Submitted Date 10/21/2019

Hi, my name is Self-Sabotage and I will be your best friend for a few minutes or hours or days or more. Do you need to job-search and fill out endless applications? I'll lead you in the right direction to opening that new tab to scroll through endless online shopping websites and products you don't need. You'll probably spend hours filling your cart only to exit out after seeing that five-dollar shipping cost, or you'll add enough to get that free shipping-a smart and wonderfully productive thing to do. Are you a few days on your new diet and feeling alright? Well why not go to the grocery store and buy all these cupcakes and chocolate bars and tell yourself they don't count. Are you in a stable relationship with someone who cares deeply for you, makes you feel safe, and is always there for you? Cool! Ruin the relationship! In fact, go ahead and start some drama in all your relationships! Is there not a small truth embedded in your mind that you don't deserve all these people anyway, and should be alone?

Now that you've shaken hands with Self-Sabotage, and probably have many times before, before jumping into the arms of something that seems maybe familiar or warm and welcoming, realize that…well, it is not! Surprise surprise.

Do you feel undeserving of happiness or success? Tada, that's usually why some people end up in this rut, welcoming back Self-Sabotage into their life and mind with open arms, and ending perfectly good and stable relationships, or at least rocking them up a bit, starting some drama, compromising something within them. Ironically, we want companionship, and people want to be with others (why else would you stay with your significant other if you have one), there's no denying it feels good to have a few friends around in your life, right? But, there's this feeling of inadequacy that seldom comes along. It's like it already was rooted in many brains and gets weeded out constantly, but it'll come back again somehow, sometimes. Sometimes, believe it or not, when good things come along like a promotion at a job, a job interview, a new relationship, etc., some people make the situation worse and ruin it. Have a job interview coming up? Call and say you were offered another opportunity even if you weren't, and job search for something else, something lower, something you feel you are good enough for, same with relationships, it's a thing, it's the sad reality of knocking yourself down, believe you do not deserve the things and gifts that come into your life, and pushing them away.

I can relate, I know many other people can, too. But my self-sabotage doesn't all come from the above explanation. I feel that the biggest thing for me is about control. If I ruin something in my life, then I did it. I am in control of my own misshapen and failures and unfortunate events; therefore, I can't ever be blindsided by anything. My past significant others couldn't ruin the relationship (before I did), I can deny the interviews without being denied the jobs, I can quit before being fired, etc. Sometimes I almost feel like I crave self-sabotage. When my life feels out of control, when there are so many unanswered questions and corners to turn, I can feel it in my stomach that I need to self-sabotage, that I need to ruin something, even if it's small, and it's merely because I feel so out of control with my life that I need to get a grip on something, and when I feel like I'm not control and undeserving of what I have, that's when the gears grind and it begins. Does it not feel better to burn your own house down than burning with it? (weird example, I know). It's as if that perceived feeling of crashing and burning is just this warm fuzzy feeling.

The good thing is that the first step to stop self-sabotaging is to understand what it is and understand why you do it. It's also not something that occasionally comes up in life, if you have been self-sabotaging constantly, a lot of the time you form these long-term self-destructive habits that hold you back. So, recognize the habits. Do you constantly put yourself and your efforts down? Is it an endless cycle of negativity towards yourself in your mind like a lil tornado? Are you a perfectionist in a not so great way? Are you telling yourself you can't do something because it won't turn out perfect, so you don't even try? Do you procrastinate often not out of boredom or taking a break but constantly to avoid finishing goals and tasks to move up to the next step? What's at the root? Is it a bunch of accumulated stress that you're not sure how to deal with other than with putting yourself down and avoidance? I think we owe it to ourselves to evaluate our self-worth and work on that to improve it and put ourselves up. We can't continuously bring others up with words of praise and put ourselves, goals, and character down. Self-worth is highly connected to self-sabotage. A simple dose of positivity could really help steer you away from sabotaging, and upping your self-worth helps dismiss those thoughts of being undeserving of relationships, promotions, or happiness.

Retreating away from things is not something to be ashamed of, sometimes things get a little too much and retreating feels like the best thing to do but in the end you will continue to face the same problems or similar problems in the future if you decide to not recognize your self-sabotaging habits and swatting them away. By recognizing your behaviors and triggers before the looming grey cloud appears to ruin and skew your vision of the future, you can get rid of that cloud faster or avoid it all together.

Quite frankly, my attempts of self-sabotage for control has always led to me feeling more out of control after the fact. Things always end up feeling more unbalanced and ruined, because, well, that's what I would do to things when I would think I was making them better and getting a better grasp on the uncontrollable. And I can say that recognizing self-sabotaging habits and learning more about self-sabotage and the ways to avoid it has made me feel even more in control of my life than when I would convince myself the sabotage would lead to me feeling in control.

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