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Self-Sabotage in Life and Recovery

Your well-being is made up of many different elements, and yet, it can be easily destroyed by self-sabotage. Self-sabotaging and jeopardizing your well-being can happen for many reasons. Perhaps you do not realize you are sabotaging yourself until the damage has been done. Although your life history has impacted your well-being, now is the time to reclaim your life and thrive. Stop getting in your own way and learn how to help yourself succeed. Self-sabotage is the reason why you may fail to achieve your life dreams and the recovery from substance abuse that you desire and desperately need.  

Self-sabotage is a conscious or unconscious method (or both) of approaching life that puts you at a disadvantage and prevents you from achieving your goals. You alone stand between your current life and the life you want, so take a step in the right direction and help yourself get what you want.  

3 Types of Self-Sabotage

Self-sabotage comes in many forms, but most are linked to how you feel about yourself and your abilities. You are a complex creature with complex mental processes, which is why some forms of self-sabotage do not even register as something you can control. All forms of self-sabotage can be controlled, but first must be identified. You cannot tackle an unnamed problem. Below are three forms of self-sabotage.

#1. Perfectionism

Perfectionism gets in the way of productivity by making you feel like you will never be good enough. You may choke yourself with fears of never being good enough and add more items to your to-do lists in an attempt to be the best you can be. Instead, this pressure wears you out and makes you less likely to achieve your goals because you see yourself as incapable of being “good enough.” You will always see yourself as not quite “good enough” when you look through the filter of perfectionism. 

The truth is that you are good enough just as you are. According to Malcolm Gladwell, journalist and author, It takes 10,000 hours to become a professional at anything;  you cannot expect perfection, or even proficiency, immediately. If you want to achieve a new goal, start small and recognize that your intrinsic value comes from you, not from your performance or achievements. 

Perfectionism gets in the way of achieving your dreams because you often freeze at the idea of being less than perfect when trying something new. A history of trauma or a mental health condition makes you afraid of failure, perhaps more so than other people. You may know that it is okay to mess up, but you desperately want a win; having a win will help make you feel like you add value to the world. So, when you are stuck in the throes of perfectionism, remember that you are more valuable than you know, and it is perfectly acceptable to be imperfect—in fact, it is healthy. 

#2. Disorganization

Being disorganized is a messy form of self-sabotage. Being disorganized leaves you ill-prepared to tackle those tasks that need to get done. You have goals and the desire to achieve them, but when you cannot find your keys or remember the last time you cleaned your house, you are sabotaging yourself with your lack of organization. Your mental health needs structure and organization not only because it is helpful to keep track of your belongings and get things done but also because being organized creates harmony and promotes peace in your personal space. 

Organizing your life helps you organize your mind. So, instead of self-sabotaging with a lack of self-discipline, take the necessary steps to keep your area clean and free of clutter. Doing so will help you achieve more and feel more at peace. Also, others will notice and start to take you more seriously.

#3. Negativity

Having struggled with past trauma, mental health diagnoses, or addiction to a substance or unhealthy behavior can make you feel down on yourself. You may not see yourself or your work as having value. You may think nothing good ever happens anyway. You are a self-identified pessimist. Negativity is a form of self-sabotage. It is self-sabotage not only for your mental health and recovery but also for the negative impact it has on your life goals. 

If you believe nothing good ever happens, you have just given yourself permission to stop trying to achieve anything. You have just given yourself permission to relapse. You have just given yourself permission to stop creating your best life. It is vital to stop these beliefs. You are capable of big things. Being negative belittles you, your accomplishments, and your dreams.

Overcoming Self-Sabotage

One of the best ways to overcome self-sabotage is to practice self-love. You may have ruined an opportunity through your conscious or unconscious acts of self-sabotage, but your life is not over. Do not let negative thinking get in the way of starting over. You have the right and the ability to achieve your goals. You may not have the ability at this very moment, but life moves forward in small steps. Take the time to determine what types of self-sabotage you are engaging in and make a list of ways you can improve. 

Remember, you did not become a person who self-sabotages overnight; it will take time to learn new habits and ways of looking at life. Developing positive mental health takes time, but the result can be a happy and fulfilling life.

Overcoming self-sabotage is not for the faint of heart. You must identify your self-defeating thought patterns and behaviors and ask why you are engaging in them. You may be surprised to learn that you are not alone in self-sabotage and that you can learn to adapt to new ways of thinking and behaving. At The Guest House, we know you have enormous potential, which is why we want to see you succeed. We provide you with various therapeutic options and a tranquil setting as you pursue healing from trauma, mental health diagnoses, and addiction to unhealthy substances and behaviors. You are not alone, and you have the potential to thrive. Contact us today at (855) 483-7800 and learn how we can help you identify your goals and stop sabotaging your efforts. True healing can be found at The Guest House.