One of the most recent behaviours that has really taken time to conquer is the instant belief I had in a very negative voice in my head. I gave what it said far too much credibility, time and energy. It is just a voice in my head not a real person.
It may as well be a real person. Thankfully it sank in that my mind isn’t always my friend, nor does it really know what’s best for me.
As you can imagine, this Sam achieves very little.
The voice of the “Sam that can’t” says things like this to herself;
- I can’t drive, I’m not aware enough, quick enough, safe enough
- I can’t change my job, I have no other skills
- I am so horrible for saying no
- I don’t deserve to be loved
- I can’t go back to education, I’m too old
You get the picture?
To that Sam I say, “STOP! Shut the hell up already!”
It's not unusual for people to become comfortable with their own negative feelings, shortcomings and failures and ultimately render themselves unable to overcome them. They maintain a self-defeating pattern and mindset that gives birth to self-fulfilling prophecy OR in other words, we become what we think and believe about ourselves.
You could be trapped in self-defeating patterns of behaviour if;
- you feel as if your life is out of control
- you waste time trying to sort out other people's problems instead of taking care of your own
- you expect the worst from pretty much everyone
- you put everything off till later, tomorrow, next week
- you can't take criticism without getting angry or defensive
- you feel that nothing you do has value, purpose or meaning
- you have a grass is greener attitude, envying others and the life they have
- you have turn to food, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, sex _____ (fill in the blank) to cope
Self-sabotaging behaviour will have a serious impact on your life if you don't do something to stop it. Granted, it can be complex situation that does not just stop overnight. It will be continuous work for some people to develop and maintain positive behaviours. We tend to rely on the ones that have worked for us in the past, even when faced with insurmountable evidence that those behaviours no longer serve us.
The good news is that we tend to stick to patterns, so by breaking one pattern and moving to a different more useful and positive one, we can move from self-sabotage to success.
When the new pattern is set, it's (thankfully) just as hard to break out of that one too.
The first step is always recognition. Think about your own behavior and examine how your responses to people and events may be limiting you in some way. Look for times when you get in your own way. They're almost always easier to spot in
hindsight, but that's okay because since they are part of a pattern, they will happen again.
Ever see Groundhog Day? When you start to recognise your own destructive patterns, you can step outside of events and start taking different actions instead of being stuck in the cycle. Over time you'll start to recognise even small habits that don't seem to have any importance alone, but they stack up.
You can also get proactive by choosing to build some positive habits, and then start recognising and rewarding yourself as you progress.
The important thing is that you understand that you are not alone. Tell a friend about your efforts in self-betterment and allow yourself some support. One of the worst things you can do is think that you can fix the situation alone. Know this: It takes a village!
More on building your support network another time.
For now, if you can relate to some of the points in this post and you want to learn more why not sign up to receive information on this topic direct to your inbox!