Self-sabotage is when your actions are working against your own best interests, according to Adam Sicinski, creator of the Overcoming Self-Sabotage Mind Map at IQMatrix.com – so the more you can bring self-sabotaging behaviors into conscious awareness, the better.
Sicinski says, “[Self-sabotage] not only prevents you from reaching your goals, but it becomes a safety mechanism that protects you from disappointment.”
In my coaching practice, I see the safety mechanism as a sort of tripwire that gets activated whenever a client is getting too close to the edge of her comfort zone.
In Self-Sabotage Part I, we looked at how these behaviors can manifest in the workplace. In this second post on the topic, we look at strategies for moving beyond them. Here are 7 tips culled from Sacinksi’s recommendations that can help:
1. Identify Self-Sabotaging Behaviors. While you can do this by yourself, it may be helpful to go through the process with a close friend, family member, therapist or coach – someone you trust. Are you a procrastinator? Chronic complainer? Gossiper? Accomplishment minimizer? It’s worth your while to do an assessment of the areas where you tend to undermine yourself.
2. Identify Limiting Beliefs. The roots of these limiting beliefs can often be traced back to childhood. Thoughts such as “I’ll never make more than $35,000 a year,” “No one likes me,” or “I’m not ready yet for success” are just some examples of limiting beliefs that can keep you stuck in your particular zone of comfort.
3. Learn the Triggers. Gossiping at the copy machine…being late to work because there’s always one more thing to do… always being the ‘Eeyore’ in meetings. It’s helpful to figure out where you’re most prone to falling into self-sabotaging behaviors so you can create ways to avoid the triggers.
4. Identify the Payoffs/ Benefits. How is your self-sabotaging behavior benefiting you? Making you feel safe? Protecting you from failure…or success? Allowing you to avoid responsibility?
5. Choose Healthy Replacements. If you’re a procrastinator, give yourself your own earlier deadline to insure the report gets done on time. If accepting compliments has been an issue, practice simply saying thank you when they’re offered. There are a number of therapeutic programs focusing on positivity training that can help replace behaviors and beliefs dealing with money, food, self-worth, and personal power issues.
6. Practice New Behavior. Studies have found that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Consistent, daily practice – replacing undermining thoughts and actions with desirable ones – can help instill new more positive behaviors.
7. Think And Act Bigger and Bolder. There’s a saying, “Life begins outside of your comfort zone.” When you start stepping outside of the self-sabotage-created box, scary as it may be, you open yourself up to new perspectives, understandings and experiences.
Many of us sabotage ourselves from time to time, however, if left unchecked, some self-defeating habits can wreak havoc on, both, career and life in general – resulting in lost raises, promotions, jobs – even relationships.
Moving beyond self-sabotage means getting to the root of old patterns and fears and making authentic choices. When you can get your conscious desires working in concert with your unconscious wants – you are priming yourself for more success in your life, and a lot more joy as well.