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Why do We Sabotage Ourselves? Part I.

Sunshine & Smilesphoto © 2010 Nana B Agyei | more info (via: Wylio)Ahh, self sabotage. It happens when we sneak extra dessert or munchies when nobody is looking, we give up on a workout routine, or we make excuses for not finishing a work project on time. Guess what? every single person is guilty of self sabotage on some levels. Read that again: every single person. So, now that you know you are not alone on this, how do you focus on what you are doing to intentionally sabotage your goals and what to do to change?

First, a good thing to do is to step back and take a look at your routines. Ask yourself what must be true in your life in order to sabotage your goals. Now think about that. Instead of thinking of all the things that you have to do in order to meet your goals, pay attention to what you are doing that is sabotaging your goals. It is time to switch your thinking. Read on:

You Focus on the Wrong Things

It’s very common for people to focus on all the negatives that happen in life rather than on the positives.  For instance, you may beat yourself up for the fact that you splurged last night with your friends and had drinks and dessert, but you ignore the fact that you had 5 awesome days building up to that.

You may focus on the fact that the scale didn’t budge at all this week, and not focus on the fact that you lost 5 pounds over the last month.  You get caught up in focusing on what isn’t working well right now, rather than celebrating yourself for the overall earnest effort you’re making.

Maybe you are just frustrated and impatient because you are not getting the results you want overnight.  Or, perhaps you have started to view things so negatively that it has become second nature for you to do so.

Either way, when you continue to focus so specifically on the negatives, you are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you don’t talk yourself up and support yourself for the good you have done, who else will? You will set yourself up for failure. You will become frustrated and angry. In time those emotions will build and you will quit.

The solution?  First, you must take a long-term view. Weight loss, strength training, and any fitness goals take time.  Patience and persistence are key.  Everyone says that life is a journey, right? Well, guess what? Not every day on a journey is going to be sunshine and rainbows. There will be storms and cloudy days, too. That’s life.  

So, embrace the mindset that erases any notion of failure. Just give yourself time and do not set yourself up for failure! Really embody this long-term approach and have patience!  Assume the mindset that it doesn’t matter a bit if it takes 6 months to get to your goal or 6 years.  In the end, what’s the difference?  A longer, slower trajectory that actually gets you to your happy, ideal goal is a thousands times better than starting and stopping over and over again for years to come.

Second, even if it sounds cheesy, be proud of yourself for the “small wins”: a good workout, a healthy meal, drinking more water. This is critical because it’s really important to allow yourself to get into a genuine, positive state of mind.  Being proud of even a small accomplishment does this.  It can shift your mood from pessimism to optimism.

Many people are so used to ongoing frustration and disappointment in themselves that they don’t get into this positive frame of mind enough.  Getting into a positive, optimistic mental state is like opening the windows and letting warm, sun-filled air into your house after several days of damp, cold weather.  It warms you up, “cleanses” your mood and puts you on a better track.  Make the choice to focus on the positives and your mood will follow.

Sources: http://www.peertrainer.com; Joshua Wayne

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