Self-sabotage happens when someone participates in one or more behaviors that undermine their wellbeing and success. From procrastination to stress eating, self-sabotaging behaviors take many forms and affect countless people.
The root cause of self-sabotage often varies from person to person. Some people engage in self-sabotage from a short-term lack of self-esteem, while more extreme self-sabotaging behaviors have been linked to borderline personality disorder (BPD) and other mental health conditions.
Whether your self-sabotaging habits are mild or severe, here are a few tips to help you put your best interest back in focus.
Observe and report
Keeping a journal can provide many benefits, including a greater awareness of when, why, and how you self-sabotage. To get started, simply write down any time you catch yourself committing an act of self-sabotage. Then, think back to how you felt before the act and why you felt that way. Over time, patterns may begin to emerge that help explain your behaviors.
Take preventative measures
Once you start seeing self-sabotaging patterns, you can take action to prevent future problems. If you catch yourself sabotaging your career by overusing your alarm’s snooze function and sleeping in too late, for example, you can move your alarm clock or phone across the room so that you have to get out of bed to reach it. If you notice that you overeat to sabotage your nutrition goals, you can make sure not to stock the foods that you reach for when the urge arises.
You can also take preventative measures to avoid triggers that lead to self-sabotage. If you know that certain types of movies or television shows harm your self-esteem and lead you to self-sabotage, you can make efforts to avoid consuming that kind of media.
Seek help from a mental health professional
There’s no shame in reaching out to an expert for help. In fact, doing so may be the least self-sabotaging action you can take.
If you find yourself unable to recognize, avoid, or prevent the self-sabotage affecting your life, it can’t hurt to have a mental health professional assess your situation. You may find you need a new perspective on your problems to know what actions you should take to correct them. You may also find your problems are beyond your own ability to fix without the correct medication or therapeutic program—and that’s perfectly okay.
Valley Oaks Health is always here to lend a helping hand. If you’d like a qualified expert’s insight into your self-sabotaging behaviors, contact us today.