
Unfortunately, fear can get the better of us and thus result in us sabotaging ourselves. What people don’t seem to realise is that they’re actually strong and more resilient than they give themselves credit for. This is most likely partly to blame on self-esteem issues as well.
Yes, you might fail sometimes, but so what? There’s nothing wrong with failing, it’s what you do after you fail that’s the problem. But what’s worse than that is not trying at all. So acknowledge your fear, but then ignore it and pursue your objectives, goals, etc. anyway. Make fear your bitch.
To make your goals and tasks more attainable, so you don’t give up or lose motivation, you can break down what you want to do into smaller, more manageable chunks, and one of the best ways to do that is to use SMART Goals. For more information on what SMART Goals are and how you can use them, check out my article: SMART Goals: An Amazing Way To Achieve Your Aims.
When confronted with an overwhelming section of choices, you could try creating a list of criteria that needs to be met, and which you’d be willing to compromise on. This will help you eliminate a lot of your options.
For example, if you wanted to learn a skill, such as dancing, you could add location, costs, dance style, time, etc. to your list of criteria to help you pick a class to join.
A lot of reasons why we end up sabotaging ourselves are due to our deep-seated issues from our past. However, it can also be something recent that we’re overlooking, such as the slow-building stress which could be leading you to burnout or an unresolved argument with your partner. Thus, looking for the root cause of why we’re sabotaging ourselves is a great way to overcome it.
There are a couple of methods that can be used to help you identify this: going to counselling, for deep-rooted issues; writing down your thoughts and feelings about past events; or keeping a journal to help identify causes in the present. To find out more about the benefits of journaling and how to do it, visit my article: Journaling: What Makes It The Self-Care Go To?.
Leave the “if only…” type of comments in the trash where they belong. Such thoughts are a weight around your neck, stopping you from reaching your true potential. Learn to accept what you can’t change, learn from your past when you can, and seek to improve your present and your future. Try to change your mindset, and challenge those thoughts that don’t help you better yourself, because you are worthy of more.
Comparisons don’t help anyone in regard to their mental wellbeing. I know I’ve always compared myself to this one friend I’ve known the longest, because they were everything I wasn’t, smarter, better looking, liked more, and white.
But if you want to stop sabotaging yourself, then stop comparing yourself to other people. Especially when it comes to your mental health, and I can’t stress enough, don’t deny getting yourself support for your mental health issues just because there are people somewhere on this earth who have it worse than you. You deserve all the support you can get for your mental health so you can live the best version of your life.
Create a healthy reward system for when you achieve the changes to your self-sabotaging ways to help reinforce those changes. You can also use these healthy rewards for when you achieve anything you want to achieve, to help you stay motivated and to reward your effort.
Most of our bad habits can be boiled down to wanting instant gratification or needing to instantly self-smooth. This need will obviously sabotage the things we want because the things we need to work towards won’t give us that gratification until some time later. What’s worse, until we reach that point, we might have to contend with the stress associated with trying.
Thus, it’s important to work on and overcome our bad habits if we want to live our best quality of life. A way you could do this, to help you get used to delayed gratification, is to combine SMART goals, by breaking down what you want into smaller achievable goals, and by giving yourself a healthy reward at each completed stage.
If, like me, you have a problem with procrastination, then you need to get a little proactive. Get a pen and paper, sit down, and start thinking about the things that are likely to cause you to procrastinate. Then, work out ways you could try to overcome what you’ve identified or ways you can avoid them.
For example, for me, music is a good way to get motivated to do something. So when I’m feeling like I’d rather do anything other than what I need to do, I blast the tunes, sing along (badly), dance like no one is watching, and get the energy flowing. Doing something like this will help you feel motivated to do what you need to do.
Again, you can also use SMART goals with overcoming procrastination by making the task smaller and easier to achieve, as well as giving you a deadline to work towards. My partner always needs a deadline to help with their procrastination, as they’re a last-minute kind of person.
Don’t forget the healthy rewards either, as they can help with this too. Giving yourself regular breaks so you don’t feel overwhelmed is also a plus.
The clues in the name for this one, but I’ll say it anyway. Create a playlist of tunes that help you feel energised and motivated to do the stuff you need to do, then play that bad boy whenever you need to. I have a number of different playlists I like to use. If you’re interested in checking out a sample of one of my playlists, you can do so by clicking here.
The better you manage your time, the less likely you are to procrastinate, and the less you procrastinate, the more you can get done. Again, using SMART goals can help with this, although a lot of the things we need to do might not need to be put through the SMART goals process. Nothing wrong with that, just whip out your phone and add the tasks to your phone’s calendar and set a series of reminders.
Also, as I said before, don’t overload yourself with tasks. Set aside time to also have some self-care breaks so you don’t burn out and so you can keep your motivation going.
As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, feel free to share your experiences of you sabotaging yourself and what tips and tricks I’ve missed or have helped you in the comments section below as well. If you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.
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Unwanted Life readers.