Last time we talked about the type of self-sabotage that has you procrastinating and distracting yourself with outside forces. Today, let’s look at a very different kind of self-sabotage where we push other people away.
If you haven’t, it basically means that if you decide something is going to be or end a certain way, you take steps/actions to make that happen. Obviously, this could be good or bad. An example might be… I didn’t think I could do well on the test so I didn’t study and I didn’t do well. My belief that I wouldn’t (or couldn’t) do well became a ‘self-fulfiling prophesy’ when I did not study and prepare for the test.
Traffic is going to suck. (Does it have to? Are there ways to make it less painful?)
Work today will not be fun. (It won’t be if you go in with a stinky attitude.)
I can’t _____. (If you decide you can’t, then you can’t.)
This party will not be any fun. (Duh! Not if you sit in a corner and make it no fun.)
Another way to look at this is limiting beliefs. If you decide that people and relationships are diffiuclt, then they will be. I think we can blame kindergraden and Disney movies (don’t get me wrong, I love Disney movies) for the misguided belief that we can/should/want to be friends with everyone. We want to be KIND to everyone but everyone will not get us and we will not get everyone. I don’t mean that in a negavtive way but in an accepting, this is just the way it is way.
You, your sense of humor, the things you enjoy and find interesting are unique and I hope that you seek to pull in people that dig those things. If someone can’t get you, wish them well and let them go! DON’T decide that there is something wrong with you and put up wall around yourself.
This is often where I see the self-fulfilling prophesies (or limiting beliefs) show up. People start to tell themselves that they are awkard or too emotional or not good at relationships, etc. when in reality they simply haven’t found the right environments to allow their unique gifts and oneness flurish.
Do me a favor… Can you write out your self-fulfilling prophesies? The beliefs that have created protective walls around you and kept you separate from other people. Take your time, get into it. (And know you are a hot mess or too emotional if this causes you to tear up.)
Did you get them all down? Are you sure that is all of them?
Now, turn them on their heads. What is their opposite? For example, if one of yours is “I’m too emotional,” the opposite might be, “I’m in touch with my feelings.” Play with it until you get the one that sounds right.
Once you have written down all of the opposites, really think about letting go of your old, negative, hurtful, keeping you stuck beliefs. I know that it is not as simple and writing it down and never having the thought again. But know that you are clear about what at least most of them are, you can recognize them when they come up and chose to seek the other belief.
As always, I’m here and I would love to hear what limiting beliefs about yourself and relationships you are working to let go of today.
We all deserve down time but when does down time spill over into avoiding what we really need or want to do and turn into self-sabotage?
Self-sabotage is generally thought of as activities ranging from self-harming behaviors like; cutting, drug and alcohol use, self medicating with food and the most common form procrastinating (as in Netflix binging or spending hours each day on FaceBook).
If you are harming yourself by cutting, burning, etc. please ask for help- call 911, call your local help hotline or tell someone and let them call for help.
Some of the others may not feel as clear, so let’s look at those. For some, a glass of wine with dinner isn’t a problem but for others it may be. So let’s not worry about what works (or doesn’t) for anyone but you for now.
I’ve typically thought of anything that takes you away from your big picture goals as self-sabotage. But even if your big picture goals include world domination, it is necesary to have down time and even switch things up to make sure you are lighting up different parts of your brain and not just focusing on problems and solutions.
At a training a few years ago I was listening to a reasearcher on disordered eating and she talked about her ultimate questions to ask before eating anything. She said (I’m paraphrasing) to ask yourself if you would regret eating whatever the food is later? Would it cause you shame? Would you do this in front of people who know what your big weight loss goals are?
You could apply similar questions to your other behaviors, not just eating. If I binge seven episodes of Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix on Tuesday night and stay up until 3am making myself tired for work on Wednesday, will I regret that later? Could that make anything more difficult to deal with on Wednesday at work?
If the answer is “no” then do you! If the answer is yes or even maybe, I would encourage you to think about what may be driving that avoidance behavior. What are you avoiding? At the end of the day procrastination is about avoiding, right? Sometimes we avoid becauase we aren’t yet ready to slay the dragon. No shame in that but at least be honest with yourself when you’re doing it. And when it’s time to pull out your sword and go to war with the dragon, are you getting the rest you really need to fight?
As always, I’m here. If you are struggling with the powerful distractions that are all around us (and that are designed to take you off of your dragon-slaying path to greatness), reach out and let me know.