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conquer self-sabotage
December 18, 2020

How to Get out of Your Way

Have you ever noticed yourself spinning your wheels without ever making any genuine forward progress? Sometimes, your most significant roadblock is yourself. Despite setting goals and having the motivation to succeed, you might subconsciously be holding on to a fear of failure or rejection. The good news is that once you recognize this in yourself, you can take steps to conquer self-sabotage and get out of your way.

What Is Self-Sabotage?

Self-sabotage is the name for the phenomenon of interfering with your objectives through your behavior. Doing so can create unnecessary pain and problems in your life by preventing you from reaching your maximum potential. 

Some people delay progress by procrastinating on their goals or actively avoiding activities that might help them succeed. For example, maybe you know taking specific continuing education courses could earn you a promotion at work, but you keep putting off enrolling.

Others try to avoid reality by engaging in unhealthy habits like overspending, binge eating or substance abuse. Logically, they know these things will harm their health and well-being in the long run, but they justify the behavior by saying it helps them relieve stress.  

Tips for Moving Past Self-Sabotage

Additional forms of self-sabotage might include negative self-talk, unwillingness to put your needs first and giving up at the first sign of failure. Once you recognize that you’re standing in your way, how can you break out of your self-destructive rut and find success?

1. Make Time to Reflect

Some people struggle with introspection, but it’s a skill you can hone like any other. Reflecting on your goals and how to achieve them is a vital way to end the cycle of self-sabotage. You can do this through outlets like therapy, journaling and meditation, all of which will help you recognize defeatist attitudes and thought patterns. 

2. Change Your Internal Monologue

Make a point of observing your inner voice for several days. If you mostly notice it saying negative things like “I’ll never be good at this,” work toward flipping the script. Try starting each morning by repeating a positivity mantra such as “I deserve success.”

3. Set Small, Attainable Goals

How do you respond when something doesn’t go your way? Do you hit the mental reset button and carry on, or do you let a setback demoralize you? One tactic you can use to get out of your way is to break large objectives into smaller chunks. If fear of failure has been a consistent reason for your self-sabotage, prove to yourself that success is possible with this approach. Every time you accomplish one of the small milestones, take time to celebrate your achievement before moving on to the next.

4. Take Energy Breaks

Humans didn’t evolve to sit around all day. Next time you feel your enthusiasm waning, stand up and move around for a few minutes. Do jumping jacks, high knees or jog in place. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much clearer your thought processes become after you make time for exercise. 

5. Forgive Yourself

Of course, it’s vital to keep making progress toward your objectives, but is it possible you’ve been taking yourself too seriously? Don’t beat yourself up for mistakes you make. After all, nobody’s perfect. Embrace slip-ups as a learning experience, learn to see the humor in small everyday failures and never give up. 

Don’t Let Addiction Take Over Your Life

If substance abuse is how you self-sabotage, it’s time to get out of your way with qualified addiction treatment. Clinically excellent practices, combined with a compassionate culture, can help you learn to get your life back on a positive path. Contact our admissions counselors to verify your insurance coverage and learn more about starting over.    

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