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How To Stop Self Sabotage

Self-sabotage, the action an individual takes, either consciously or unconsciously to harm themselves, is common. Some can’t figure out why things start off beautifully and in a little while fall apart. At first it seems difficult to understand why an individual would pull the rug out from under their own feet, undertake a project, (or relationship) and when all is going well, find a way to ruin it. But many individuals who are in the grip of self-sabotage are either unaware of what they are doing, or unable to control it.

Fear of Success

Many factors contribute to self-sabotage and fear of success is a prominent one. Many individuals will not allow themselves, (or their projects or relationships) to succeed. Some feel that they do not deserve it. They harbor guilt or shame about who they are and will not allow themselves to win or to have that which they want in life.

Some have a long history of being told by parents, friends or teachers that they are not worth much. (Some have told it to themselves). Like a poison arrow, this negative affirmation has gone deep within. These individuals, believing it is true, cannot allow themselves to shine.

Others feel that success is dangerous. The more successful they are, the happier and more fulfilled they are, the more others will dislike them. They subconsciously fear the jealousy of others, and negative repercussions that may come their way and feel guilty about having more than others have.A few get a reverse pleasure out of failing. They refuse to give their wives or family the pleasure of seeing them succeed. They are punishing others by failing, not wanting them to reap the fruits of their success.

Attacking the Self

Needless to say when an individual cannot express his anger and frustration, this anger often turns around at the self. Some ways of attacking the self include, consistently choosing the wrong person for a relationship, choosing a job that is not right, staying in negative situations that pull you down, being with people who do not respect you, taking on projects or challenges you are not suited to handle. Some begin acting out in ways that causes them to be rejected. Others secretly make others upset. Some run away at the last minute, renege on a promise, or can’t be counted on.

Step 1: Stopping Self-Sabotage

We all need to take a moment and see the subtle (and perhaps not so subtle ways in which we sabotage ourselves.

A) Make a list of that which does not go well in your life – repeatedly.
B) How do you contribute to that? What do you do? (Or what do you not do?)
C) What are other ways you could respond? List a few.

Step 2: Giving Yourself What You Need

A) In each situation that goes wrong, what is it that you need to make it go right? Make a list.

B) Today give yourself one. Tomorrow give yourself another.

C) What do you need in general that you presently feel you are not getting?

D) Give that to yourself as well. One day at a time.

Step 3: Communicating Honestly

One of the best antidotes for self-sabotage is open and honest communication, both with others and with yourself. When we give ourselves permission to express our anger or upset responsibly, we do not have to take it out either on others or ourselves.

A) See what it is that you are not saying to someone about the situation in which you are sabotaging yourself.

B) Say it responsibly. This means do not “blame, attack or accuse” the other. Simply say, “This is how I feel about —–.” You are taking responsibility for how you feel, not projecting it upon someone else.

C)Ask for what you need to make things better. Most people have no idea what it is you need in a given situation. When you ask for what you need, (and give the other person room to say no), you open the door to getting your needs met and do not have to attack either yourself or another.

Step 4: Make Friends With Yourself

This step is vital.

A) What is it that you want in a good friend? Write it down.

B) Give this to yourself. Each day choose one item on the list and give it to yourself.

When we learn how to become our own good friend, we develop the ability to stop self-sabotage before it starts. And we have that which we long for from others right with us wherever we go.

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Listed: May 7, 2008 12:08 pm