Identifying Self Sabotaging Behaviors

"There is nothing holding you back in life more than yourself."

That's the very first sentence in the book The Mountain Is You by Brianna Wiest. We read the book for book club and during our discussion I asked the members if they agreed with the statement. 100% answered yes.

One of the hardest things to do in this life is to look within to unravel the mess of stress, fear, and emotions that lurk below the surface. But when you want to heal, when you want to get unstuck, you must do the inner work.

Identifying self sabotaging behaviors is critical to your growth and progress. Knowing how to get out of your own way is powerful fuel for becoming your highest self.

Turns out there are many types of self sabotage. I'm super familiar justification. I often say I'm going to stop eating sugar and then order dessert after dinner. That self sabotaging thought process falls into justification. The little voice in my head says, just this one time.

Which of these types of self sabotage resonate with you?

Identify Self Sabotaging Behaviors

Resistance - think of this as procrastination. It's the invisible obstacle. It's the "I'm going to scroll social media one more time before starting that project."

Hitting Your Upper Limit - this is a concept from Gay Hendricks that says you're comfortable with happiness to a certain point. When work and life get too good, you subconsciously do something to bring yourself back to your comfort zone. (Read The Big Leap for more info on this topic.)

Perfectionism - wanting everything to be right because you're afraid of failing and/or afraid of being vulnerable.

Limited Emotional Processing - you lack the tools to effectively handle frustrating and uncomfortable feelings. You likely have poor coping mechanisms such as avoidance or rumination.

Justification - you use excuses to momentarily feel satisfied.

Disorganization - clutter and mess your home, car, office.

Attachment to What You Don't Want - you've outgrown something (an idea, a job, a relationship) yet haven't moved on from it and feel like you can't change your path.

Judging Others - finding something negative in someone in an attempt to help you feel better.

Pride - the stubborn ego that doesn't ask for help and disguises feeling ashamed.

Guilt of Succeeding - you feel terrible for having nice things when there is so much misfortune in the world.

Fear of Failing - you're holding yourself back because you're afraid of looking bad.

Downplaying - you shoot down your achievements and make yourself seem less impressive in an attempt to get people to like you. You worry about boasting.

Being Busy - you're overscheduled and overwhelmed in an attempt to avoid what's really going on within. You're avoiding yourself.

Time with Wrong People - the company you keep stresses you, but you continue the relationship.

Irrational Fear - you're preoccupied with worst-case scenarios.

There are likely a few of these self sabotaging behaviors that resonated with you. Your new awareness is the first step in the process of behavior change. Now you will start to see just how often you're engaging in these habits. And you can take steps to address the emotions and rewire past limiting beliefs.

Doing the inner work seems scary and laborious. Having support makes the process easier. So please reach out to talk through things with a trusted friend or therapist. Plus, journaling really helps sort through the cascade of thoughts and emotions.

Remember, happiness is within. It's always there under the blankets of other emotions. When you process the sadness, you're left with happiness. Process the grief, jealousy, trauma and what remains is happiness.

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