How We Self-Sabotage and Create the Wrong Future

“I’m climbing the ladder of success but I’m beginning to think it’s leaning against the wrong wall.” If you’ve felt that way in the past, let me start by asking you a question: “What are you chasing?” Sometimes in our chase for better, we lose sight of what we are chasing or we never had clarity on where it is we wanted to go. Don’t feel bad. We’ve all been there. How do we stop this self-sabotage? Sabotage that stifles progress and shifts our focus in the wrong direction? Here are some tips to re-route your travels towards personal success.

Internal Conversations: We talk to ourselves almost every waking moment. This is the most important conversation we can ever have. What kind of internal conversation are you having? Do you encourage or discourage yourself? Are you optimistic or pessimistic?

It’s important that you have a clear understanding of these conversations. Our self-talk can be a severe hindrance of our personal achievements. As noted, from discouragement to encouragement, the range of subconscious suggestions is wide. Where is your conversation focused? Raise your awareness of the words that stimulate your actions. Perhaps if results are less than you want, make this awareness work for your benefit. Pay attention! Develop the courage to change! Get angry at the mediocrity you’ve accepted as “good enough.” Be bold! Become committed to achieving what your capabilities allow. Don’t settle for less when more is still an option.

Self-esteem: When we have confidence in our own abilities, we advance our successes. We respect ourselves and our abilities. Strong self-esteem works that way. When we doubt our abilities, or have little or no self-respect, achievement takes a back seat.

Depression. Anxiety. Extreme shyness. Discouragement. These are some of the results we can experience when we suffer from low self-esteem. None are good. None serve you well. None will contribute to your success. It’s another self-sabotage act.

Here are eight of the emotional, mental and physical benefits of a healthy self-esteem. I came across them in the Henry Ford Allegiance Health Blog.

  1. Your expectations are more in line with reality, and as a result, you’re less critical of yourself and others.
  2. You’re better able to handle stress (and avoid the unhealthy side effects that come with it).
  3. You’re less likely to develop an eating disorder.
  4. You’re not as likely to battle feelings of worthlessness, guilt or shame.
  5. You’re more likely to be assertive about expressing what you want, need or think.
  6. You can build strong, honest relationships (and are less likely to stay in unhealthy ones).
  7. You have greater confidence in your ability to make good decisions.
  8. You bounce back more easily when it comes to life’s inevitable setbacks.

Habits: We are creatures of habit. Most of our actions have their basis in habits. We often engage with an “inner criticism” of our actions. This criticism is directly connected to our internal conversations. Are you a procrastinator? Overly excessive procrastination is like a sniper. We don’t feel the devastating effects until the “bullet” strikes. Be action oriented. Do It Now is a great mantra to use.

A final point, we often “isolate” ourselves from others. Our inability to get in the mix of things creates a sense of loneliness and low self-esteem. All of this takes on the “sabotage” strategy.

The fear of change: To move into a new direction can be difficult. Because we are creatures of habit, change surfaces fear of “different” being bad. Be cautious but be bold and embrace change. Reserve judgement before judging. Sometimes, change can be a fearful experience. Generally, we do have the ability to adjust and acclimate to a change. Be prepared to deal with change by growing knowledge and adaptive skills. Make change positive rather than a sabotaging act. You can do it!