Self-sabotage getting the best of you?
Feeling stuck? Lacking motivation? Is procrastination getting the best of you? What you believe about yourself and the world around you may be contributing to self-sabotage.
Have you become more aware of how you self-sabotage? Our beliefs about ourselves begin to form in childhood. As we experience life, we integrate information about those experiences into how we view ourselves and the world around us. Furthermore, our interactions with others (caregivers, friends, colleagues, and society) contribute to the way we make sense out of the world and our beliefs about self. Especially relevant is the Information Processing Theory and our worldview. As we develop we may modify those beliefs to continue to fit a changing view of ourselves and the world around us. Or our internal beliefs may remain the same into adulthood even though we grow and change over time. Hence actually self-sabotaging.
Most often, we look for information in our environment that supports and reinforces our beliefs.
We look for experiences that validate what we believe about ourselves as truth. When those beliefs become concrete in our mind and nervous system they can be incredibly self-limiting. Eventually those beliefs may contribute to self-sabotage, causing more harm than good.
Beliefs are nothing more than assumptions about ourselves and the world.
They are not facts. When our beliefs become increasingly stable over time and we take them as facts, our psychological flexibility is hindered. Therefore, our ability to adapt from one situation to another. Effectively, we self-sabotage in specific circumstances.
Some common self-limiting beliefs are that impact self-sabotage are:
- “I am _____ (a failure, not good enough).” This is the assumption that we cannot change.
- “I do/do not _____.” This is personal judgement. It limits our ability to take risks and accomplish goals.
- “I should _____/I must not _____.” These influence our decisions to act or not act. Often resulting in procrastination and avoidance.
- “Life is _____.” We take these as facts and rarely question it; creating a limited and constrained worldview.
- “People are _____.” Viewing others as superior or untrustworthy limits us in creating meaningful connections based on individual situations.
Most self-limiting beliefs are fear driven.
We created these beliefs in childhood based on specific experiences. As adults, we may have generalized those beliefs and fear that if we go against them we will be putting ourselves in harms way. This is an irrational thought in most situations. This assumption becomes toxic for our well-being. Consequently, self-limiting beliefs impact all areas of our lives. Most notably we self-sabotage in our relationships and our careers.
Overcoming our self-limiting beliefs is no easy task. Here are some tips to begin:
- Stop self-sabotage tip #1: Create a judgment free zone for yourself. Commit to bringing awareness to your beliefs without judging or criticizing yourself.
- Stop self-sabotage tip #2: Identify some of your self-limiting beliefs. Where do you prevent yourself from succeeding due to the beliefs you have about yourself?
- Stop self-sabotage tip #3:Challenge those beliefs. What are some alternatives to the current belief that may be less limiting?
In conclusion, if you are feeling stuck in relationships, your career, or life in general, self-limiting beliefs may be a large factor contributing to your own self-sabotage. As you start to bring awareness to these beliefs, practice self-compassion. Intentionally noticing these beliefs may bring up insight into just how often we self-sabotage. Overcoming beliefs that have been ingrained since childhood is a process and takes time. As always be gentle and kind to yourself as you progress on the journey of growth.