What does it mean to be your own worst enemy? Does it mean to be self-defeating as well as self destructive? Does it keep you from moving forward in your life? What can you do about it? Let’s learn how to not be your own worst enemy.
What It Means To Be Your Own Worst Enemy?
Being your own worst enemy is referred to as self-sabotage.
Self-sabotage or self harm refers to behaviors as well as thought patterns that hold you back. It prevents you from doing what you truly want.
Behaviors are self-sabotaging when they create problems in your daily life. Also they can interfere with your long standing goals.
There are many reasons why you can stand in your own way and self harm. Let’s explore some reasons!
What Causes You To Sabotage Yourself?
One of the key reasons why you self-sabotage is lack of self-esteem. As a result you may have thoughts and feelings that cause gloom-ridden self talk. This is fuel that feeds your fears, which may cause your self-sabotaging behaviors.
Another reason you may self-sabotage is to make you feel in control of a situation. For example if you’re working at a job you hate and it’s boring, you make try to find a way out. As a result you may self-sabotage, so you can be let go or decline any opportunity for advancement.
Self-Sabotage As A Symptom Of A Bigger Problem
Sometimes self-sabotage is the symptom of a bigger problem. For example it can be part of a repetitive cycle that’s the result of a toxic impulse brought on by anxiety as well as depression.
Studies show that PTSD as well as impulsive personality traits may put you at risk for self-sabotage. For example a childhood full of trauma as well as abuse can lead to anxiety that triggers it. Also, it happens to veterans who have been exposed to trauma.
Self-sabotage can be a symptom of a mental illness such as bipolar disorder. For example during a mood episode you may act recklessly. Also shifts in mood may lead to relationships problems, when this happens it causes self harm as well as social isolation.
Here’s a related post, “Understanding Self-Destructive Behavior”.
Types Of Self Harm
There are many types of self-sabotage that can hold you back.
Common Types Include:
When you’re a perfectionist, you want to complete a task flawlessly. It can be a good trait but it can also be a flaw.
Perfectionists sometimes have problems with negative self-talk, avoidance as well as anxiety. As a result they feel stuck or back to square one.
In a previous post, “What To Do To Get Unstuck In Life”, we learned that feeling stuck leads to problems with overall wellbeing and causes self harm.
Putting Things Off:
When you put things off or procrastinate, you’re avoiding a task that needs to get done. For example you have a week to complete a task, but you keep putting it off until the due date. As a result, you’re rushing to complete the task the night before it’s due.
This leads to a lot of extra anxiety and stress. Also, it can make an existing mental disorder such as bipolar disorder worse. For example putting off a task until last minute may trigger panic attacks or even mood episodes.
It can be a harmless habit for most people, but putting things off or procrastination may be a sign of a bigger problem for others. For example it might be a sign of depression as well as a sense of inadequacy. Also it’s a sign of low self-esteem as well as issues with a lack of confidence.
Finally, putting things off might be a sign that you have a fear of failure, which may lead to more self harm.
Here’s a related post, “Procrastination: Part 1 – Self-Sabotage in Disguise”.
Having An Anxious Attachment Style:
Self-sabotage in a healthy relationship can be the result of an anxious attachment style.
An anxious attachment style develops during childhood. As a result it can cause you to feel insecure in relationships as an adult. It can lead to negative thinking that can lead to mistrust as well as jealousy that leads to self harm.
Sometimes an anxious attachment style may be the result of a mental disorder. In a previous post, “How Bipolar Disorder Can Affect Your Relationships?”, we learned that bipolar disorder can cause self-sabotage in relationships.
Work And Finances:
Self defeating behaviors can affect you even at work. They’re driven by negative self-talk where you tell yourself that you’re no good and also that you don’t deserve better.
Sometimes you might be facing social anxiety and as a result you might have a fear of being judged. At work you might be afraid to ask big questions and also you might be second guessing yourself.
Chances are you might be giving into imposter syndrome. As a result you feel that you’re not good enough to move forward at work.
Learn How To Not Be Your Own Worst Enemy!?
Learning how to not be your worst enemy is more simple than you think. Here are some tips for overcoming self-sabotage below.
Tips For Fighting Self-Sabotaging:
Identify What Causes Your Self-Sabotaging Behaviors:
In order to learn to not be your own worst enemy, it helps to identify what causes self harm.
It may seem that self-sabotage or self destructive behaviors come out of nowhere. In reality they’re tied into how you see or perceive yourself and the situation you’re in. For example, you might be either facing adversity in the present moment or in the past.
If mental health adversity is affecting you or it affected you in the past, it can affect how you see yourself now. If you have or had problems with bipolar disorder you may feel insecure or you may be afraid of having a mood episode. As a result you may feel anxious around other people and self-sabotage relationships.
If you identify that as a cause of self-sabotaging behavior, it helps to acknowledge it and let it go. Then you’ll find that you’re less anxious.
Here’s a related post, “How to Stop Sabotaging Yourself”.
Learn New Habits:
In a previous post, “Habits That Lead To Success”, we learned that our habits can either help us or hold us back and cause self harm. For example, putting things off until last minute is a self-sabotaging habit.
It’s possible to change bad self defeating habits and replace them with good ones.
When you change your habit of putting tasks off and replace it with better time-management, you’ll notice a change. The old habit of putting a task off may have triggered anxiety, but when the habit is changed you may notice that you’re calmer.
Make Small Meaningful Changes:
It’s vital to tackle and change bad behaviors if you want to move forward.
Remember, that you can’t change all self defeating behaviors at once in the beginning. If you try to change too much at once, you might give up too soon and start the self-sabotage cycle all over again.
Learning how to break this cycle is key to no longer being your worst enemy.
Don’t Compare Yourself To Others:
Comparing yourself to others is already a recipe for unhappiness. It breeds feelings of envy, low self-esteem as well as depression.
It becomes self destructive when you start derailing yourself as well as those around you.
In order to overcome this toxic self defeating behavior, it helps to learn how to embrace what makes you awesome. Also, it helps to complement others when they’re doing good, instead of acting jealous and comparing yourself. You’ll learn that you’re no longer your own worst jealous enemy.
Set Long-Term Realistic Goals:
Another form of self destructive behavior is not setting realistic goals. It leads to increased anxiety as well as a hard time coping with symptoms if you have bipolar disorder.
Also, setting unrealistic goals that don’t work out can affect you emotionally. When this happens your self-esteem is not affected in a good way. As a result self destructive behaviors are triggered by mania, which leads to further self-sabotage or self harm.
It’s important to set long-term goals that are realistic. It not only gives you focus as well as motivation, it also gives you control over your future.
How Do You Handle Self-Defeating Behavior?
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