How to Overcome Self-Sabotage with Self-Love: Strategies for Breaking Negative Patterns and Building Positive Habits
The term self-sabotage is often thrown about very lightly, yet it is a deeply complex issue that we all face, some occasionally and some constantly. I was one of the constant ones. That little voice in my head would make itself heard day after day after day – it was relentless. It NEVER shut up! It was only when I finally collapsed from extreme stress and exhaustion that I began to recognise it for what it was; it was only when I took responsibility for my life and learnt to love myself that things began to change. The good news is that we can change things, and as always, the key lies in self-love. So, let’s have a look at how we can overcome self-sabotage with self-love, self-care and self-awareness.
What exactly is Self-sabotage?
It’s those unconscious, destructive thoughts and behaviours that undermine all our efforts, hold us back, and stop us from making changes in our lives, reaching our goals, and realizing our full potential. It’s that nagging feeling of self-doubt, that little voice in our heads that constantly tells us that “You’re not good enough”, “It’s no use, you can’t get anything right”, “What’s the use, you’re hopeless!”, or “You don’t deserve success or happiness.”
First and foremost, it’s about being aware of our negative thoughts and behaviours. Then learning to interrupt these patterns, building new and positive habits, and ultimately, creating a stronger and healthier relationship with ourselves.
Let’s have a look at 9 practical strategies that can help us to overcome our negative thought patterns and build more positive habits in our lives.
1. Recognize the signs of self-sabotage
Self-awareness is key if we want to overcome self-sabotage; we can’t change what we are not aware of. We need to learn to recognize when is actually going on within us. Self-sabotage can manifest in a variety of ways, for example: procrastinating, wanting everything to be perfect, self-criticism, and avoiding challenges or new opportunities. Being aware of our behaviour is crucial for interrupting the cycles and being able to take the necessary steps to making positive changes.
2. Practice Mindfulness and Self-compassion
Mindfulness involves paying attention to our thoughts and feelings without judgment. It can help us to identify self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviour as they occur. Then, instead of criticising ourselves, or beating ourselves up, we need to practice self-compassion – speaking to ourselves with love and kindness, just as we would to a dear friend in a similar situation. We need to understand that everyone makes mistakes – yes, EVERYONE – and it’s more than okay to be imperfect. In fact, we are all imperfectly perfect!
3. Reframe and Question Negative Self-Talk
Negative self-talk is a really common form of self-sabotage. It is any thought that keeps us down and holds us back from believing in ourselves. It’s that constant, repetitive dialogue in our heads that stops us from reaching our full potential.
Instead of saying, “I can’t do this,” try saying, “Yes, this is challenging, but I’m capable of overcoming challenges.” When you hear that voice in your head saying, “I’m no good at anything”, question it – “Really? Nothing? Is that really true?”. Then sit down and think of all the things you ARE good at – yes, all the small things and all the big ones, because there will be lots!
Reframing and questioning our negative self-talk, not only helps us to build up our self-esteem, but it also helps us to cultivate our resilience in the face of adversity.
Positive affirmations are also a very effective tool for overcoming self-sabotage. These are positive statements that we repeat to ourselves daily, that help us to reprogram our subconscious mind and remove all those negative beliefs swirling around in our heads.
4. Prioritize your time
We often engage in self-sabotage because we are feeling overwhelmed and stressed with everything that is going on in our lives. By prioritizing our time, not sweating the small stuff, and only focusing on what is really important to us, we can reduce those feelings of overwhelm and actually increase our productivity.
5. Set Realistic goals and expectations
Sometimes, self-sabotage happens because we set unrealistic goals and expectations for ourselves. Yes, it’s important to have big goals, but we need to break these goals down into smaller achievable step-goals. As we achieve each of these smaller goals, we build up our self-confidence, we build momentum, we become more enthusiastic, thus making it less likely that we engage in self-sabotaging behaviour.
6. Practice Gratitude
Having a daily gratitude practice can significantly shift our mindset and reduce all those self-sabotaging thoughts. By learning to focus on what is good in our lives, no matter how small we believe it is, we begin to train our brains to recognize the positive things too and not just focus on the negative. Realising all the good we actually do have; we counterbalance our negativity and self-doubt.
7. Invest in Self-care
Self-care isn’t just about pampering ourselves. It’s about taking care of our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. This can include eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, ensuring we get enough sleep, and taking precious time each day to relax and unwind. By taking care of ourselves, we feel better overall, and we reinforce the belief that we are worthy.
8. Seek Support When needed
There are times in our life when we may need more support and more guidance from others to help us overcome our self-sabotaging behaviour. This could be a trusted friend or a family member, a professional therapist, counsellor, coach, or mentor. Help is everywhere and we must never be afraid to ask for it when we need it. Remember, everyone needs help at times in their lives, it’s nothing to be ashamed of or be uncomfortable with. You are worthy.
9. Celebrate Your Accomplishments
Finally, we need to celebrate all of our accomplishments, no matter how small they are. Each time we achieve a goal, we need to take a moment and acknowledge our achievements. This not only boosts our self-esteem, but also reinforces the idea that we are capable and deserving of success.
Overcoming self-sabotage isn’t easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a journey of self-awareness, self-knowledge, and self-transformation. But through self-love and self-care, being aware of our negative thought patterns and learning how to break them, and build positive daily habits, we can create a healthier and loving relationship with ourselves and begin to unlock our full potential.
You might also like to read another blog post on that voice in your head – “What if…” https://fragranceofbeing.com/what-if/
Know that you are so deserving of all the love, happiness,
and success that life has to offer.
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Fiona Elizabeth is a Teacher of Beingness and Self-love leader. She has a Master in Metaphysical Science and is a certified Metaphysical Practitioner, Ordained Minister, Spiritual Counsellor, Shadow Worker, and Journal Therapist.
“My mission is to hold a safe, nurturing space for you to grow and live a life that is grounded in self-love, self-knowledge, self-transformation, and spiritual alignment. Teaching and sharing self-love and spiritual practices that nourish your needs, mind, and heart, and support you in aligning with your highest self and purpose. “