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Friday, April 26, 2013

Three Ways to End Self-Sabotage

Have you ever lost a promotion, a job or even a significant other because you just couldn't stop doing things that you knew would probably get you into trouble? Self-sabotage is frustrating, especially when you feel out of control because you can't stop doing it. You may feel entirely alone with this problem, but don't despair. The majority of people get in their own way at least part of the time, and many people do it on a regular basis. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help yourself end this type of behavior and get back in control of your life.

Change Your Self-Talk
If you're struggling with a self-sabotage issue, you can get some relief from changing how you talk to yourself. Many people beat themselves up, saying to themselves things like, "I always mess things up!" or "How could I have been so stupid?"

Not only do these thoughts hurt, but they cement into your identity things like self-saboteur, mess-up and failure. If you believe you're a saboteur, you will always sabotage yourself. So be gentler on yourself. Say things to yourself like, "I wonder why I made that mistake." Actively look for solutions instead of focusing on the problem.

Prepare Yourself in Advance
If you're trying to achieve an important goal, you may be at risk for self-sabotage, especially if you have a habit of messing yourself up. So it can be helpful to prepare yourself in advance. For example, when you sit down to apply for a job you really want, ask yourself, "If I were to be at my worst, how might I mess this up?" Answering this question can give you an idea of behaviors to look out for.

Remind Yourself How It Feels
One way to help yourself avoid self-sabotage is to focus on your emotions related to a goal. First, on one sheet of paper, make a list of all the ways you will feel when you achieve your goal. Then, on another sheet of paper, write how you feel when you get in your own way.  When you feel tempted to act in a self-sabotaging way, read your lists over. Sometimes that reminder is enough to get you back on track.

If you still feel out of control after trying these techniques, you may be dealing with a life script that interferes with success. Register for Rewrite Your Life Script to get focused coaching around improving your self-concept and eliminating self-sabotaging behaviors.