What is Self-Sabotage?
Self-sabotage is when you do or say something which makes it harder for you to achieve what you might reasonably want for yourself.
Examples of Self-Sabotage
Some examples of self-sabotage are:
- Putting off doing or saying something when you know that leaving it will only make matters worse
- Eating comfort foods when you are trying to diet
- Going out of your way to avoid meeting someone you would like to know better because of fear that they might not like you or that you're not good enough
- Agreeing to take on much more work or do more tasks than you know is healthy because you don't want to let people down or appear 'weak' or 'troublesome' or 'selfish'.
Tips for Addressing Your Self-Sabotaging Tendencies
1. Identify specific ways in which you personally have a tendency to self-sabotage and consciously commit to doing the opposite the next time a situation arises where you might be tempted to self-sabotage in that way.
2. Make a list of all the advantages of not self-sabotaging and of instead acting in a constructive way in the problem situation. Remind yourself of those advantages when you feel weak.
3. Make a list of all the apparent or short-term payoffs for you of self-sabotaging in the problem situation and then ask yourself if there are ways in which you can achieve any of those payoffs without self-sabotaging.
4. Congratulate yourself each time you successfully avoid self-sabotaging.
5. Each time you attempt to avoid self-sabotaging but it doesn't work, don't be too self-critical but do see if there's anything you can learn about what will help you next time to be successful in your attempt to avoid the same self-sabotage.
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