Sometimes, we can get in our own way. We can engage in certain behaviors or thoughts that create barriers to reaching our full potential. There can be different reasons as to why we either consciously or subconsciously do this. It can be difficult trying to work through and overcome our own “stuff,” but it certainly is possible. In this blog, I will be exploring what self-sabotage is, signs of it, and how we can begin to heal.
Self-sabotage refers to different thoughts or actions that we engage in either knowingly or unknowingly that make it challenging for us to grow. Everyone does this to a certain degree. This can look like choosing to stay up all night and binge watch a Netflix series when we have to get up at 6am, routinely skipping workout classes that you signed up for, or even no showing for a date with someone when things are beginning to get more serious. When we self-sabotage, we are undermining our potential and getting in the way of reaching our long-term goals. Here are some signs of self-sabotaging behavior:
· Negative self-talk
· Lack of boundaries with ourselves
· Not completing projects
· Neglecting rest
· Not reaching out for support
· Breaking promises we made to ourselves
· Not following through on commitments
There are many different reasons why we may sabotage ourselves. Here are a few reasons why:
· To protect ourselves from getting hurt
· To confirm negative beliefs that we have about ourselves when we experience low self-esteem
· Fear of change
· Fear of what others think
· Adverse childhood experiences
When trying to heal from self-sabotaging behaviors, it is important to first compassionately explore why we may be doing this to ourselves. When we explore this through a compassionate lens, we are not shaming ourselves. We learned certain behaviors for a reason and often, they were developed so that we could survive. Looking at ourselves through a compassionate lens is an important step for healing. This is where psychotherapy can be beneficial. Your therapist can create a safe and non-judgmental space for you to explore the root cause(s) as to why you do things the way that you do. Then you and your therapist will be able to observe your patterns, challenge and reframe them in a compassionate way, and explore alternatives that can help yopu to create lasting change in your life.