Friday, April 17, 2015

Are you guilty of “Self Sabotage”?

First of all we must understand what the term “self sabotage” means before we can determine if we suffer from its symptoms. Simply stated, self sabotage is when we display any type of behavior that creates problems in our lives, especially if this behavior affects our long term goals and dreams. I’m sure if you think about it you can think of dozens of examples of how others constantly do things that is contrary to what they want to accomplish in their lives.

Some very common examples of this type of behavior include self medication with drugs or alcohol, comfort eating (and who hasn’t done that before?) and even procrastination. I find procrastination to be the most interesting form of self sabotage. Think about it, people do this all of the time without even realizing it. Did you ever notice that sometimes you have trouble sleeping if you have something very important to do the next morning? Well, this is an example of normal anxiety but if you behave in a w ay that almost ensures that you won’t awake in time the next day that is a form of avoidance, or self sabotage.

I remember when I was in high school I would become nervous the night before mid-term or final exams. Isn’t it strange that on that particular night I couldn’t sleep and decided to stay up late and watch the late, late show on television? I didn’t have that problem the night before and I certainly didn’t have that problem the night after the exam.

Without realizing it I had become a victim to my own self destructive behavior. After all, if I couldn’t wake up in time to take the exam I wouldn’t have to take it tomorrow. In reality this is a form of procrastination because I knew that I would have to take it someday but someday was better than the next day. This is a fine example of self sabotage; behavior that would hurt, not help me in the long run.

We all know that recognizing any type of problem is always the first step to solving it, right? We can’t fix something if we don’t know it’s broken. The point here is, do you suffer from self sabotaging behavior and not even realize it? Sometimes we are our own worst enemy and don’t even know it. While I’m certainly not an expert in the field I can hardly think of a single person that doesn’t seem to suffer from some form of self sabotage from time to time.

Maybe this type of behavior is normal (or at least common) to an extent but if it is habitual and has negatively affected your life it might be time to do something about it. There are many types of therapy today for people habitually suffering from this type of behavior. If you feel that many times you are “fighting yourself” than maybe seeking professional counseling is something to consider.

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