7 ways to stop self-sabotage

Victoria Herrera
Banish excuses, self-doubt, and fear of success

RELEASE YOUR FEARS. Our own insecurities keep us from achieving our dreams

MANILA, Philippines – We can get so used to our comfort zones that any new action to move outside us makes us feel uneasy. The result? Self-sabotage.

While we are pumped up and excited about this new course, staying committed to this new and improved direction won’t always happen smoothly. Although in our conscious minds, we strive for better ways of living, our unconscious minds will stop us before we achieve success. 

A basic example of this is losing weight. Say you’ve identified your limiting beliefs of “It’s impossible to lose this weight,” and replaced them with “I am happily moving towards my ideal weight. I am becoming healthier everyday. I have an exercise routine that I love.” That’s great! But to really bring this idea into reality is to take action steps, and set aside time to exercise, or plan how to change your meals. 

Unfortunately, one lazy day can push your workout regime to the next week. And then it’s pushed back again to the week after that. Until it disappears entirely, and you’re once again back in the beginning phase of “It’s impossible to lose this weight.” You see, until you become aware of your self-sabotaging thoughts, the cycle will continue. 

I’ve listed down 7 ways to stop the self-sabotaging behavior. While some of these are closely related, I figured I’d try to explore every strategy to help you take action and keep pushing toward your goals:

1. Identify and eliminate your Excuses

We all have Excuses! They pop up when you’re right about to execute your action plan. You say things like “I’m so tired from work, I’ll do it later.” Or “I’m too lazy to work out today,” or “I’m not ready to make the move,” etc. Basically, you create excuses to procrastinate. Whatever reasons you call it, you are finding anything to put space and time between you and an important action step you need to take.

Do you ever find yourself lined up with a list of things to do, and yet the most important one is always at the bottom? You fill up your time with ‘things to do’ just to feel like you are being productive? Eliminate your excuses by just diving into what you need to do, NOW. Go make that call. Buy the airline ticket. Send that resume. Hit the gym. Go NOW.

 2. Break down your to-do list

To avoid feeling overwhelmed with your new path, break down your action steps into even smaller, easier steps. Sometimes, we need to focus on manageable steps that we do consistently that lead up to the bigger goal. 

If your goal is to save P1,000 a week, start with P300 a week, Maybe you can start with finding an area you can save 100, and then another area where you can save another 200. Eventually, you can bring this up to 500, and then 700, until you feel like you can reach your goal. This allows your confidence to build during the process, and slowly expand your comfort zone step by step.

While some people love sudden leaps, for others, reaching too high too fast could result in a fall that kills their motivation and makes them lose faith in themselves. But, if you do fail, then remember…

 3. Don’t be so hard on yourself

We all fall at some point. Maybe you missed one day of the gym, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go back the next day. Don’t quit after one failure, one mistake. Pick yourself up and resume taking action steps. Forgive yourself because it’s always going to be a process of rise and fall. 

What’s important is that you acknowledge your successes along the journey. Acknowledge how far you’ve come. One delay is nothing compared to where you were when you first started.

4. Recognize your fear of success 

While some people are afraid of failing, it’s important to note that others are actually afraid of the opposite: success. Fear of failure is easy to spot, since a lot of us don’t like being disappointed or embarrassed. Yet fear of success is just as paralyzing. 

Some people allow themselves to be in one level and create a ceiling of success in their lives. Maybe you are afraid that when you do get that promotion, you can’t handle the pressure, the responsibility, and the workload. Or if you do lose the weight, your afraid you will fall back into your old patterns of unhealthy eating, so what’s the point?

Whatever the reality you are afraid to embrace, let it rise to the surface, and recognize that you honestly feel this way. No matter how absurd it may seem, it’s actually quite relieving to be able to acknowledge them.

5. It’s OKAY to rise high

Closely related to the fear of success lies the fear in surpassing people. In our culture, we talk a lot about the crab mentality and how to support others in their rise. While this is true, it’s also important to rise yourself. Some people have the tendency to keep themselves down so that others won’t be threatened.

Are you afraid that if you switch careers, your partner will be jealous? Are you scared that if you make more money, your friends and family will resent you? Sometimes we stunt our growth because we are afraid of making the people around us uncomfortable. I want to tell you that it’s okay to rise higher. 

You are taking steps for your own happiness. Don’t feel like you have to hold yourself back because someone else wants you to stay where you are. Real loved ones will always be happy for your success. 

6. Take full responsibility for the new path

Enough with the blame game! We tend to point to others for our setbacks. Whether or not it was true at one point in your life, it’s in the past.  Because the truth is, your ex is not the reason you failed to go to the gym today. Your parent’s pressure is not the reason you didn’t apply for that job today. Do you get what I mean? What you do today is your responsibility.

Staying stuck in this frame of mind keeps you pointing the finger at someone else for YOUR life. While you have now decided to take new action steps, allow yourself to become fully responsible for the new results in your life, and focus on that. 

 7. Embrace the new You

Who you are at one point of your life doesn’t mean you will stay like that forever. Don’t hold on to an old image of yourself—of who you were in high school, college, or how people “know” you in your barkada. You don’t have to stick to anyone’s labels. 

Life is about evolution, and the experiences you have push you to recreate yourself and evolve. It’s okay to change. Change is good! It’s normal! Give yourself permission to grow and embrace the person you’ve always wanted to become. 

So these are just a few areas where you can prevent self-sabotage on your path to success. There are more resources that I suggest you check out online as well.

The more awareness you hold toward your limiting beliefs and self-sabotage tendencies, the freer you are to move toward your goals without any resistance. Good luck to removing your blocks! – Rappler.com

Happy woman image from Shutterstock

Victoria HerreraVictoria Herrera is a TV and event host, model, and writer. In 2011, she released her first book, “Unscripted,” based on inspiring conversations from her previous radio show. In 2012, she hosted Runway TV Asia where she interviewed international fashion designers and celebrities. Shuttling between Manila and Singapore, she continues to explore the world of creativity, design, and fashion as a contributor for several publications.

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.