Understanding Self-Sabotage

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Hello there and welcome to this week’s episode of Charlie’s Toolbox today we are going to discuss overcoming self-sabotage.


I thought this was a great topic because it was something I did quite a bit. I’d have a goal and then I’d do the complete opposite, then I’d wonder why I am struggling. Or I’d say I’d want this experience and choose people who can’t give that to me. So, I decided a while back to always stay in alignment with my heart, needs, and lifestyle and I am going to discuss some thoughts, tips, and ideas I learned to keep me from sabotaging myself.


So, let’s define self-sabotage…


Psychology Today defines self-sabotage as:


“Behavior that creates problems in daily life and interferes with long-standing goals. The most common self-sabotaging behaviors include procrastination, self-medication with drugs or alcohol, comfort eating, and forms of self-injury such as cutting.”


It’s also described by healthline as…


“behaviors or thought patterns that hold you back and prevent you from doing what you want to do.”


I am not a psychologist and I won’t address self-sabotage with regards to self-harm or self-medication, but I will address self-sabotage in the form of general goals, dating goals, and career goals.


1.Self-Sabotage requires awareness.

You may not always know that you are doing things, but you can always chart your course. Meaning you can look at what you said you want, and look at what you’ve been doing and see if they align. If there are areas that aren’t aligning, that is ok! The good news is you can start today.


2. Behind every inaction or redirection is a core thought that is inspiring it.

If you aren’t taking the proper steps to get the goal you want, ask yourself what core beliefs are at the root of this. A core belief is described by positive psychology, “as our most deeply held assumptions about ourselves, the world, and others.” So, you may want something, but there is a core belief telling you that you can’t get it, don’t deserve to get it, it is impossible, or that you have to break your back to get it.


When you believe these core-beliefs, you think in exaggerations. You believe that out of 7.674 billion people in the world, you will never find love, or good treatment, or kindness, or joy-because who could ever love or want you or there is nothing out there for you. Over exaggerating looks like staying with a friend, job, or relationship that has shown you they don’t value you, but you stay because where else will you go. It also looks like working yourself to death, to prove you are worthy. Or believing you have to do something, in order to be worthy. The truth is the moment you took your first breath of air was the moment that everything in this world belonged to you. It’s time to act like it.


3. Sometimes self-sabotage is your inner child screaming


He, she, they may want something from you and you have to listen to yourself and figure out what that is. For example, if you continue rushing into relationships. Maybe your inner child is craving intimacy and not necessarily relationships. Can you ask your friends to hug you and rub you a bit more? Can you ask your grandma to rock you occasionally? Can you cuddle with your sister? Or your dog? Or if you aren’t working out and eating right and you want to. what is your inner child communicating to you? Has she been restricted before? And is this indulgence a result of that? Is food her protection? Her only stability? The only thing she can control? Or the only thing she gets pleasure from?


When I look at my inner child, I realize that food was my source of pleasure. It was where I had the most fun. It is how my parents showed us, love. It was the only thing I could fully control. So, when I approached baby Charlie about it, it was with love, compassion, and understanding. I understood why she chose what she chose. I can’t beat her up for adapting, but I will take charge as an adult and adult Charlie will find other sources of pleasure and make sure she is getting the proper nutrition. I can do things like talk to myself and say, "I know you want this because you want more joy today, But let’s try playing with your dog, and eating a peach instead." Let’s see if this works for you baby Charlie. And that inner child will tell you yes or no!


4. Self-Sabotage requires kindness


It requires a gentle nudge. When you are doing things that aren’t good for you, you have to start developing a positive relationship with your inner child. Remember, you don’t need any more authority figures hurting you with their words. Furthermore, Harming yourself, for a positive goal is dysfunction. It’s like planting a seed in rotten soil, your plant may grow a little bit, but it won’t flourish nor will it be sustained. So, that means your tendency to go there with yourself will have to be redirected to kindness. You can say I know you want to lash out, but what else would make you feel better? Would a quick dance make you feel better? Or music? Or water? Juice? You have to say things like, hey baby Charlie, I know this is something you did temporarily to provide relief, but big Charlie will show you another way. You have to keep being kind to yourself, because pain, shame, and abuse does not work. It does not sustain a habit. It only breaks the spirit.


5. Finally, number 5.


Maybe it is not self-sabotage. maybe you just don’t want to do it or maybe you just don’t like the person. Sometimes we don’t honor ourselves. Sometimes, we take all of the negative critiques given to us, and that is the only thing we hold onto. So, when something supposedly good on paper comes into our lives, like a job making a lot of money, or a man with good credentials, or a friend with many connections, we’ll see red flags, chaos, and confusion and then blame ourselves for it. Our low self-worth convinces us that It couldn’t be them because they are perfect on paper, it has to be us! So, we label incompatibility as self-sabotage. When really it is your body working for you and trying to tell you that this person, place or thing, is not for you! So remember, Sometimes self-sabotage is incompatibly disguising itself….