Whenever I discuss self sabotage with clients, they often have an air of surprise or shock. For many people, the concept of one doing harm to their life on purpose is absurd. They feel that we instinctively do what is best for us at all times and never would we put ourselves in bad situations on purpose.
In fact, we all want what’s best for us. That I agree. However, in trying to understand self sabotage, you need to perceive it as a means to end, not the end result itself. People that sabotage their own existence do it with a purpose of a greater good down the line! That’s what makes this so interesting. Self sabotage is usually a victimization of oneself to attract either attention or help.
I’ve seen it time and time again when I was a trainer of salespeople. You would have salespeople that would purposely do poorly so that they would be called into the office and talked to, given attention, etc. They knew very well what they needed to be doing, but they would sabotage themselves hoping that the manager would come “save the day” for them. To be fair, most probably do this subconsciously. They need attention, and they are not aware that they are doing something bad for them in the present moment. All they focus on, is that “greater good” in the future.
As well as victimization, irrational reasoning gives cause to self sabotage. For example, an out of shape, unhealthy person will give themselves the excuse of having to watch that TV show instead of going out for a walk or a jog, by making that TV show so important in their mind that they believe to a certain extent, that missing that show is just unacceptable and life altering.
Self Sabotage is extremely powerful, because most of the time, it bypasses the conscious mind, and is done directly within the realms of the subconscious. An effective way to overcome this mental hurdle is to always remind yourself that you are in the present moment. Tell yourself, “I must do the most effective & productive thing at any moment, especially right now!” Repeat this in your head every time you get a glimpse that you are not doing what you should be doing. Remind yourself that you don’t always have someone else to come save the day. You need to rely on yourself to make it in this world. Victimization is crippling you, while taking action empowers you. But most importantly, analyze your actions. Make sure that whatever it is that you are doing is empowering you RIGHT NOW, not at some later moment. This way, you are guaranteed that you are always doing what’s best for you at any given moment 😉