How to Stop Self-Sabotaging and Start Being Your Biggest Cheerleader

Are you standing in your own way? Learn if you are self-sabotaging, how to stop such behaviors, and ways to be your biggest cheerleader!

How to Stop Self-Sabotaging and Start Being Your Biggest Cheerleader

Possessing all the right resources yet feeling unequipped to use them? Feeling ambitious yet stuck or even backpedaling? Setting goals but unable to fully reach them?

What stands in your way might not be an environmental roadblock, but someone you know better than anyone else. That person might even be someone you judge critically, respect deeply, and/or love unconditionally... 

That’s right, you might be self-sabotaging your personal efforts but how is one to know? 

Find out if you are self-sabotaging and just how to stop doing so in order to take your goals to the next level!

What Is Self-Sabotage?

Self-sabotage is when one actively or passively takes steps to prevent themselves from reaching goals or one’s full potential. Such behaviours can lead to a vicious cycle, leaving one feeling stuck, unconfident, and other negative emotions. 

The way someone self-sabotages can vary but often come in the forms of procrastinating, overthinking, avoiding, and numbing. These self-sabotaging behaviors stall or backpedal any form of progress towards a goal.

Why Do People Self-Sabotage?

People self-sabotage for a variety of reasons. However, common causes of self-sabotaging include lacking confidence and fearing either success or failure. 

Lack of Self-Confidence and Worth

When lacking self-confidence and worth, one innately acts on such thoughts negatively even if environmental factors set us up for success. 

Let’s take feeling unworthy of living a healthy lifestyle as an example. Despite having external resources (like delicious, ready-prepared bistroMD meals) stocked, one might start self-sabotaging with sneaky snacks and treats to match those internal feelings. 

Fear of Success

Even if feeling confident, one might self-sabotage due to fear of success or growth. Think of this concept as a glass box, and one is essentially confined to the area within it. Someone who is self-sabotaging might stay within that box and allow some success but hold back or fear breaking through that hypothetical ceiling. 

People who self-sabotage in fear of failure are similar to imposter syndrome, in which one does not believe they are deserving of success. They also might feel as if they are not allowed to surpass what they believe they are capable of achieving and likewise protect their ego at all costs.

Fear of Failure

On the flip side of the coin, one might feel overly ambitious to reach goals but fear completing the tasks and/or situations in order to obtain them. This can be due to a greater fear of taking risks and losing control, in which the desire to feel safe and protected trumps feeling vulnerable and getting hurt. 

4 Steps to Stop Self-Sabotaging Behavior

While self-sabotaging may seem like a vicious cycle, it can be broken! Use these steps to break the cycle and live to your fullest potential once and for all. 

1. Document Thoughts and Proceeding Behaviours

The first step to breaking the cycle of self-sabotage is becoming aware of limiting thoughts and behaviors. Track and investigate patterns as objectively as possible, particularly thinking about self-destructive habits and mindsets that hold back meeting goals. 

For example, if wanting to lose weight, one might fear not reaching the desired goal. The proceeding action might be eating a sleeve of cookies. Of course, indulging in cookies from time to time will not overly derail progress but regularly doing so can and will, especially with this persisting mindset. 

2. Create an Action Plan

Tracking thoughts and behaviors is imperative but taking productive action matters most. This is where creating an action plan comes into major play!

Back to the example of weight loss in step #1… If noticing binge eating patterns when thinking about weight loss failure, write down and implement behaviors that align with the overall goal. So rather than heading to the kitchen for an anticipated binge, go for a walk in nature, call a friend, or partake in any other activity that brings joy. 

Also when creating an action plan, consider steps to take in all conditions. For instance, if walking in nature stops stress eating but a torrential downpour impedes, come up with a backup plan such as walking on an indoor treadmill or flowing through a yoga series.

3. Stay Consistent & the Course

Just like reaching good health, identifying and overcoming self-sabotaging behaviors is an ongoing process. Real change also only follows with consistent action, so focus on staying the course.

Overall, the actions taken most consistently prevail over the others for better or for worse. (But hopefully for the best!) 

4. Believe In Yourself

Do you know who tells you the most important words you will ever hear? You do! 

So, last and absolutely not least, believe in yourself! While we can be our toughest critics, we can also be our biggest cheerleaders.

Also know that everyone at bistroMD believes in you. We are some of your biggest supporters to lean on and we are here for you every step of the way!

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