I’m always surprised when I recognize I’m self-sabotaging. My brain is so sneaky at coming up with new ways or angles.
Why do we self-sabotage?
The simple answer is fear and our primal survival instinct. When our unconscious mind senses danger, it sends us into a fight/flight/freeze/fawn response.
The thing is the things that our primal brain considers dangerous aren’t really dangerous anymore–we’re not fighting animalistic preditors for food or safety any more. But all of this starts out in our subconscious and is completely unconcious to us
This is why building awareness is the first step in retraining our brains–we can’t fix what we’re not aware of! Hence why I’m writing this for you right now.
4 Sneaky Signs of Self-Sabotage
Our brains are wired to compare in order to survive. Then we as a society like to pile even more conditioning into comparison against our peers and fellow humans.
When you notice thoughts where you are comparing yourself or anything to do in your life with someone else, this is most likely a sign of self-sabotage.
making yourself wrong
Aw, perfection…the thing we always chase but will never catch. If you notice yourself thinking things like, “that’s not the right way,” or “I’ll never figure this out,” etc. you are most likely in self-sabotage.
Taking on another’s story
Someone once told you that you weren’t good/smart/[insert whatever you want here] enough and you still believe it. Another form of perfectionism or people-pleasing and ultimately self-sabotage? Yeah, most likely. YOU get to decide what is true so check any and all stories that others try to give you as fact.
The urge to fix, improve, be better
This kind of thinking is RAMPANT in the wellness and self-development industry. We’re constantly bombarded by media and other people that we need to improve or be better. The sentiment behind it all is really about radical acceptance and learning how to navigate an uncontrollable world to feel more content.
But if you are always feeling like you need to be fixed, or to improve, or do/be better, it’s a sign of self-sabotage.
“The Pull-Out Method”
I totally made up the name–it was WAY too good to pass up 🤣
This exercise is so incredibly easy and is IMPOSSIBLE to do “wrong.” You can practically do it ANYWHERE.
1. Pick a focal point
Seriously, anything you can stare at for several seconds–a spot, a corner or edge, anything that won’t hurt your eyes.
Stare and focus on that one spot for several seconds. Count to five if it helps.
3. Soften your focus or pull it out
While maintaining a focus on your focal point, allow your eyes to rest a little–your peripheral vision may shift, you may feel the muscles of your eyes slightly move, or something else entirely.
4. Repeat three times
Three is totally a made-up number. Repeat however many times it takes to interrupt your mind from the inner self-sabotaging focus.
Pretty simple and easy, right? This exercise is a great way to put up a mental roadblock and divert your thoughts. By diverting thoughts like this, you are retraining your brain and asking it to find or create different neural pathways. This is called neuroplasticity. This can be great for any reactionary response you may have that you want to change–especially anxiety!
The more you practice, the faster it works! When it comes to neuroplasticity, repetition is key.
Found this helpful?
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