This is how a self-saboteur is born.
Destruction is a habit. It stems from our nature of being aggressive beings. Some of us have become so desensitized to the act of destruction, it blurs our vision when we become self-consuming.
Some of us who recognize this behavior may blame it on our environment, our family, friends, upbringing, a past event, or just plain bad luck or fate. It is human nature to place the blame externally. Because it is easier to deal with a problem that is not our responsibility; and by ‘deal’ we mean ignore it.
Enter: The Self-Saboteur
The habit of destruction sets in when we act before we think and exercise zero control over our urge to react (badly) to every single thing. The habit is addictive and feeds on itself. This habit gives way to sabotaging and destroying one’s attempts to reach one’s goals.
This habit of destruction brings to life The Self-Saboteur.
We are at war! War with ourselves against ourselves We are at war with our Self-Saboteur.
We all want success. We even get to grab the opportunity to succeed from time to time. But somewhere down the line, we start to convince ourselves that we are just not worthy or deserving of it. We undermine our own efforts and set ourselves up for failure. And what’s worse is that we justify this behavior as well.
But the time has come for us to identify this nemesis, battle with this mortal enemy who lives between our ears and stops the self-saboteur.
How do we recognize a self-saboteur? Identify and defeat it.
The self-saboteur is a master of disguise. Self-sabotage rarely makes an appearance in its true form and presents itself in less nefarious forms like:
1. The Master Procrastinator
If you find yourself putting things off to a later date or the last minute, only to rush at the last minute and do a mediocre or poor job – that’s one battle you have lost against our self-saboteur.
To win: Fulfil your tasks and responsibilities by beginning work on time. DO NOT PUT THINGS OFF until the last minute. You can
- Schedule your work on a calendar
- Set an earlier deadline for yourself so you don’t get tempted by procrastination
- Remove as many distractions as possible from your environment, like keeping your phone away when working on something.
- Break your job into smaller goals for a sense of achievement on completion of the task.
2. The Hermit of the Past
At some point in our lives, we have all spent some time living in our past. Some of us spend years living in the past rather than focusing on the present. We love spending time there to relive the glory of old victories and the pain of past failures. This results in us missing opportunities in the present. There are even failures in the present opportunities because the present situations are underestimated or we wallow in self-pity of ‘I could’ve, should’ve, would’ve’.
To win: It’s time to stop thinking about what life was and start looking at life as it is happening right now. It’s time to be present in the NOW and HERE. Living in the past is akin to walking forward while facing backward – we would stumble, fall and hurt ourselves. It’s time to turn around, with our eyes forward, and focus on the present.
3. The Worthless Coward
I am not good enough, unfit for this, not attractive enough, or skinny enough. Maybe I am not smart enough.
Feeling less than worthy or deserving gets us into the checkmate position against the self-saboteur. This comes from the fear of failure overpowering the desire for success. And letting this fear influence thoughts, plans, and actions.
To win: Do it despite your fears. Do it even if you think (or are) not enough. Do it anyway. Here’s a simple technique to conquer your fear.
- Write it down
- Ask: ‘Do I have control over this
- If you do, then come up with a plan to resolve or avoid the worst-case scenario
- Tell yourself – I am worth it
- Do it
If you tend to worry, then spend the time allocated to worrying to take care of things in your control.
Courage is not the absence of fear – it is seeing things through despite your fears.
4. The Lonely Soul
The feeling of fear and belief of inadequacy make us push people away. This is because we don’t want them to see us as failures or negative beings. This is very often achieved by being critical and negative and having an overall unpleasant overbearing presence around them. This desire for loneliness is a prerequisite for the self-saboteur to create a very cozy environment for itself to thrive and flourish, while we diminish.
The fear and inadequacy come from an over-focus on looking for problems rather than what went right. And it soon manifests itself into us being overly critical and repelling things away – opportunities and people alike.
To win: Not all situations are completely negative. In fact, all situations have equal proportions of the negative and the positive. So, for every negative trait one notes, note a positive trait as well. Initially the negative may seem big against a tiny, microscopic positive. But note it, say it loud if you must. With mindful practice, you will find that the size of the positive becomes overwhelmingly larger than the negatives. And you would have defeated the self-saboteur.
The battle is not easy and it may never be done if you have been facing defeat for many years. But fight we must. For ourselves, to succeed. If you find that you are losing hope and relapsing into old patterns then observe your feelings and approach them with a clinical perspective. Work on them and you will continue on the path to victory.
The moment you get the taste of self-belief, self-love, and positivity, you will absolutely feel good in that moment of victory and success over all odds.
The world is in need of less destruction. What better place to start than with yourself?