Self sabotage is a very real struggle
Someone once asked me “Why do you always insist on taking the hard road.” I replied, “Why do you assume I see 2 roads?” As a coach, I can easily relate to this mindset and I know it is a very real struggle for many people. Of course, I’m talking about self sabotage.
This probably speaks to you if you’re someone who finds it impossible to break out of bad habits or destructive behaviour. You know you’re doing things you shouldn’t but you can’t seem to make better choices.Why do you insist on taking the hard road? Why do you assume I see two roads? Click To Tweet
Why do you do that?
I’m absolutely sure you don’t wake up every morning and say to yourself “how can I make my life as hard as possible today?” Nobody does that. Yet for some reason, you continue to do things you know you shouldn’t and you continue to not do the things that you know you should.
Am I speaking to you right now? If so, know this: you’re completely normal, you’re not alone, you’re not weak, stupid or crazy and you can change.
Why do you self sabotage?
Human beings are complex characters. It’s our nature to find a state of equilibrium. That means we seek out the familiar and we avoid change wherever possible. Most of all we usually try and find the path of least resistance. A bit like a lightning bolt.
In your mind, the hard road is actually not the hard road, it’s the familiar road. The easiest road. Maybe the only road. You don’t see options. You continue to choose the hard road for any number of reasons.
Here’s 8 reasons which might explain why you do this:
- You prefer to stick with what you know – Familiarity is safe. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, feeling safe is one of the 5 basic human needs. You choose familiarity, even when you know it’s not the best choice.
- You lack a bit of self-belief – You’re not really sure you can do it or you don’t believe there is a better way.
- You’re unsure of the purpose – You can change, as long as there’s a good reason. But you’re not really clear yet on what that reason is.
- You’re uncomfortable with change – It’s uncomfortable changing because it’s scary, difficult and full of the unknown.
- You’re stuck in your comfort zone – It’s in the name! There’s comfort in your comfort zone, but not much growth happens there.
- Fear of failure – You don’t like failing and most other people are the same. What if the other road is not all it’s cracked up to be?
- Fear of success – This is one of the most complex fears. Success has all kinds of consequences such as more responsibility, more commitment or the inability to be able to handle the workload. Previously I have written about how to Harness Your Fear. Fear of success can actually bring up the same kind of anxieties as fear of failure.
- Fear of the unknown – When you don’t know what’s around the corner, you tend to avoid it rather than risk the consequences. Self-preservation is a strong motivator to resisting change.
Knowledge is power
Knowledge can be power because when you can recognise why you self-sabotage, you can start to take action to change your behaviour. If you really want to make better decisions, start to acknowledge, understand and then take responsibility. You can do it!