Self-Sabotaging and Self-Defeating Behaviors: 8 Tips To Stopping

Are you engaged in self-defeating and self-sabotaging behavior? Do you tend to end up with a mess when things started out so well? Read on to find some solutions

Are you engaged in self-defeating and self-sabotaging behavior? Do you tend to end up with a mess when things started out so well? I am a big believer in the idea that every action we take is done for reason.

businessmanballchainmi resize 600x3381. What is your payoff?

What is it that you really get from self-defeating behaviors and self sabotaging attitudes? Is it negative attention? A reason to go back to being miserable and avoiding change? Ask yourself What is REALLY going on here?

2. Avoid situations that trigger extreme emotional reactions.

Most people relapse back into old destructive patterns because of their inability to handle emotional stress. Extreme emotional reactions can provoke a drug or alcohol relapse. If you can't avoid this situation, at least try to get a realistic perspective on it. Ask yourself How important is it really?

3. Take a look at your past.

Just don't get stuck there. Try to identify where your belief system came from. Once you have identified where those defeating attitudes came from, let go of them. It is not a bad thing to look at the past, but not to use it as a predictor of your present or future behavior.

4. Question your desire to stay in the role of a victim.

Again, in recognizing the past, we're not denying that bad things have happened to you. Try reclaiming your personal power by reframing your experiences as a source of strength. Not everyone has gone through what you have and survived. The process of personal growth is about regaining self empowerment.

5. Stop blaming people.

Being the victim and blaming others, results in one particular sneaky, self destructive attitude. That is the attitude of not needing to change. Self improvement is all about change, but, if everything is always somebody else's fault, why do I need to change? In the victim role, it is poor me, look what they have done to me, I couldn't stop it from happening. Therefore, I will be a perpetual victim and take no action.

6. First thought wrong.

Man, do I hate this one. People who have a habit of self sabotaging have got to come to accept that they are never upset for the reasons that first come to mind. First thought wrong. Let's examine the underlying issue. Ask the question of yourself, 'What's really going on here?' Sometimes we will take those negative thoughts and try to make them come true by doing something really destructive. We create a self-fulfilling prophesy.

7. We need to change the thoughts we have about ourselves.

Stop the negative self talk. Start thoroughly and rigorously questioning where your beliefs and perceptions are coming from. Don't judge yourself as you're doing this, become willing to let go of those negative thoughts. Put an end to asserting that it is OK to be wrong.

8. Are you done suffering yet?

Just as this question is a key motivator to move into personal change and regain your self esteem, this question is a prime motivator to start changing our self-defeating attitudes and actions. Nothing changes if nothing changes. How much longer are you willing to keep stepping on your own feet, tripping and falling down? Perhaps it is finally time to stop the suffering and pain.

Bill Urell

Bill Urell is an addictions therapist at a leading residential treatment center. He teaches healthy life styles and life skills as a component of holistic addictions treatment. His websites cover areas of professional and personal interests.

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