Self-sabotage is evil. Here’s how to stop getting in your own way.
If there’s something I’ll never understand, it’s why we take simple things and make them complicated. We want to lose weight, so we buy out the cherry cheese danishes. We have oodles of projects to finish, so we binge-watch “Grey’s Anatomy.” We really, really (really!) want to do something, so we do everything but. We drown ourselves in self-sabotage.
There have been many times I’ve wanted to punch myself in the face for it. If you’re in the same boat and just want to get out of your own way already, here are 8 tips to consider as you break up with self-sabotage:
1. Listen to yourself
Our inner monologue is a 24/7 narrative many of us don’t pay much attention to, but it has a huge impact on how we handle ourselves. We might think the incessant chatter is only background noise, but if you constantly find yourself feeling anxious, overwhelmed and inadequate, it’s the voice in your head that’s to blame. Start listening to what you’re saying to yourself: Notice any patterns?
2. Treat yourself like you would a friend
If your friend were to confide in you about her own issues with self-sabotage, you wouldn’t be as hard on her as you are on yourself. Ease up on yourself. Get back in touch with your gut instinct by asking your own opinion and following through on the answer. Give yourself pep talks. Trust in your ability to get shit done.
3. Don’t act on anxious feelings
Hasty decisions usually come from a place of insecurity. We try so hard to fix things and clean up messes, ironically we make a bigger mess. When you start feeling anxious about something, don’t suppress how you feel—but don’t act on it either. Just allow yourself to feel like crap until you don’t anymore.
4. Focus on your victories
Remain aware of the things that could have gone better, but don’t make them the focal point of your day. If you were to actually sit down and tally what you did accomplish versus what you didn’t, your victories will far outweigh your shortcomings.
5. Do something nice for someone
Doing something nice for someone for no other reason than you want to transforms you into a less cynical person. Trust.
6. Protect what’s important to you
In my experience, the more people who think what you’re doing is batshit crazy, the more you know you’re on the right track. That being said, their lack of understanding inevitably leads them to plant seeds of doubt, so be very particular with who you share your craziest plans and goals with.
7. Stop trying to “let go” and “move on”
You can’t just drop how you feel about certain things, no matter how long ago they happened. Emotions cannot be organized, indexed or deleted. They’re random, illogical, and are what make you such a badass. Don’t try to make sense of them. Just feel how you feel, no matter what ridiculousness bubbles to the surface.
8. Don’t think, just do
When you feel compelled to do something, jump in no matter what it is: Changing careers, remodeling your kitchen, dying your hair purple. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to talk yourself out of it. Why should your life be anything less than how you want it to be?
Life is hard, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.
How do you combat self-sabotage?
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