Dealing With Self-Sabotage

Nov 4, 2013, Mindset

Shares Facebook Twitter Pinterest Today, I wanted to start the week off with a bit of free training that can be a lot of help you… …I know it was for me when I figured it out. Self-Sabotage is one of the most frustrating things ever. We all do it to one degree or another. Too many times, though, it’s what […]

Self-SabotageToday, I wanted to start the week off with a bit of free training that can be a lot of help you…

…I know it was for me when I figured it out.

Self-Sabotage is one of the most frustrating things ever. We all do it to one degree or another.

Too many times, though, it’s what keeps us on the sidelines of life. It keeps us “stuck” where we are despite our best efforts to move forward. I’ve seen it time and time again in myself and especially in my clients. It’s always easier to see self-sabotage in others than it is to see it in ourselves.

Here is a quick, down and dirty view of the issue and some tips for recognizing and overcoming it…

Self-sabotage simply means that we do things, consciously or subconsciously, that keep us from sticking with the change we want to see. Nothing more.

What is happening most of the time is that we have old programming running in our subconscious that are trying to protect us. Our subconscious mind hates change and it doesn’t really trust that we know what we’re doing. It sees change as danger and tries to protect us at all costs, even if it’s irrational.

This old programming running in the background of our minds was written by past events and experiences…some of it decades old. Without getting into a deep psycho-analysis session here, there are a few ways to recognize it when it happens.

It usually shows up when there is a change we want to make in our lives.

Maybe we want to lose weight and get back in shape, but can’t seem to make it to the gym. (That’s just an example, may or may not apply to you, I don’t know…just work with me here!)

Whatever the issue, though, we WANT to make the change, but seem to fall back into the old routine within a few days of starting.

Now, there are many ways that the subconscious can get at us, after all, it IS us and knows which buttons to push. So, it makes sense that we have to start in the mind. However, we don’t necessarily need to meditate for hours on end or get therapy to make a change stick.

How To Get Past Self-Sabotage

One of the easiest ways I have found to deal with this pest is to grab a pen and paper.

#1. First, write out 20 things for which you are grateful and dwell on these for a few minutes until you are feeling good. We are changing your state here, we want you feeling good, not hating yourself because you can’t make the change…get it? Mind tricks…

#2. Now, when you are feeling good and grateful, write down the issue you MUST change in your life, in positive terms.

Example: I MUST be in shape so that I can __________. (Notice I didn’t write lose 30 pounds, because “lose” is a negative term.)

#3. Under that statement, write how making this change will affect the Top 20 “Grateful” items.

Example: I MUST be in shape so that I can keep up with my children and be a good example to them. I MUST be in shape so that I can be attractive.

…You get the idea.

don't stay where you areThe reason this works is that we are making positive associations in our brain with the getting in shape. By linking this MUST DO behavior to the most important things to your life, this also makes the new behavior a MUST DO activity.

This can also work by reinforcing all the bad things that will happen if you DON’T make the change, but I prefer to focus on the positive and I find that it works just as well.

So, after you do this exercise, several times if necessary, you will start to recognize when thoughts arise to keep you from being consistent. That, my friend, is the most important aspect of this whole exercise.

When you can recognize when your subconscious mind is messing with your new behavior, you can deal with it. You can hear the thought and say, “Thanks for sharing and trying to protect me in your weird way, but we’ll be fine.”

Then, you can take action and move forward.

I hope that this will become as valuable of a tool for you as it is for me.

Talk soon,

Brent

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