With vigilant attentiveness and practice, anyone has the capability to resolve self-sabotage.

Relationships, academics, occupations, tryouts; virtually any aspect of life can be negatively affected by self-sabotaging behavior. However, with vigilant attentiveness and practice, anyone has the capability to resolve self-sabotage.

Self-Sabotaging behavior occurs when you intentionally thwart your ability to accomplish goals due to a fear of failure. More often than not, you are completely unaware that these actions harm your ability to succeed.

For some, self-sabotage can be illustrated by a decision to never perform at full potential. Others attempt to avoid the problem entirely, in hopes that the issue and negative emotions will merely fade away.

For instance, when a person recognizes that they are attracted to another individual, the immediate reaction may be to push the individual away. They are guided by the belief that distance will prevent them from facing potential rejection.

If a large exam is approaching, a student may choose to procrastinate until the night before the test. The student avoids all material until it is too late to successfully absorb the course information.

Loganholme Psychologist Greta Neilsen states, “In the case of poor performance, the individual can blame self-handicap, discounting the result as a reflection of their own internal ability – eg ‘of course I failed that exam, I didn’t study at all’.”

Relationships, academics, occupations, tryouts; virtually any aspect of life can be negatively affected by self-sabotaging behavior. However, with vigilant attentiveness and practice, anyone has the capability to resolve self-sabotage.

1. Reflect on Past Moments of Success

The underlying cause for self-sabotage is the fear of defeat overpowering your drive to succeed. To stop yourself from engaging in inhibiting behavior, you need to reflect on previous experiences.

Make a list of the most prominent moments of your past in which you succeeded. You will notice that the most memorable accomplishments came from the occasions when you chose not to sabotage your chances of achievement. You took genuine pride in your accomplishment because you were aware of how hard you worked to earn success

Self-sabotage not only allows you to avoid the problem, the lack of effort sets you up for ultimate defeat. In the instances sabotage becomes tempting, refer to this list to remind yourself which attitude will not only increase your chances of success, but ultimately help you grow as a person.

2. Identify Harming Behaviors

Why do you allow self-sabotage by practicing avoidance and procrastination?

You allow self-sabotaging behavior in order to avoid stress and conflict. Procrastinating will initially suppress anxiety but as the deadline approaches, your apprehension will gradually intensify.

According to EruptingMind, “By doing something else instead of what we know we should be doing, avoidance behaviors allow us to momentarily escape our uncomfortable feeling, and by doing so, help to bring psychological relief.”

Oftentimes, it can be difficult to pinpoint self-sabotaging behavior because we are unaware the extent that certain activities misdirect our attention. Take notice of how much of your designated productive time is spent procrastinating.

Analyze the frequency you avert your gaze from equations to Facebook, or the number of instances you put down a textbook to talk with a friend. Once you have identified the distractions, determine what type of environment will not allow as many opportunities for procrastination. Identifying harmful behaviors will help you catch yourself before you indulge in self-sabotaging actions that encourage a lack of productivity.

3. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Once you recognize the instances your actions are negatively impacting possible achievements, you can learn to harvest this fear as a source of motivation, rather than justification for further self-sabotaging behavior. So how do you do that?

Focus your energy on preparing well in advance, so that the urge to self-sabotage does not overwhelm you.

Prepare flash cards a week before the exam, rather than 2 days, or the night before. If you are fretting over a presentation at work, dive into practicing your oratory on a regular basis to other people. Let your body prepare in a similar environment to what you will experience at the time of the event.

The happiness you receive after continuous preparation will be rewarding.The more you practice the more motivation you will have to succeed.

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Adrienne Gagne

Adrienne Gagne attains happiness by continuously exploring uncharted territory. Her ultimate goal is to encourage new directions of thinking, not to sway others’ opinions to strictly align with her own....

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