Gugu Mofokeng

Helping ordinary people create extraordinary lives since 2011

3 Ways to Break Free From Self-Sabotage

Success Mindset

May 22, 2017

As uncomfortable as it is to admit, you’ve realized that you have self-sabotaging tendencies and you want to break the cycle! Where do you begin? What do you have to do? There is a simple yet very effective process that you can follow to help you eliminate self-sabotage from any area of your life. The process consists of four steps that will help you to take conscious control of the behaviours that are currently directing your decisions and actions.

1. Identify Your Self-Sabotage Behaviour Pattern

  • The first thing you need to do is to identify the specific behaviour that is preventing you from moving forward. To do this, you must become consciously aware of your daily decisions, actions and the resulting consequences.
  • Once identified, it’s important to pinpoint specific triggers that may be causing this behaviour to come through to the surface. These triggers could be anything. It could be situations, people, objects, specific times, events, locations, etc.
  • The next thing you should do is to ask yourself whether there is anything you can do to permanently deal with your triggers or at least avoid them. By removing these triggers, you will be better placed to take conscious control of your thoughts, feelings and actions.
  • Another major factor that you need to take into consideration, what are the limiting beliefs you have associated with each particular self-sabotage pattern. The key is to identify these limiting beliefs, then work on transforming them into positive empowering beliefs that work for you rather than against you. One of the simplest ways to do this is the question the validity of your belief. Ask yourself:
    • What is it that I believe in about situation?
    • What is it that I believe about myself and my own abilities?
    • How did my belief about this trigger this self-sabotage pattern?
    • How is this belief ridiculous and impractical?
    • What would others say about this belief?
    • What is another more helpful perspective I could take of this situation?

These questions are a good starting point and will get you focused in the right direction.

2. Identify A Healthy Replacement Behaviour

In order to eliminate an old pattern of behaviour, you must replace it with a new one that’s more practical and helpful. This is important because often we simply can’t avoid certain triggers such as people, objects or circumstances that cause us to react in self-destructive ways. As such, we must take time to identify new, different and appropriate ways of responding that will help us to achieve our goals and objectives. Ask yourself:

  • How could I respond in a more appropriate and proactive manner that would help me get what I want?
  • How is this a better way to respond?
  • What are some reasons for making this change?
  • What could be the long-term benefits of transforming how I respond in this situation?
  • What are the key advantages of this new behaviour?

3. Practice New Behaviour Until A Habit Is Formed

  • Once you have identified your desired behaviour, you must now take time to practice it as often as possible over the next 21 days, at least, until it becomes a habit.
  • Begin by rehearsing your response. Run your response to the situation in your imagination, seeing every detail, and feeling the positive vibe going through your body as you do this.
  • After you’ve adequately rehearsed your new behaviour, you are now ready to put yourself in situations that would naturally trigger your old behaviour patterns. The difference this time would be that you are now programmed with a new response mechanism that you will continue to practice over and over until a new habit is finally formed.

There you go! That’s what it takes to consciously break your self-sabotage behaviour patterns. Having said this, however, it’s much more easier and effective to deal with your self-sabotage behaviour from the subconscious level, where all permanent and meaningful change happens fast.

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