Breaking the Cycle of Self-Sabotage

Are you playing Russian roulette with your own success? Sometimes you are your own worst enemy, and failing to achieve success through self-sabotage.

Sometimes we build walls for security to protect us from others and their words or actions. But, far too often these same walls become our prison, and the enemy we fear is not those on the outside, but is in fact the enemy within - ourselves!

Self-doubt, self-hatred, feelings of inadequacy, negative self-talk, low esteem, lack of motivation, poor work ethic or laziness, and fear of the unknown are often the symptoms of self-sabotage.

The skills, knowledge, tools, and abilities may all be in place, but we get in our own way, and halt the progress.

Fortunately you can break this cycle, and here are a few steps to help you do so:

1. Recognize your behavioral patterns. Ask yourself:

  • What goals have I had for a long time and never accomplished?

  • What areas am I procrastinating or putting off making a decision?

  • Where am I lacking motivation to do something I want to do?

  • Where do I consistently fail for no obvious reason?

  • Is there an area other people consistently find frustration with me?

  • Is there an area in my life I feel pulling on me or where I have passion and ability to achieve?

2. Destroy negative thinking!

Combat self-destructive thinking with biblical truths. If someone says something demeaning about your child or someone you love dearly, doesn't it hurt your heart or offend you? The same holds true to self-condemnation. You are offending the heart of God when you speak ill towards yourself because you are His child.

3. Develop productive behaviors.

What is preventing you from achieving your goals and dreams or attaining success? Could it be simple lack of knowledge? Lack of skill? Nobody knows everything. That's why we are all a part of community and the body of Christ.

I, for one, discovered that despite my best ability to do basic carpentry and home improvement, I am simply not gifted in that arena. Yet, a friend of mine who is extremely gifted and knowledgeable in that area lacks skills and knowledge in entrepreneurship. So, he and I share our abilities. When he needs help in business, he knows he can call me. When I need help in home improvement I know he's the one.

You don't need to know everything, but at the same time you may need to increase your level of expertise through training and learning. Hence the reason you listen and learn to life coaches, motivational speakers, thought leaders, and others like me. Jus' sayin'.

But, you'll be happy to know that as long as you are a student, you will continue to grow and learn. And in due time, you will discover more and more how master and achieve your goals.

Ask youself these questions:

  • Are there other ways to achieve my goal than the plan I'm working on?

  • What am I doing, such as self-sabotage, that is keeping me from success?

  • Are past failures keeping me from moving forward?

  • Am I trying to accomplish too much at one time and find myself not accomplishing anything at all?

Often we try to accomplish going to the moon before we even have the rocket built. In other words, we get ahead of ourselves and become frustrated because we can't get to where we are going sooner.

And then we condemn ourselves or become negative, making false accusations that we're stupid or just not good enough.

It's time to slow down, get perspective, and set smaller goals that are easier to achieve.

Keep in mind, a toddler must take small steps before he/she can ever attempt to run a marathon. If they get ahead of themselves, they accomplish little and fall flat on their faces. But, when they slow down, focus, and achieve small accomplishments (steps), they learn balance, technique, and skill. Then before long, they have it mastered.

You can and will achieve success when you stop self-sabotaging your progress, giving up, and re-evaluate your process.

But, it starts with breaking the cycle of self-sabotage.

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Leo Pacheco | Personal Development | Life Coach | Innovative Strategist