Are you your own worst enemy?
Do you do what you shouldn’t and fail to do what you should?
Maybe you know you shouldn’t eat certain things due to a health problem – but you do it anyways.
Maybe you know you really need to get an assignment done by the end of the week – but you keep procrastinating.
Or maybe you know you shouldn’t be watching TV so late because you’ll have trouble getting up on time for work – but you can’t seem to stop yourself.
You might ask: What’s wrong with me? Am I crazy? Why am I doing this?
Simply answered: Yes, there is something wrong. No, you’re not crazy. And you do this because your subconscious can be affected by many things – like previous failures, existing fears, insecurities, or ignorance – and turn you into your own worst enemy.
How to Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy
1. Be Honest With Yourself
The first step to figuring out how to overcome sabotaging yourself is to face that the problem exists. Admitting our own difficulties can often be very unpleasant.We think of them as weaknesses. But they’re not! They are simply obstacles that need to be overcome.
2. Identify the Problem
Since the root of the problem lies within, observation of yourself is the key to understanding. Take a step back, look at the big picture, and take time to analyze the situation, your behavior, your feelings, and your thoughts. What excuses do you make to keep you from doing what you should do? What reasons do you give yourself for why you just can’t reach a specific goal? Be prepared to be brutally honest with yourself. Figure out what the real truth is about your behavior.
3. Take Control of YOUR Life
You can stop being your own worst enemy – just stop blaming others! It’s your life, nobody else’s. Understand 1) that you can control your own actions and 2) that you are the only person that can make the necessary changes. The motivation for it might come from outside, but nobody can take action for you. You alone have that power – use it!
4. Know Your Strengths
Understand who you are and what you’re capable of. Make a list of your strengths and look at it often, especially when you have doubts about being able to do something. Break the habit of underestimating yourself. It only keeps you from achieving your goals.
5. Quit Focusing on the Negative
Create some distance between you and any negative thoughts. Observe them and ask yourself if what you’re thinking can really be true. Then, think about what you can change, not what you can’t. Ask what can go right, not what can go wrong. Find inspiration to motivate you by reading up on the subject or asking someone else for help. Don’t forget to remind yourself of the goals that you have already reached!
6. Learn to Adapt
If you failed, learn from it! Don’t let your worry about failing again keep you from trying. Procrastinating only prolongs the inevitable. When something you know you should do feels overwhelming and scary, tackle it by taking one tiny step at a time.
7. Don’t Beat Yourself Up
You’re not perfect. And you don’t have to be. Give yourself some room to grow. There’s no reason to beat yourself up for stumbling at times. We all do! Practice positive progress, instead of perfection. Make conscious choices, accept both the positive and negative aspects of a situation.
Granted, it takes time and real effort to stop being your own worst enemy. But it’s worth it!
Just imagine all the things you can achieve when you quit sabotaging yourself all the time.
The sky’s the limit!
Cathy Bruno, LMFT works with individuals and couples experiencing Grief/Loss, Trauma/PTSD, Sexual Trauma, Spiritual/Existential issues, Women’s Issues, Major Life Transitions, Personal Growth and Development, Depression & Anxiety.