8 Steps to Stopping Success Self-Sabotage  

Life and circumstance can make getting ahead hard enough. However, the biggest obstacles in our way are often the ones we created ourselves. The end of 2018 is looming every closer, so now’s the time to tear down the mental roadblocks and stop with the success self-sabotage to claim a more fulfilling career in the new year.

Focused business professionals collaborating and discussing ideas at a table.

Our inner critic can prevent us from pursuing the things we desire most in life with the simple assertion that we aren’t deserving enough. But this is just our subconscious acting out of fear to protect us and prevent pain even when we don’t require this protection. Consequently, we avoid taking risks and accepting new challenges, forgoing our dreams and aspirations for the safety and comfort of the familiar.

Here are eight ways you can stop the success self-sabotage and reach beyond the life you have to grab the life you want in 2019.

 1. Understand Self-Sabotage Motivations

Many of our self-destructive behaviors are habitual. Consequently, we don’t even recognize the myriad of ways these behaviors are destroying our happiness and success. Self-sabotage blocks us from pursuing our bigger goals and dreams wholeheartedly to safeguard ourselves from the possibility of failure. From disorganization and procrastination to indecision, these behaviors immobilize us from giving our all to our endeavors. Before you can start addressing these behaviors, you need to understand their underlying motivation.

2. Recognize Self-Sabotage Behaviors

To break the self-destruction cycle, you need to become consciously aware of the contributing habits. So, try to take an outsider’s perspective on your behaviors. What patterns, habits and mindsets are continually holding you back?

Here are a few common self-destructive habits and how you can address them:

  • Procrastination – You wait until the last minute to work on important projects, leaving little time to produce your best work or even fix simple mistakes. If you’re dragging your feet to complete projects, consciously start giving yourself deadlines and mini-deadlines.
  • Negativity – Is your inner critic working overtime to berate you for past mistakes and discourage you from taking on new challenges? Try being kind, gentle and patient with yourself. When you start tearing yourself down, proactively work to build yourself back up.
  • Perfectionism – Are you holding yourself to impossible standards that stop you from taking action and moving forward? Recognize when your standards are preventing you from finishing or even starting projects and make reasonable quality accommodations so that you can function.

3. Identify Core Causes

Unknowingly, many of us have unhealthy ways of dealing with stress. These destructive coping mechanisms can cause us to fail to practice self-care, shirk from commitments and take relationships for granted. Feelings of inadequacy are often the root of these self-destructive behaviors. Identify the reasons why you are engaging in self-sabotage and take deliberate action to stop these patterns of behavior.

4. Take Time for Self-Examination

Take a serious look at yourself to understand why you keep engaging in harmful behavior. Peel back the layers of habits, behaviors, motivations, and desires to develop a deeper awareness of yourself. Also, take time to think about your choices, decisions and actions. This is the only way you can learn from your successes and failures. Furthermore, self-reflection is necessary to gain insight, perspective and understanding that you need to change and transform your behaviors and attitudes from the inside out.

5. Develop Your Inner Positive Voice

Fear is often the primary motivator for your inner critic, holding you back with assertions that you don’t deserve happiness and are not good enough. Consequently, you need to quiet the inner negative voice. Also, deliberately encourage positive thoughts whenever your inner critic starts limiting your belief in your abilities.

6. Change Your Behavior

Changing negative behaviors is critical to stop self-sabotage. Every moment represents an opportunity to move toward or away from the life we want to have and the person we want to be. First, you need to look at how your thoughts and actions contradict these ideals. Then, consider how you can replace old patterns with more positive ones that move you toward your goals. Also, avoid triggers like negative people and situations that cause unhealthy reactions. If you feel a situation starting to affect you negatively, actively seek ways to deal with the situation in a healthy manner.

7. Implement Small, Meaningful Changes

Once you know what behaviors need to change, don’t try to change all these behaviors and patterns at once. Massive changes are unsustainable and easily discarded. Instead, just focus on one thing at a time. Small, meaningful changes, one-by-one, stack up to create larger transformations in your life. If you’re constantly missing deadlines, just look for one small thing you can change at a time to put you on a more successful path. If you suffer from chronic disorganization and drifting off-task, try taking five minutes each morning to tidy your work space and construct a daily to-do list. For issues with completing projects in a timely manner, develop reasonable timelines for project completion.

8. Make Plans and Set Goals

The unknown can trigger self-sabotaging behavior. When we feel unsure of expectations and outcomes, it’s difficult to move forward confidently. So, develop concrete plans and goals for the future to counter these negative reactions. By planning ahead for how to respond situations, people and circumstance, you can develop intentional confidence in your actions.

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