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How to get out of your own way

Self-sabotaging behaviour is often a habit, and like any other habit, it takes time to develop new ones. However, there are some helpful tips that can support you if you find yourself self-sabotaging behaviour...

You can't change something when you don't know what you're trying to change.

I would encourage you to keep learning and keep getting to know yourself, especially if you find that there is a conflict between your actions and your goals.

Here are 4 tips to help with self-sabotage:

1. Build self-awareness.

Like I said, you can't change when you don't know what you're changing. So, ask yourself:

  • What behaviours are you repeating that you consider to be self-sabotage?

  • How is that impacting your wellbeing and success?

  • Can you identify any patterns? Is there a go-to-behaviour?

  • Ideally, what would you like to do in those situations instead?

2. Look for 1%

Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to eliminate a self-sabotage habit. Instead, look for small incremental improvements.

This can allow you to see options that you previously overlooked because they didn't "solve" the whole problem. For example, instead of "fixing" your procrastination, how can you improve by 1% next time it happens?

3. What seems irrelevant?

Pay attention to seemingly irrelevant decisions. For example, it might seem irrelevant to adopt food rules such as "I won't eat past 7pm" but if you have identified disordered eating patterns as a result of feeling out of control, then this is a relevant decision.

In the same way, there might be seemingly irrelevant decisions that help you follow though on positive behaviours. For example, having a sticky note on your mirror with affirmations that speak to you might be what's helping you remember to speak these to yourself each day.

4. Recharge your batteries.

Remember that rest and self-care don't need to be earned. For example, you might be "saving" time for self-care for when you finally complete a task, or (worse) for when you believe you have become more self-disciplined.

Try it the other way around: prioritise rest and self-care without guilt or shame and you might find that you have the energy to do the thing you have been avoiding.

Self-sabotage behaviours are normal and most of us fall into self-sabotaging behaviours every now and then. Please try to treat yourself with kindness and not beat yourself up over it. If you find that self-sabotaging behaviours happen frequently and you don't become aware of these habits which leads you to keep engaging in them, you could risk losing trust in yourself. For a focused framework to help you identify self-sabotage behaviours by building awareness of your limiting belief systems, download my online course below.

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