Over several years at the iNLP Center, we’ve learned a lot about the self-sabotaging habits that people tend to struggle with.
A self-sabotaging habit is a recurring behavior that — regardless of any false, short-term pleasure — leads us directly into frustration and unhappiness.
Knowing this, you’d think that all of us would just let those bad habits go immediately. Yet, experience with clients and in our own lives tells us that it’s not all that simple when it comes down to it.
Yes, by all means, STOP your self-sabotage if you can.
Yet, if you can’t seem to get yourself to simply quit, then seek education and guidance. With that, here are the top five self-sabotaging habits that we’ve been helping people (and ourselves) overcome.
Self-criticism is the vehicle that self-loathing uses to wreak havoc in your life. It can happen in any environment. You could be at Disneyland and still manage to make yourself miserable by way of
Regardless of what’s happening on the outside, it’s what happens inside that matters most of the time. Some people achieve everything they want yet are still miserable on the inside. That voice in their head just never has good things to say. This is self-sabotage at its finest.
Most often, inner criticism has roots in the past. It is often made of remnants from an earlier time that hang on day-to-day. And it’s only purpose seems to be to make you feel miserable.
The way to deal with inner voices rarely involves trying to ignore them. Most often, it involves learning something directly from them. Only then can you move on.
So, you have some important yet not-so-enjoyable things on your to-do list? Wisdom says “get it done!” Then, you are free to enjoy your time doing other stuff, right?
When you procrastinate, you might be telling yourself that you’d rather be spending your time doing what you enjoy, so you justify procrastinating the nasty tasks that you hate.
Not so fast.
With annoying stuff to do hanging over your head, you won’t be having a good time, really, even when you are engaged in “fun” diversions. Also, procrastination leads to feelings of guilt, anxiety, incompetence, low self-esteem, failure and being overwhelmed. In short, procrastination serves as a tool to keep these negative emotions alive.
3. Autopilot behavior
Autopilot behaviors fall into a general category that might include mindless eating/overeating, use of illicit substances or binging on marathon television episodes.
Basically, when you act without deliberate intention, you’re on autopilot. For some reason, the human autopilot has a track record of steering us into trouble. Some of these may be legitimate addictions.
If this is the case with you, you need to get off autopilot and begin to make conscious choices. Then, you may be confronted with the underlying reasons why you are behaving this way. These reasons may include feelings of emptiness and a general fear of being happy.
Amazing, huh? We fill our lives with mindlessness in order to steer clear of an inner void. Yet, if we don’t acknowledge and confront the void, we can never learn to fill it with positive emotions that offer greater fulfillment.
4. Personal martyrdom
Ignoring your needs, allowing others to control you, catering to others (often against their wishes) until you are exhausted and resenting your self-imposed obligations…
Personal martyrdom involves a vicious cycle of self-sabotage. In this case, your own needs are repressed, and you end up feeling controlled and used by the needs of others. There is no fulfillment in this.
Most of all, personal martyrdom rejects offers for help, as if we are wholly committed to self-sacrifice.
The challenge of the personal martyr is to open up to asking for and receiving help without feeling guilty or undeserving.
5. Self-imposed isolation
So many of us refrain from speaking the truth and sharing with we really think and feel. We justify doing this by telling ourselves that doing so would invite rejection. We don’t want to feel rejected and alone, so we hold back.
Interestingly, the only real way to connect with people is to share your genuine thoughts and feelings (and risk rejection). Withholding, however, guarantees that you will never connect. The solution to rejection and isolation, ironically, backfires in this case.
It’s true, if you express yourself, some may disagree or even disapprove of you. And it’s good to know who these people are. Conversely, there are those that will appreciate you and fully engage you when they get to know the real you. These are your friends and supporters — another good thing to know!
The topics in this article are five of the top concerns that people have been working through in our email coaching programs. They are all subtle (or not so subtle) forms of self-punishment. Isn’t it time to stop?
If it is, just stop! And if you are compelled to punish yourself more than you can consciously control, then you need additional resources.
Learn the cause of self-sabotage by watching this free and enlightening video.
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Watch the free video The AHA! Process: An End to Self-Sabotage and discover the lost keys to personal transformation and emotional well-being that have been suppressed by mainstream mental health for decades.
The information in this video has been called the missing link in mental health and personal development. In a world full of shallow, quick-fix techniques, second rate psychology and pharmaceutical takeovers, real solutions have become nearly impossible to find. Click here to watch the presentation that will turn your world upside down.
Mike Bundrant is co-founder of the iNLP Center and host of Mental Health Exposed, a Natural News Radio program.