How to Overcome Self-Sabotage
I hope your week is off to a good start. If you opened this post, you’ve probably experienced some struggle with what you call “self-sabotage.”
Today, I want to offer a simple reframe of this idea of “self-sabotage” in hopes that it will help you to move forward toward what you actually want (and also help you to decide what you DO want and what you THINK you want).
Examples of self-sabotage:
- Sleeping through your alarm when you wanted to wake up at 6:00 AM
- Going through your day and continuously putting other things before exercise and eventually ending the day with no exercise at all
- Telling yourself that you’ll work on a blog post, but opening up your computer and spending all of your work-time answering emails
- Promising that this is the week you’ll be organized but waking up Monday morning feel frazzled as ever because you didn’t map out your week
A simple reframe is to look at these forms of “self-sabotage” and call them “strategies” instead. What this is going to do, is put the power back in your hands. When you look at things as self-sabotage, it feels like they have power over you, right?
But when you look at something as a strategy you can admit that it’s something you’re doing FOR yourself and you can choose to do something else instead, if you want to.
Let’s look at those same examples as *strategies*:
- Sleeping through your alarm when you wanted to wake up at 6:00 AM *as a way to keep yourself comfortable in the morning.*
- Going through your day and continuously putting other things before exercise and eventually ending the day with no exercise at all *as a strategy to NOT have to do something you don’t like.*
- Telling yourself that you’ll work on a blog post, but opening up your computer and spending all of your work-time answering emails instead *as a way to avoid putting yourself out there by writing this post and having to then worry about what other people will think.*
- Promising that this is the week you’ll be organized but waking up Monday morning feel frazzled as ever because you didn’t take the time to map out your week *as a way to feel like you had one less thing to do, because making a plan felt like another to-do on top of an already chaotic week.*
Got it? Do those examples make sense?
ONLY NOW can we look at each example and change the way we’re doing each thing, using different/new strategies.
So let’s reframe them! I’m going to pretend like all of these are ME for a moment, so that I can use myself as an example as I rewrite them:
- Waking up at 6:00 AM as a strategy to get a head start on my day and telling myself that I can try it once and see how it goes. I can be cozy at night, after my work is done.
- Prioritizing exercise above other things as a strategy to give me MORE energy, feel like I took time for ME, and be in a better mood for everyone around me. I get MORE done when I exercise. (And choosing a form of movement that I DO like.)
- Writing a blog post before I do anything else for work as a strategy to help me build trust with myself – to show myself that I accomplish the things that I set out to do.
- Blocking out 20-45 minutes on Sunday to plan out my week, asking myself what I can do to set myself up for success, and looking at all of this as a strategy to make my week easier and more enjoyable.
If it’s helpful for you to reframe self-sabotage as “strategies” in your mind so you have more power over your choices and can make them more in alignment with what you actually want.
For example, do you want to be cozy and sleep in, or do you want to wake up at 6:00 AM to set up your day? This morning, I chose snoozing because I told myself in a dream to turn off my alarm. Whoops! Try again tomorrow (ha!).
The key is deciding/admitting what you want and then taking responsibility for that choice. All choices are okay, just do your best (it won’t be perfect) to choose what you actually want.