In a previous article, I talked about what self-sabotage is and 4 steps to overcome it. You can read the article here.
Sometimes it’s difficult to know that we are sabotaging ourselves, as this process normally happens subconsciously.
Gaining awareness is the first and most important step, it’s only when we realise that we are sabotaging ourselves that we can do something about it!
But how do we know if we are sabotaging ourselves?
Here is a list of common expressions that might indicate some form of self-sabotage.
Note: If you find yourself using some or all of these expressions…don’t be harsh on yourself as you are not the only one and it is part of our growth and learning curve!
Praise yourself for having become aware of it and having the courage to do some self-introspection.
1.I don’t have a choice.
We are sovereign beings, we have free will and with every decision we make we CHOOSE one alternative or another.
If you are stuck in a job you hate and where they bully you, you might hear yourself saying ‘I don’t have a choice, I have to pay the bills’. But there are always alternatives and options to choose from.
It might be scary to leave a job, you might need to put some effort on the job search, it might be easier to just continue with a routine that is familiar… But ultimately, you are the one who is choosing to stay.
Telling ourselves that we don’t have a choice can be a common way to justify that we are doing something that it’s not good for us.
2.This person/situation makes me feel this way.
No one can make you feel one way or another.
This doesn’t mean that you have to become unaffected by what people do, surely you have the right to be upset, sad or angry. But you have the power to do something about it and change your attitude.
You have the power to change the dynamic in your relationships and set boundaries.
Saying that someone or a situation makes you feel a certain way is giving away your power. It implies that they have control over you.
This might be a hard pill to swallow but if you think about it... it’s truly empowering! When you realise that your emotional well-being, happiness and success depend entirely on you, you know that the power lies on you no matter what people around you do.
3.If only they changed, I would be happy.
We tend to blame other people or situations for our lack of happiness or success.
But if want to feel truly and deeply fulfiled, we need to understand that we are completely responsible for the reality we experience.
I’m sure you’ve heard people saying: 'If I only got a promotion…I would have all the money I need to live comfortably'. 'If I had a partner I would feel complete'. 'If I could go on holidays once a year.. that’s all I need to be happy!'
But then you get the promotion, the partner or the holidays and you feel happy for a few days. But after the initial excitement, you start longing for something else.
Blaming others is a form of self-sabotage as it is stopping us from taking responsibility what’s happening inside, which is always the key to happiness and growth!
4.That’s the way I am, there’s nothing I can do to change.
Everyone can change. I know that facing one’s shadows is hard and it can be scary and overwhelming.
But it is the only way to heal, let go of the old stories and limiting beliefs and make space for new experiences. It’s the only way to learn and grow. And that’s what we came here to do!
If you know it’s time to change something inside but you are not sure of how to do it on your own, find a therapist or coach that can guide you in this beautiful process.
5.Everyone does it so it can’t be that bad.
Most people have a terrible diet full of sugar and processed food, but doesn’t make it any better!
We tend to console ourselves by saying things like: “A lot of people drink coke and eat cakes, so it can’t be that bad”. “I always end up stuck in toxic relationships, but most people do, so I guess that’s just how things are”.
The fact that something is common doesn’t mean that it is good by any means.
Very often what is in our highest interest might go against the fashion or what is common…
Pay attention to these expressions and don't judge yourself of others if you start hearing them! To learn more about how to overcome self-sabotage check out this article.