Self-Sabotage: The Enemy Within
Does this sound familiar? You set awesome health goals for yourself, plan out your action steps and you start with an excitement like it’s the first day of school. You are confident and tell yourself, “this time, I am going to make this happen.” You move along your day with your packed lunch and snacks and are doing great and then all of the sudden someone comes in with donuts and you eat 2 or 3 and say, “Why do I do this to myself?”
The answer is Self-sabotage. Self-sabotage is any action that prevents you from achieving your goals. It is also a safety net that protects you against disappointment. In other words, our brain is protecting us from getting hurt by doing what it thinks is best and keeping us in our comfort zone.
When it comes to achieving health goals, both comfort eating and procrastination are the most common forms of self-sabotaging behaviors. So if we want to look and feel great and are so tired of being sick and tired why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we keep saying I screwed up today, so I will just start tomorrow or I have so many events coming up in the next few months it’s just not the right time.
Here are five reasons why:
- Self-Worth: We feel like we don’t deserve to be fit and healthy.
- Fear of Failure: Failure is hard to handle so we just don’t do anything. We have tried so many times to lose the same 20 pounds. Those around you know it and have seen you lose and gain the weight every time. You fear repeating that cycle once again.
- Comfort Zone: Stick with what you know. There is comfort in staying right where you are. You have been there your whole life and although you are not happy you at least know you are accepted right where you are.
- Scape Goat: Blame the sabotage and not yourself. Say things like, “Of course I failed my weight loss goal, I am just to busy and stressed.”
- Emotions: We let our emotions have all our power and we don’t control them effectively.
How do we stop?
Step 1: Identify the self-sabotaging behavior. What do you do that keeps you from achieving your health goal? Binge, skip workouts, drink too much alcohol, skip workouts, etc.
Step 2: What triggers your self-sabotaging behavior? Understand what causes this pattern. Is it stress? Anger? Fear? Sadness? Boredom?
Step 3: Identify a healthy replacement behavior. Think of something that could replace that negative behavior. Maybe it’s walk the dog, play video games, color, read, call an old friend or mediate. Choose something you love and that you find relaxing.
Step 4: Practice this replacement behavior every time your trigger occurs until the new habit is formed. This will take time and you will make mistakes along the way but as long as you keep pushing forward you will change the self-sabotaging pattern.
Step 5: Adjust your expectations. Stop striving for perfection and focus on making progress. Let go of immediate gratification and the strong focus on the end result. Focus on the process and the daily activity you are taking to make your goals and dreams come true. Set mini goals along the way to boost your confidence and remind yourself that you are capable of success!
Life is beautiful and made to be lived to the fullest. Grab it by the neck and let it know who’s boss. Only then will you live a life with no regrets and totally fulfilled expectations.
I am always here to listen.
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