Author: Jake Elston

What self-sabotage really is and how to overcome it.

See if this sounds familiar — Have you been stuck in a cycle of getting motivated to achieve something that would make you really proud of yourself, and then self-sabotage shows up to punch you in the gut, talk you down and ruin all your momentum?

If yes, take some comfort in knowing that it happens to all of us. Now, I’m about to give you a spoonful of bitter medicine that’s going to blow your mind and change your life… SELF-SABOTAGE DOESN’T EXIST.

Yes, you read that right.

I’ll get into what self-sabotage REALLY is in a moment, but first let’s talk about the top three problems with accepting “self-sabotage” as a real thing:

— One: It’s a cop out that keeps you in victim-mode. When you blame self-sabotage, it frees you from the responsibility for your behavior, choices, and life.  It’s like saying “I really want to stop getting in my own way, but I just can’t help myself.” 

— Two: It keeps you in a loop of guilt and shame.  Guilt and shame directly impact your self-esteem, self-confidence, and motivation.  What’s worse is it feeds into your belief that maybe you’re just not good enough or not capable.  

— Three: It keeps you from healing a part of yourself that might really need your energy and attention.

Which leads us directly into what self-sabotage REALLY is:  Put simply, it is a way of protecting yourself. Let’s dive deeper into this. 

The concept of self-sabotage, as is commonly understood, is that the moment you pick up some momentum in the direction of your goals and dreams, you ruin it by falling into habits and patterns that feel out of your control and derail all of your efforts. In the end, you find yourself back at square one.

This is a destructive perspective because it insinuates to your conscious mind that somehow YOU are out to get YOU, and that you can’t stop yourself. If you keep accepting this belief, it eventually becomes your truth. Let’s fix this. 

For this next part, think of something you’ve been wanting to accomplish but haven’t been able to yet:

1. Pinpoint the negative pattern:

At what part does “self-sabotage” usually kick in? How does it show up in your life? And what are the triggers? 

2. Identify the fear:

You now know that self-sabotage is actually a defense mechanism, a way of protecting yourself from something, to be more specific, a fear. Now it’s time to uncover what that fear is, so ask yourself the following questions:

— What am I afraid of and why?

— How would I feel if my fear came true? (This is crucial because what we are really afraid of is not of a circumstance or situation, but rather how we think we will feel as a result. Getting intimate with the feeling we are trying to avoid makes it less scary.)

— Can I handle the worst-case scenario? (hint: the answer is always a BIG YES because the truth is that there is nothing you can’t handle.) 

3. Refocus on your goal EVERY DAY:

Having a daily reminder of your goal and your why can help you overcome the fear is key. When you visualize and embody how you will feel once you achieve your goal, that feeling can be powerful enough to overcome moments of fear and doubt. Make it a point to recommit to your positive vision every day.  

4. Monitor and reframe your self-talk:

Telling yourself “I’m just going to give up again” is the fastest way to GIVE UP, AGAIN. Instead choose to believe in yourself, choose to believe that if you fall you can get back up, and choose to believe that this time will be different. Belief is always a choice, own it.

5. Be selective about who you let in your circle of trust: 

Spending time with people who play the victim, who don’t believe in themselves, and who don’t have goals of their own will negatively influence your own beliefs and attitudes about life and yourself. 

It’s okay to be selective, to spend time with people who see what’s possible for themselves and others, and who believe in your capacity to achieve ANY GOAL you set for yourself. People who travel together will travel further in life.

At The Happy Factory, you’ll find a group of trainers and members who believe in you and your potential; a family that will push you in and out of the gym to accomplish all the goals you set for yourself.

We don’t believe in self-sabotage, we believe in potential and the power of the tribe… come and let us show you what we know you are truly capable of, your first class is always on us.