Have you ever felt like you were doing everything right but not getting the desired results?
Of course you have.
We have all felt that way at one point or another.
When things start to go wrong in our lives, we have a nasty habit of sabotaging ourselves – assuming we are doing something wrong, or thinking that for sure there is just something wrong with us.
This “thing” works for everyone else, so why not me!?
You are self-sabotaging.
But, it’s not your fault.
We have been trained to think that this is okay.
It’s astonishing how people can be their own worst enemy! And contrary to popular belief, self-sabotage isn’t about being lazy or incompetent. People use a natural coping mechanism to keep themselves from feeling overwhelmed or out of control or disappointed. The problem is that this coping mechanism can be very damaging in the long run because it prevents people from reaching their full potential. Why is that? What makes us do this to ourselves? And most importantly, what can we do to stop it?
When we fail, especially with the goals that we set for ourselves, we often throw out all our good habits (Hello all-or-nothing approach!). We start having negative self-talk and criticize ourselves;
“I suck at this”
“I’m never gonna be able to do this”
“I missed again, it’s not even worth trying anymore”
… and so on.
So first – forgive yourself for not being perfect.
Stop beating yourself up about a missed workout or overeating (it happens, but it’s not going to kill you), and it’s time to stop the negative talk and start giving your body some love!
Then, remind yourself that this journey isn’t linear. Ever. There will be ups and downs as long as you live. If you look at your entire year, even if you’re 70 percent successful in your routines and habits, you’ll find the results you want over that year (Yay you!). But if you’re looking for 100 percent perfection, you might as well tap out now. If one “bad” thing happens, that doesn’t mean you have to say “Screw it” to everything else. Remember how much better you feel now than when you started your fitness adventure? If those good feelings come back again, don’t give them up too quickly because of one setback. Nope, don’t do that! Instead, implement some positive affirmations for yourself. Try it! As we know, negative self-talk also correlates with having limiting beliefs. The problem is, when we hold these limiting beliefs about who we are and what our potential is, they can create a self-fulfilling prophecy where we end up living in line with our negative expectations. It stops you from achieving your goals or doing something that you want. It’s a type of thinking that makes you think that you’re not capable enough to do something (psssst – you are!). This kind of belief can hold us back, preventing us from reaching our full potential in life.
Self-sabotage is also linked to consistency and compounding success (or failure). It means that if you haven’t made usual habits for your goals for a long enough period, you may become a little derailed, resulting in not doing the things you said you wanted to do. It can be tough to stay consistent when things don’t go according to plan (dangit!), but life is unpredictable; it’s okay to stumble, but flexibility and a little resilience is also important. It’s easy to live in that mindset – the thought that being a “failure” happens by just missing one habit. Remember that it’s just a bad day, not a bad life. As long as you’re moving in the right direction, you’ll get where you want to go in the end. Just don’t give up on yourself. The best way to get out of that is to go in the opposite direction. It means that if you eat a few cookies, you don’t keep doing it. Instead, have some water or a vegetable.
Another thing that often happens when we self-sabotage is being scared of actually having success. Something about that can be scary! It might be the fear of change or the fear of what’s to come next, or the fear of getting there and then losing it. Whatever it is, it’s a real thing. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle, or run a marathon, if you’ve never been in that position before, and you don’t know what it looks like to maintain those results. Yup, that would be scary. But here’s the thing, you can’t let that fear stop you from reaching your goals. How will you know unless you give it a try?
Lastly, keep your eyes on your own goal, and don’t let other people’s success influence how you feel about your achievements. Also, learn to be happy for other people while still building yourself up. Celebrate other people’s success and know that that doesn’t take away from your success. Focusing on your journey will get you a lot further than comparing yourself to everyone else.