Self-Sabotage: How we own it, how to find it in our lives, and how to STOP it for good.
The time is 1:45 A.M.
"Chrissy, arent you supposed to be asleep?" I look over at my husband with sad eyes, "Yeah, I'm going now." "This looks like a cookie-cutter example of self-sabotage," he replies. "I know," I say.
In a few hours, I was hosting my first clubhouse room (who else is obsessed?) for mommies. I wanted to create a room for mommies to have a devotion moment early in the morning before the rest of their houses started waking and making the many demands that make moms run around the house busy all day long. For some reason, although I knew the importance of somewhat preparing, I could not wrap my mind around the concept. I had to intentionally turn on my worship music and ask for God to come in ON PURPOSE because I was already feeling defeated long before I started the chat room. After a very successful mommy devotion/chat, I really had to sit myself down and look my habit of self-sabotage in the face. As a matter of fact, writing this very blog created yet another opportunity for me to look at my self-sabotage in the mirror.
I knew for WELL over a month that this time of the year I wanted to talk about self-sabotage again, yet, here I am at 6:00 a.m. on the day that my blog is already supposed to be Iive, actually writing out the post from the outline.
What is it about the unknown for people like me?
Are you like me? I'm going to make a wild assumption that because you were interested enough to find my link that the concept of sabotaging your own goals and things that you really want to accomplish is an area that you could totally work on.
That's okay though because I am writing this for that very reason and I only pray that the following letters that form words and sentences assist you and that God speaks to you so that you can fully walk into what is already yours in this season.
Here are a few things that I have learned about self-sabotage, how it shows up in our lives, and what we can do to stop it!
What is self-sabotage:
When you find ways to deter or distract yourself from being successful in anything. Basically, it's the concept of delaying yourself from doing the things it takes to be successful. How many times have all of us stalled on a homework assignment, or rationalized skipping a workout on a day that is not a rest day? These are both perfect examples of self-sabotage. What I have learned, in my personal experience, is that the idea to delay or postpone what you know is necessary for your own success is literally one of the worst things you can do and a sign that you are not properly practicing self-love.
**Sorry this is a tangent here: Self-love is not always the cushy love letters to yourself or long bubble baths with skin-nourishing oils. Some (well a lot of) times self-love includes some of the tougher things like self-parenting. Making yourself do the things that you've self-consciously told yourself that you can't just to prove that you can. Self-love doesn't always feel good; it can include self-exposure and pressure because you deserve good things and sometimes those good things require hard work, that you ABSOLUTELY can do.
Self-sabotage can happen for one of two reasons ( in my opinion). I know that self-sabotage can totally happen for more, but these are the ones that have always stuck out the most to me.
You're afraid of failure
For some reason, you have told yourself that as soon as you start this task before you, it's automatically not going to be a success. Baby, that's a lie. We all know the saying that you fail 100% of the time you don't try. Let's take a moment and define what failure is. Failure is defined as a lack of success. So let say you try something that doesn't turn out exactly how you want it to, 1. That's more likely to happen than what you concoct in your head in the first place (honestly) 2. You have an opportunity to take what you learned and apply it to a better attempt time after time until you feel like you've nailed it.
Learning yourself and how you can better yourself by trial and error STILL sounds like a success to me. So where's the failure, sis? Let's get rid of that thought process from here on out. 🤗
You feel inadequate
Now this one I am personally guilty of. Somehow, someway our circumstances or situations/experiences told us that we don't deserve good things. Therefore we forfeit our right to even attempt a success. Not to get too "psychology-today" on you, but these are what we call cognitive distortions. (I'm gonna try to address this without writing an entirely new blog post (which I'll get to very soon..promise). Cognitive distortions are unhealthy thought processes that are learned from traumatic life experiences. What we basically do is generalize any situation that looks similar to a previous painful experience and deduce that the outcome will be the same as the previous negative situation...every time.
Baby this is not reality for one main reason. Every situation in life allows you to change and grow as an individual, so how is it possible to experience the same thing, if we, ourselves are not the same person? Hmmm?? The feelings of inadequacy can come from a shortcoming in a previous situation. One can only hope that because you are holding on to that situation, you have learned from it. You made it through the pain of what you believe was a failure. That alone qualifies you to try again. You deserve that joy! Take it!
So now that we have an idea of what we want to self-sabotage let's take a quick look at how it can show up in sneaky ways. You gotta know how to see if so you can stop it!!
How does self-sabotage show up in your life?
Unintentional (or intentional) disturbances that take up time that could be used more productively. Things like unnecessary scrolling, playing mindless games during work time, or just making the choice to NOT..(lol). I am so guilty of this. IG is my favorite place to connect but can also be my biggest distraction. We have to really be careful about what we distract ourselves with because comparison can also creep in and then we rationalize our self-sabotage all the more.
"I don't feel capable, therefore I did not prepare." This is yet another manifestation of inadequacy. Hard work produces results. Procrastination produces stressed work which (at times) is not our best. When we procrastinate, our work can disappoint which will negatively prove to us that we (of course) should have never begun ( do you see the negative pattern?).
Thankfully we don't have to live in these cycles of self-sabotage. We are so much better than the lives we are allowing ourselves to live without hard work. We have a beautiful gift in the power of choice. We can choose to create a life that we can be proud of and we can start by putting a pause on self-sabotage. Here's how to combat it.
I know. They have always told us that talking to yourself is crazy, but in all honesty, talking to yourself and checking-in with yourself is literally the sanest thing you can do. Imagine just moving through life unaware of how you appear or act. THAT is what sounds crazy. No one knows you better than you, no one should be able to motivate you (outside of God) better than you! You know that Donald Lawerence's song, "Encourage Yourself?" YEAH! That needs to be a way of life for you..and everyone for that fact. We have to tell ourselves that we are deserving of the reward that hard work produces because if we do, it's true! Motivate yourself.
Okay, here's something that can be a challenge for us, luckily I've been attempting for you to consider doing this during the entire time you've been reading this post! Push! Hard work prayer and self-awareness are the keys to producing the "good things" I've been talking about this whole time. Put those blinders on and get it done! It's the foundational step to real fulfillment and success! You gotta work. Great things don't always fall in your lap. Sometimes God wants to see your commitment before he blesses your work.
One definition of grace is kindness. So when we always hear about people "giving grace" what they mean is to be kind and understanding of the present without attaching judgment or pressure. We have to be able to understand that as we combat self-sabotage our minds are already programmed to. We have trained ourselves to a better version of ourselves. When we are taking these huge steps it is imperative to be kind and not judge ourselves when we discover that we are practicing the habits of self-sabotage. They can be had to break.
Self-sabotage can be something that takes time to overcome, but I pray that this love letter to you assisted in the process of breaking that toxic habit! Until next time!!