You might find yourself playing your own worst enemy from time to time, but there are ways to change your habits. By identifying moments of self-sabotage, you’re already on your way to preventing them! Here’s an overview of why you might self-sabotage and what you can do about it.
Why People Self-Sabotage
So why do we hold ourselves back when we should be reaching our goals? There’s a number of reasons why we self-sabotage, but understanding why can help us make changes.
Sticking to the Same Old
There’s rarely only one way to approach a problem. Unfortunately, your brain can subconsciously cloud your options with something called the familiarity heuristic. This is a mental shortcut that draws you towards the familiar—if you already know what works, you might not try anything different. You’re especially prone to this type of narrow thinking when you’re stressed or tired.
Getting trapped in your comfort zone can be dangerous. Familiar methods might not be the most efficient, but you won’t know unless you exercise your options. Consider trying new ways of doing things, find ways to reduce your stress, and get plenty of rest to keep your brain sharp.
Fear of the Unknown
You never know what you’ll find when you stray from your comfort zone, but that scares some people. Many are afraid of how other people might react to their personal change. Others are afraid of failure, rejection, or even humiliation. If this sounds familiar, you might notice the effect it can have on relationships; you might self-sabotage by holding back for fear of getting too close.
Although it might not be easy, communication is key here. A strong social support system is also great to have, but it’s up to you to reach out. Making a change can be exciting and challenging, and communicating with your social circle lets your friends know when you could use some support.
Saving Everything for Later
Procrastination is a prime example of self-sabotage. Pushing things off doesn’t just free up your schedule; it also gives you a way to rationalize failure. If you wait until the last minute to get your work done and the quality suffers as a result, you can blame it on not having enough time.
The longer you wait to address a problem, the bigger it’s going to be when you get around to it. Perfectionists and overthinkers are prone to stacking the odds against themselves, but a little discipline and support can help you turn things around. Make a schedule and stick to it, and if you find yourself overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Recognizing self-sabotage is the first step in correcting it, so check in with yourself every now and then. Remember these tips to cut out the sabotage and be your own teammate:
· Get out of your comfort zone to see if there are better ways to get things done.
· Don’t be afraid to take risks, and ask for help when you need it.
· Avoid procrastination by sticking to a schedule.Old habits are tough to break, but you can put an end to self-sabotage if you stay conscious of your thoughts and behaviors. Cracking down on self-sabotage gives you a chance to live a happier, healthier, and more productive life.