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What’s your favorite form of self-sabotage? For me, it’s procrastination… my most expressed form of self-sabotage. I have a mile-long list of things to do, but I don’t feel like doing anything. I just keep thinking of how much work is in front of me and I feel overwhelmed. My anxiety kicks in and I just can’t get started. I can’t even do one thing on my list! So instead, I start cooking.
My best recipes are born out from my tendency to procrastinate a.k.a. self sabotage.
The reason behind my self-sabotage? FEAR. More specifically, fear of failure. To be even more precise : Fear that I won’t be able to do it perfectly, so I might as well not do it if I can’t do it properly. That’s my internal language.
What are Your Self-Sabotage Behaviors?
You are on the KETO diet, and yet in secret, you go to the corner store to grab a bag of chips and eat it in secret?
Or you are working diligently on cutting down on sugar, but when you go to the grocery store to get food for the family for the week, you buy the kids their “treats” that you happen to like, too. Now, because it’s in the house, whenever you feel stressed, you get tempted to eat some… or you give in most of the time.
Or maybe it’s the thought of “starting tomorrow.” You go out with friend and you have a drink or two and finish the night with a slice of pizza, telling yourself “I’ll just get back on track tomorrow”. When tomorrow comes, you have pancake and syrup for breakfast and then say to yourself, “Well, I just ruined it already so might has well just keep going. Tomorrow. I’ll start again.”
We are all different so we all have different patterns and behaviors of self-sabotage. They key is understanding yours.
The first step to preventing and stopping self-sabotage is: Awareness. So go back to podcast episode 064 and get started with self-awareness so you can identify and understand your own behaviors.
Ask yourself: What is my behavior? What is driving it? What is behind it?
Let’s go back to my example of procrastination…What’s behind it is fear and being overwhelmed — all driven by a need to be perfect.
For the Keto Diet person… it might be the same. Aiming for under 20 grams of carbs a day, I need to be perfect. What happens if I’m not? Wouldn’t I be in Ketosis?
Life isn’t Black or White
Do you suffer from “perfectionism”? Do you think everything must be either black or white?
You expect from yourself to be to be 100% faithful to your diet or it’s not worth doing? When you are not 100% on point, you judge yourself and engage in a very negative internal dialogue. You know, the type of dialogue that you would never dare to have with anyone else…
Perfectionism is the refusal to accept any standards short of perfection. It goes hand in hand with self sabotage. In fact, perfectionism is the mother of self sabotage. Being aware and conscious of your desire for perfection is the first step to healing your self sabotage.
Know that you are perfect right now. You are enough. We all have imperfections and that is part of being a human. Take small steps towards being OK with being 95%…with being imperfect.
Being on a very restrictive diet and attempting to be 100% at all time maybe a major trigger for you. Research has demonstrated that people on DIET are experiencing 50% more cravings than those not on a diet.
Let Go a Little of What is Triggering You
Once you are aware of what is triggering you to self-sabotage, take action on the real root cause.
If the trigger is “I’ll just start tomorrow,” first, you must realize that you must adopt a lifestyle, NOT a diet. It’s more of choosing to live your life in a certain way rather than restricting yourself. If the way you chose to live your life is too restrictive and leads you to crave … maybe you need to loosen up a bit. Make other choices. If you can’t imagine yourself living like this forever, then change must happen.
If perfectionism is at the root of the issue, remember this saying, “Less is more.” I recently implemented a “less is more” initiative in my life. I reduced how much I was doing so my list of to do’s was not as long and overwhelming. Trying to be perfect is futile and exhausting. Perfection is just impossible to attain! Just do the best that you can while respecting your needs and being kind to yourself.
Consistency wins over perfection anytime!
Make Choices That Are Making You Feel Good
If you are choosing to do something because you know you have to, that you must, that you should, but when doing it, you aren’t feeling good… that’s a clue.
Maybe you are self-sabotaging because you really don’t want to be doing this . Ask yourself: Do I enjoy doing this? Do I feel good when I’m doing it? Do I feel empowered when I’m with this person or in this environment?
Maybe your self sabotage is just a signal from your heart/ spirit that this is not for you.
Maybe this is not for you “as is” today, BUT if you change it a little to make it more “pleasant” for you, then the tendency to self-sabotage will go away.
If you find yourself relating to the treat mom, maybe this “no sugar ever” thing is not right for you. Maybe at this point in your health journey you need to have “treats” from time to time. Learn to make a few heathy treats that you can have when you feel like it. Keep healthy treats in the house so you have a better choice in the moment. Be fully present and aware in those moments when you need a treat and allow yourself to understand why.
Let’s Recap: What to Do to Stop Self-Sabotage
I know to some of you who suffer from frequent and powerful self-sabotage behaviors just like me, the next statement will seem too simple to be powerful… but let me just say this to those of you who are in doubt right now: it’s the truth. I have experienced it personally and I’ve seen it work in many of my patients:
By simply attempting to understand, be fully present and aware of your self-sabotage behaviors, they will loosen their hold on you and get less intense and present.
Our spirit/ mind / higher simply wants us to be present to a certain situation and once we do… it eases up. It’s called body messages. In the same way that being thirsty is a symptom of dehydration, self-sabotage behavior is just another symptom.
- Practice self-awareness and observe your self sabotage behavior without judgment.
- Let go of what triggers you
- Make choices that make your heart sing and make you feel good!
The Next Steps
Ready to transform your relationship to food?
Ready to understand why you crave and most important what to do to free yourself from cravings and emotional eating?
The Crave Cure guide will show you the next steps. This is my free guide to help you in your journey of transforming your individual relationship with food. From nutrition to mindset, you’ll be ready to take the next steps. Can’t wait to see you on the other side.
Last episode, I had a powerful interview with Sean Croxton. We talked about how to get anything we want. Sean shared seven steps to overcoming fear, doubt, and indecision. It’s an episode that I highly recommend for those who are working towards achieving health goals. You can listen to the episode here.
Next episode, I will be with Dr. Amy Johnson who will teach us how to break our bad habits more easily! You don’t want to miss this episode, so stay tuned!
Be sure to check back every Sunday and Thursday for a new episode, and head over to iTunes to subscribe so we can freshly deliver a new episode directly to your device.
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Email: [email protected]
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