Tuesday, October 19, 2021
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What Is Self-Sabotage: How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over?

Self-sabotage is a behavioral pattern where one actively or passively delays reaching their goals. It is a pattern where one incessantly fails to commit to a task. If you ever found yourself constantly stalling at reaching your personal or professional goals, it’s more likely you hold self-sabotaging habits. But the good news is, some tools and strategies can help you identify signs of self-sabotaging thoughts. These strategies can also stop you from screwing yourself every time. Have you heard of Mel Robbins’ 5-second rule?

She said, “In five seconds flat, self-doubt can take over and rob you of your power, and rob you of joy, and rob you of potential.” Hence, it’s more than necessary to be aware of your toxic thoughts within those five seconds and consciously act upon them not to affect your life.

What Is Self-Sabotage?

signs of self-sabotaging behavior-alignthoughts

Before we discuss how to stop screwing ourselves, here’s a brief definition of self-sabotage and the behaviors attached to it.

Definition of Self-Sabotage

In psychology, self-sabotage refers to the behavior pattern that obstructs you from reaching your goals or meeting your personal needs. This behavior can affect different areas of life: career, health, finances, or relationships.

And the worst aspect of self-sabotaging behavior is that people aren’t aware that they exhibit sabotaging behaviors, stopping their screwing themselves over from getting fixed.

Prevalent signs of self-sabotaging behavior are:

  1. Procrastination
  2. Alcohol and drug consumption
  3. Lack of Self-love
  4. Binge eating
  5. Poor lifestyle habits
  6. Self-criticism
  7. Overindulgence
  8. Less focused

Why Do People Self-Sabotage Themselves And Can’t Stop Screwing Themselves?

Why Do People Self-Sabotage Themselves

According to studies, people engage in self-sabotaging habits to shield their ego from a potential threat. They do this by framing real or imaginary events in mind that prevent them back from carrying out a task successfully.

However, these are some common reasons why people keep screwing up themselves.

1. Fear Of Failure

Fear of failure is the root cause of self-sabotaging behaviors. Often, fear of failure is associated with feelings of shame, and people who fear failing avoid going after their goals because of this reason precisely.

Research also claimed that 1 in 3 Americans have a fear of failing. This is a shocking statistic as this can perpetually undermine their skills and abilities, essential for personal growth.

Usually, it’s the fear of stepping into the unknown where your mind perceives the external stimuli (i.e., the outside environment) as a possible danger. All this does is keep one feeling stuck and discontent in their life.

2. Breaking Through The Pattern Is Challenging

Our environment has a significant influence on our behavioral patterns. The human body equips itself according to the environment we expose our mind and body.

This is why breaking bad habits is challenging for many. Apparently, adjusting to a new routine is a contributing factor to ingrain fear in the human brain.

Studies have proven that exposure to bright light (natural and artificial) significantly improves mental distress like depression, agitation, and sleep.

Hence, the lack of a positive environment can cause one to develop self-sabotaging habits.

3. Perfectionism

Perfectionism is a trait where one tries to be perfect at everything or believes every task needs to be top-notch. However, attaining perfection is a myth and can lead a person to be highly critical of themselves.

Even several studies have shown a correlation between perfectionism and anxiety. Therefore, some expected behavior attached to this phenomenon are:

  • Inability to perform a task due to fear of being perfect.
  • They are delaying important tasks regularly.
  • Being obsessed over a task until the end outcome is perfect according to the set standards.

10 Ways To Stop Screwing Yourself Over

how to stop screwing yourself over-tips-alignthoughts

The solution to stop screwing yourself is simple, but maybe not easy.

So if you were looking for a quick fix to your problem, you could let that one go because automatic fixes to life’s problems are impossible.

However, if you play the cards right and follow these 10 ways to stop screwing yourself over, you’ll soon achieve everything you set your mind on.

Keep on reading!

1. Ditch Habits That Drain Energy

Habits shape our lives. Good habits can make one’s life blissful, while bad habits drain one’s energy to live life to its fullest.

Ditching bad habits and cultivating good ones can have miraculous effects on your mental and physical well-being.

For instance, following healthy lifestyle habits can improve mood, weight management, fighting disease, etc.

Therefore, if you want to stop screwing yourself over, start with small healthy habits in your daily routine.

2. Stop Procrastination To Not Screw Your Life

Procrastination is by far one of the most prominent signs of self-sabotaging behavior one may succumb to.

Data collected by the Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences demonstrates that most university students lack the commitment to their college tasks.

Therefore, it is crucial to learn the art of getting things done without procrastinating.

If not eliminating procrastination, here’s how to minimize procrastination habit:

  • Having a to-do list.
  • Setting realistic and achievable goals.
  • And prioritizing each task.

3. Set S.M.A.R.T Goals And Achieve Them

Lastly, to break through self-sabotaging behavior, always set goals that are SMART.

SMART goal setting helps you come out of the mental space of delaying tasks and instead do those tasks by planning out realistic and achievable goals.

Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Lifestyle Medicine indicates that goal setting promotes healthy behavioral changes in individuals.

4. Pay Attention To Your Relationships

Relationships play an essential role in shaping one’s personality. A happy relationship instills growth, confidence, self-esteem and promotes better health as well.

Moreover, a Harvard study revealed that relationships have a great significance on mental well-being. This research study found that a close relationship has more positive impact than money or fame.

So, be mindful of all of the influences in your life and how they are influencing you. If they don’t promote productivity and bring constant negative vibes, it’s time to cut ties from such relationships.

5. Set Clear Boundaries

Another reason for showing signs of self-sabotaging behavior is lacking personal boundaries. Personal boundaries are important because it’s a sign of showing respect towards yourself.

Many people lack self-respect and neglect their own emotions and feelings to please others. The inability to say no to others may expose one to mental turmoil. This behavior could further manifest into:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Poor relationships
  • Identity crisis

Therefore, it is essential to set clear boundaries with others to ensure you’re nurturing your own needs and thriving in life.

6. Be Aware Of Your Thoughts

Many of us engage in self-sabotaging behavior unconsciously, which later turns into a pattern. We may not even realize that we continuously doubt our abilities by sabotaging ourselves, which further halts our life growth.

In fact, overthinking is the most common behavior of self-sabotaging.

Research has also shown that people who indulge in overthinking tend to believe they are doing themselves a favor by repeatedly wheeling through their thoughts.

How to identify your negative thoughts to stop screwing yourself over?

Shanon Kolakowski, PsyD, suggests using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to recognize your thoughts with openness and curiosity.

Through this technique, the individual learns to stop avoiding their negative feelings and emotions and accept making the necessary changes they may feel like.

7. Write Down Your Thoughts

There’s scientific evidence that shows writing about stressful events relives mental turmoil and psychological distress. In addition, expressing your thoughts in a writing format decreases the level of intrusive thoughts related to traumatic events and builds memory power.

Therefore, whenever you encounter negative thoughts, emotions, and feelings, write them down on a physical notepad. If you don’t have access to a diary, consider noting them down on your phone.

8. Practice Self-Care

If you want to stop screwing yourself over, self-care practice should be a non-negotiable.

One of the prominent signs of self-sabotaging behavior is failing at fulfilling one’s personal needs. This is concerning because failing to take care of yourself may decline mental and physical health in the long run.

Additionally, studies specify that low depressive symptoms have a visible link with poor self-care practice. Hence, it is imperative to take care of your personal needs and practice a self-care routine daily.

9. Make The Best Use Of What You Have

Circumstances will never be perfect, and the planets will not all suddenly align in favor of your dreams. Life will never only be sunshine and rainbows. You will not always feel like moving forward, and sometimes bad things are going to happen.

10. Start Respecting Yourself

Self-respect is the key to making better choices in life.

When you start respecting yourself, your life changes for the best. You don’t let people treat you like garbage; you take control of your life and make progress. All these are essentials if you want to stop screwing yourself over and over again.

Chronic procrastination massively causes:

  • physical and mental discomfort,
  • chronic stress,
  • hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases.

If you genuinely want to follow your goals, make them come true with whatever resources you have at your disposal.

Concluding Thoughts,

It’s hard to detect the signs of self-sabotaging behavior without awareness. However, with proper tools and strategies, one can learn how to identify negative thought patterns and not identify themselves with them.

Take charge of your life and grab hold of your destiny. Don’t let people, circumstances, or yourself screw up. Do you find yourself screwing yourself over?

Are you ready to start taking some of these steps, applying them to your life, and stopping screwing yourself over? Comment below!

Key Takeaways On How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over

  • Self-sabotage is a type of behavioral pattern where one consciously or unconsciously holds themselves back from attaining goals.
  • According to Mel Robbin’s Ted talk, it only takes five seconds for your self-doubt to take over, resulting in sabotaging behavior.
  • Moreover, procrastination, alcohol consumption, self-harm, emotional eating- all are common signs of self-sabotaging behavior.
  • Also, studies have shown that people engage in self-sabotaging behavior to shield their ego from a potential threat by framing real or imaginary events in mind.
  • Likewise, fear of failure, lack of proper environment, and perfectionism are significant reasons for projecting self-sabotaging behavior signs.
  • However, some proven strategies could help one to stop self-sabotaging themselves.
  • For instance, being aware of your thought using the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy method helps one act on one negative thought pattern.
  • On the other hand, scientific evidence proves that expressive writing can ease mental turmoil from past traumatic events.
  • Similarly, setting clear boundaries, good relationships, and self-care practices positively impact one’s mental well-being.
  • Also, managing your procrastination habit is an essential step if you want to stop screwing yourself over and over again.
  • Lastly, ditching bad habits that drain energy and setting achievable goals will improve your mood, energy, and confidence throughout the day.

How to stop screwing yourself?

  • Identify your negative thoughts.
  • As Mel Robbins told in her Ted Talk “How to stop screwing yourself over,” use the five-second rule.
  • Practice self-care.
  • Set clear boundaries with people around you.
  • Nurture your mind, body, and soul by providing the right environment.
  • Cut off from toxic relationships.

What is the five-second rule by Mel Robin’s Ted talk?

As per the Mel Robbins TedTalk speech, she asks everyone to be responsible to parent themselves. It only takes five seconds to use your emergency activation energy. The same energy that forces you to do great things even if you don’t like it.

Where can I find the Ted talk on how to stop screwing yourself?

Here’s Mel Robbin’s Ted talk on how to stop screwing yourself.

How can I stop self-sabotaging myself?

  • Identify the signs of self-sabotaging behavior.
  • Strive to make remarkable small changes in your routine.
  • Practice compassion towards your own self.
  • Set only realistic and attainable goals.
  • Do regular journal.
  • Embrace gratitude practice.

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Rikki Parker
Rikki is a blogger and writer who is all about self-empowerment, positivity, and growth. She loves writing and inspiring people. She also writes on her personal blog and runs a YouTube channel. Helping other people drives her, and Rikki loves doing it full-time!

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