3 Mistakes Self Sabotagers Make
Self-sabotage is where you get in your own way of reaching your goal, purpose or desires. It can present itself in various ways, like binge eating, scrolling on your phone when you know should be going to bed, staying up late watching Netflix or reading, procrastinating so things just don’t get done, or an inability to say ‘no’, instead saying ‘yes’ to things you shouldn’t be saying ‘yes’ to.
The ‘fruit’ of these behaviours is that you feel less-than-healthy in body, spirit, and soul. You may feel lethargic or low and you aren’t able to fulfil your whole potential. So, it’s important to recognise self-sabotaging behaviours so that we can do something about them. The video and blog below set out 3 common mistakes that we make in this area, and some ideas to correct them.
1. You try to sort out the fruit and branches, rather than the roots. The fruit of these self-sabotaging behaviours might be that you feel unhealthy or are less fit or more overweight than you want to be. And often, instead of looking what’s really causing those behaviours, we try to address the symptoms – the fruit. We might decide to give something up or go on a diet. And we try to change our unhealthy habits and behaviours even though we don’t really know what’s causing them. We tell ourselves: “I’ll try harder”, “I’ll work harder”, “I’ll use my willpower to try to stop myself doing whatever it is I’m trying to change.”
But if you don’t really know what’s going on underneath, these tactics are a bit like putting a sticking plaster on the wound and at some point, it will come off. When we try to do things in our own strength, the changes we make are not likely to last. Nothing has really changed because we haven’t tackled the root causes. So, it’s important to look at the roots and work out what’s really going on, to ask ourselves why we are exhibiting self-sabotaging behaviours which then present as being less healthy, less fulfilled than we’d like to be.
2. You believe that victory happens for other people but not for you. You’ve seen people have successes and breakthroughs, or who have promises come true in areas of their lives. And while you can accept it really has happened for them, it doesn’t happen for you. You can sometimes confuse this kind of mentality with being humble, and thinking of others better than yourself, but God asks us to love others as we love ourselves and we need to know, believe, and understand that God wants victory for us too. Through God, all things are possible, so things might be difficult or challenging, but if it’s God’s will for his children to have freedom in this area, which I believe it is, then the same must be true for you too.
3 You speak about yourself in the wrong way. When we self-sabotage, we often speak negatively about ourselves. We might say: “I am a binge eater” or “I’m rubbish at exercise”, but this way of speaking reinforces and perpetuates these behaviours. Instead of framing things in this way we could say: “I’ve binge eaten in the past, but I’m working through it and making improvements,” or “I didn’t really get on with exercise but now I’m exploring new things and trying to find exercise that I enjoy.”
Having a fixed mindset rather than a growth mindset is self-perpetuating. If you believe you won’t change, then it’s unlikely that you will change, so you carry on believing that you won’t change. Whereas with a growth mindset you believe that you can learn from your mistakes and failures and when you take a knock, you can get up and get going again; you believe that change can happen. So, watch how you’re speaking to yourself, and try to consciously talk with a growth mindset, acknowledging how things have been in the past but recognising the future really can be different.
Sometimes all it takes is a switch of mindset: you’re probably not aiming to run around the world or swim the Channel, or never eat another piece of chocolate in your life, but if you’re simply aiming to be healthier, that can start from now! You can start being a healthy person now and you can label yourself as a healthier person, and that will start then coming to fruition.
If you can start looking at these things, it will lead to changed behaviours, greater recognition of what’s really going on and ultimately, more fulfilment and more freedom in this area. If you would like to dig deeper into why we hold ourselves back, we’d love to welcome you on our next Healthy, Whole and Free course, which starts on 12th January. You can find out more and register your interest here.