Let me ask you a question.
Have you ever blamed someone else for something that may not have gone your way? Have you ever walked away from something that did not entirely go to plan? Procrastinate? Pick fights with a parent or partner? Date someone you know is not right for you. Have trouble speaking up about the things you need? Or keep putting yourself down?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you might be self-sabotaging yourself at times and not even realize it. Self-sabotage can happen in very subtle ways, and they can be hard to recognize.
So why do we self-sabotage? This can happen for many reasons. It can be that we need to adapt to a certain situation to survive it, such as a toxic relationship, childhood trauma, or from going through a loss in our life. We may have learned these behaviors from childhood, past relationships, fear that we might fail, or the need to control situations.
So how do we overcome these behaviors and no longer sabotage ourselves?
Imposter syndrome may also play a role in why we are sabotaging ourselves. Do you sometimes find that you doubt yourself? Maybe you didn’t try for that job you wanted or the promotion. Maybe you didn’t reach out to that friend because you thought they wouldn’t be interested in what you wanted to say. These thoughts we have about ourselves not only affect our self-esteem, but they also affect the relationships in our lives and inadvertently can sabotage those along the way.
First, it is important to identify the self-sabotaging behavior. As I said before it can be hard to recognize sometimes, but once we do, we can start the work to overcome it.
The next thing is to learn about yourself and what might trigger these behaviors in you and once we do these things, we can work on tracking those behaviors whether you journal, talk to someone, practice mindfulness, among other things. These things can help us to become more comfortable with not having control of every situation and we learn that it will be okay, and we will get through this time.
Remember to slow down, breathe, and take it day by day.
Written by: Hannah Simmons