Self-Sabotaging Behavior — Williams

When I met Stephanie she was frustrated and disappointed. She had doubt that she would be able to earn a desirable income or maintain a long term relationship, romantic or otherwise.  Stephanie claimed that her life was “nearly perfect,” which is why she was confused as to why she wasn’t “winning” in her career or in her romantic relationships.

Stephanie’s situation may sound familiar to you, as these things happen to most everyone at some level, that’s simply life.

Unfortunately, we as humans have a certain self-image that we like to uphold. We create models, or paradigms, in our heads in order to dictate how much good – whether it’s joy, money, love, health, or peace – is allowed to be in our lives.

This self-image that we construct is similar to a thermostat. When we do something spontaneous or experience something that is a little more than what our nervous system is accustomed to, we often self-sabotage in order to dial it back down to the “temperature set-point.”

But, just like a thermostat, our self-image can be changed.

It may sound crazy, but self-sabotaging behavior is a defense mechanism that keeps us in a place we are familiar with. This place is also known as our comfort zone; we know how to operate here. Forms of self-sabotaging behaviors include procrastination, self-medicating with drugs or alcohol, and comfort eating.

The solution?

1. Define Your Goals
In order to reset your inner “thermostat,” you need to have a realistic, concrete idea of what it is that you want in life. Viewing yourself in this new light will allow you to create a new routine.

2. Know Your Worth
This is key. Many people believe that they are undeserving of the good things that come to them in life. Knowing your worth, and understanding that you too deserve the good things that life has to offer will immediately help you on your journey to an ambitious, goal-oriented life.

3. Be Aware of the Signs
Finally, you must learn to become aware of self-sabotaging behavior. Recognizing the signs early on and learning what triggers the behavior will help you in the long run. As you begin to recognize your specific patterns, you will gradually learn to positively shift your behavior.

Because we have ingrained a specific image of ourselves within our minds, it’s sometimes difficult to decipher the negative from the positive. Therefore, self-sabotaging behavior is often the way our brains ensure that our self-image remains intact.

Thankfully, there is a proven, predictable process to raising our “thermostat set-point” so that we can accept the good vibes in life. This process is also known as loving who we are inside and out. It requires repeating new, positive habits and accepting new beliefs, ultimately resulting in new thought patterns, different self-talk, and new images of who we truly are.

Tracy Williams is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.

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