Why do you do so well on your new healthy eating plan for a couple of weeks and then eat a whole pan of brownies in one sitting? Exercise every morning for a month and start to feel fantastic, then suddenly stop going to the gym and start to feel tired and moody? Take on a new project at work that you know you could do a great job on - then wait until an hour before it is due to throw it together haphazardly?
Self-sabotaging behavior is when there is no logical or rational explanation for why you can't do the things you want to do even though you know it would benefit you if you did. It's not a lack of desire, skills, or intelligence that holds you back. It seems, for me at least, there's something inside that's stronger than the desire, and I sabotage myself and my efforts to do the things I want to do and have the things I want to have.
This type of behavior is most recognizable by the experience of an internal "tug-of-war" between having a desire to do something and feeling like you can't or just won't do it. Any time you hear yourself saying, "I wanted to do this, but I just didn’t and I don’t know why!" That's the inner conflict of self-sabotaging behavior.
The fascinating thing about self-sabotaging behavior is that it actually takes an enormous amount of energy and mental stress, much more than if you just took the action you wanted or needed to do in the first place. The mental stress of feeling behind or beating yourself up for how a situation in your life could have been better is a lot more work than moving forward with your original plan of action. So what stops you?
That is a question that I ask myself quite often when I am in the midst of procrastination, avoiding or any type of self-sabotage. For me the answer usually comes down to some type of fear. But it is different for everyone and the circumstances that you are dealing with, whether personal or professional.
Spirited women have a lot to do in this world, do you ever suffer from self-sabotage? How do you get through it and what lessons have you learned about yourself?
- Maureen Keyte
Click here for more of Maureen's posts.