I’ve been binge-watching action movies this weekend. The dumber and more action the better. Meanwhile, a report due for studies needs to be looked at. And this thought sits idly in my mind. When I started the report and even program I went in guns blazing (sorry, the action movies are rubbing off). And as the deadline drew closer, the momentum slowed. Every excuse possible has been used…clearly.
I recently listened to a podcast by Melissa Monte, the founder of Mind Love, called “Stop Self Sabotage” (link further below), and on reflection, I started understanding how self sabotage has played a bigger role in my life than I may have believed. My self-sabotage sometimes comes in the form of procrastination. And it’s potentially driven by a fear of needing to keep up with the pressure. Huh?
Explained this way in the interview with Dr Judy Ho, when we use procrastination as a tool of self-sabotage and we start getting closer to our goals, we start thinking about the negative things that could happen if we reach this achievement. For example, if we start losing weight and it takes us months of conscious healthy eating and change in behaviour and routine, the closer we get to our goal weight, the more we start worrying about the pressure to maintain the weight or how much harder will it continue to be in the future so we sabotage ourselves. Another example may be our relationships or the way we deal with money.
Dr Judy Ho discusses the patterns of behaviour that are so deeply rooted that we may not even be aware of them, the biology behind it as well as how we focus more on goals than values and yet understanding and knowing our values and doing value based work on ourselves helps us because they are lifelong ever changing commitments.
During this podcast, two questions are answered: 1. Why do we do it and 2. How do we stop? Simple, short techniques are explained and the biology around it clarified. My biggestt take out was acknowledging that there are two major things that drive all humans and they are attaining rewards and avoiding threats at a biology level. Self-sabotage occurs when we prioritize avoiding threats over attaining rewards and nowadays a threat isn’t the same as what it was for our ancestors who may have needed to fight off dinosaurs. A threat nowadays is the possible fear of rejection or failure.
Self-sabotage is in all of us and is therefore seen as universal. We may have internalised beliefs that we unconsciously use or we may have low self esteem. Whatever tool we use, it’s something that we may do in our relationships, careers, personal lives or just in life in general.
Wouldn’t you be interested in understanding why and how you may be sabotaging yourself, and then possibly learning how to stop?