Breaking Patterns of Self-Sabotage

Your own worst enemy…

Your little demon…

Fear blocking your action…

These are all phrases to describe a common problem in healthy living, work, and relationships. It’s called self-sabotage, the tendency to undermine yourself by taking action that prevents you from getting what you want.

I like the first way of putting it, because I’ve felt like my own worst enemy in the past. It seemed like I’d start progressing on achieving something important to me, and then I’d stumble in a familiar way. 

You’ve probably done it, too, and that’s OK. Most people have. Let’s say you’re within touching distance of your goal weight, right before your sister’s wedding that you’ve used as a target date, and then… you spend the weekend on the couch with your old pals Ben and Jerry.

Or you signed up for a 70.3, and when you are supposed to be doing a long bike ride, you stay home and watch Netflix!

Here are some simple tips I’ve used to recognize what’s happening and take action to stop it.

  1. Remember your WHY– If you remember the REASON you committed to doing something, you can remind yourself daily, which can help keep you on track. Add motivational sticky notes on your bathroom mirror and computer.
  2. Recognize what you’re doing. You know yourself better than anyone, so include the potential for self-sabotage in any plan. Some common symptoms are refusing to ask for help, controlling behavior, negative self-talk, and a reluctance to speak up for yourself.
  3. Identify the fear that manifests in the action that blocks you. You might have a deep-seated fear that you’ll always be second in your parents’ eyes, so why bother looking your best for a family event? Whatever the fear is, once you name it, you can deal with it.
  4. Write it out – the plan, the potential for self-sabotage, the whole thing. 
  5. Tell a friend, coach or mentor about the plan, the potential for self-sabotage and the fear. This person can hold you accountable – not only toward achieving the desired outcome, but also to helping you overcome that self-limiting fear. 
  6. Follow the plan. Do what you need to do. And when that little demon speaks up – as it might – be prepared to ignore it. You don’t have to convince it to be quiet. Just don’t feed it with any attention or energy. You can say, “Thanks for sharing, but I’m taking action anyway!”

The key is to expect the tricks that little guy’s going to try on you and to have a plan to thwart him at every turn.

Sabotage HIM, so he can’t sabotage YOU.

Need help in achieving a big goal or dream concerning triathlon or health and wellness?

You can stop self-sabotage by taking action on the things you truly desire. If you want to set yourself up for a great 2024 triathlon season, I can help. Fill out this application for my Triathlon Transformation Program and then book a call with me and let’s chat!

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