Being in the business of mentoring people, we many a times discover amazing personalities rocking the world with their super-charged cutting-edge actions and impactful thought process. Such kind of splendidly noteworthy personas that we come across make us think “What the hell am I doing?” And in a flash, we can start going down the self-doubt spiral as our inner critic starts to take over. In fact many a times, we find ourselves off-center and that leads to self-sabotaging behaviors that we later regret.
‘Why We Get in Our Own Way – Self Sabotaging’.
How do we spot “Self-Sabotaging Behaviors”?
Some self-defeating behavior of oneself can interfere with the best-laid plans and goals. Why do we do it?
Turns out there are many reasons why, instead of shooting for the moon, we end up aiming right for our foot. Such standing in your own way syndrome; those unwanted self-sabotages are countless in number where your actions get in the way of your intent. Do you recognize any of the below?
- Some of the most self-driven people aim high and work harder by just creating their own self-imposed sense of inadequacy. And many a times they make the situation worse for themselves by feeling undeserving of success or happiness. They constantly question their self-worth. This form of self-sabotage brings in the concept of cognitive dissonance. People like to be consistent and our actions tend to be in sync with our beliefs and values. And when they aren’t, we question our own self worth.
- This second symptom is a common one, however quite challenging to overcome!
You are promoted to a new position or you attain the next level of education and feel overwhelmed to the core. On one hand, you choose not to talk about your triumphs too much as there is a high likelihood of being tagged out as pompous and on the other hand there is the good old ‘Imposter Syndrome’ which often plagues even celebrities we may admire. The bar continues to rise, and since you have already imposed the rule of ‘being consistent’ – you choose consistency over your own contentment.
- A third interesting pattern is about bringing in some stimulation and excitement in your own life. Life does become monotonous and routine and so we unconsciously try to spice it up – by over-reacting or over-emphasizing or becoming blunt even if unnecessary. For sure this creates a short rush of adrenalin – but in the long run the pain caused is not worth the short life of excitement.
Here are some ideas to explore a different path when you fall into any of the above traps:
Observe and Identify
Consciously be aware of our daily choices, decisions, actions, and the resulting impact it will create. Try using a notepad to list how often you fall prey to self sabotage behaviors.
Map your Triggers
Post identifying a behavior you dislike, you need to discover the triggers that cause those behaviors. These triggers could include objects, people, events, locations, specific times etc. As the next step, evaluate whether it is possible to avoid or simply remove these triggers.
Replace with a new pattern
Once you have avoided those triggers, it’s time to set new patterns for replacing the older pattern of behavior. This is more practical, helpful and healthy. Now you could respond in a more appropriate, resourceful, and practical way that would help you get what you want in a given situation.
Make your new behavior a habit by practicing
Practice your new pattern of behavior until it becomes a habit. To do this, begin by running your responses (the healthy replacement behavior) to the situation in your list. Look at minute detail, and feel the positive energy churning through your body as you overcome the old self-sabotaging pattern.
Well Done! You will probably need to repeat this process a few times – and it helps to get an accountability partner to support this. Or may be speak with your mentor about this…