Have you ever asked yourself what causes self-sabotaging behavior? At first sight, sabotaging yourself doesn’t make any rational sense. Why would you do it, right? Yet many people undermine their happiness in the ways that are almost invisible.
People who self-sabotage themselves, look for the comfortable and easy ways to get what they think they want. Instead of throwing themselves fully into creating the kind of life that thrills them to their core.
While there is nothing wrong with looking for the comfortable, it can quietly put you in a self-imposed prison. The life is a blend of stability and freedom – we need both to feel whole. When you have too much of any of these, you might lose your footing.
What causes self-sabotaging behavior?
To understand why you subconsciously sabotage yourself, you must first realize the relationship between your desires and beliefs.
The core principle of self-sabotaging behavior is this:
1) You either don’t know what you want.
2) Or you desire something deeply, but you don’t believe that you could have it.
3) Or you believe that you could have anything you desire, but you keep living through the desires of others, instead of your own.
There is a huge gap between your desires and beliefs.
To create the kind of life you want, you need your desires and beliefs to match each other. If one is lacking, you subconsciously sabotage yourself to support either your belief or persuade yourself that you know what you want (when it’s not your desire).
When it comes to self-sabotaging behaviors, you don’t allow yourself to fully own your desire and let what you want the most to happen in your life. You might be afraid to connect with your real desire so much that you don’t even admit what it is that you want.
At first, it might sound strange that you wouldn’t allow yourself to acknowledge your desires but this is a reality for many people who sabotage themselves. In fact, this is one of the reasons why it’s difficult for people to recognize their life purpose.
The reason why we fear what we truly want is that we might have wrong experiences from the past when we wanted something very much, but others did not support us. Or things simply didn’t work out the way we had hoped for. At some level, we’ve given up.
In time, without realizing it, we teach our mind to believe that what we want isn’t possible for us. So to avoid the potential pain, we don’t even admit to ourselves what we want.
The subconscious mind always wants to keep us safe from any potential disappointments or pain. So we can get stuck in our comfort zone for a long time.
In other words, you recreate familiar patterns from your past which inevitably makes you live in a loop of getting the same results.
When you sabotage your success, at some level, it feels safer than trying to reach out and make your dreams happen. Because your subconscious mind makes you think that it’s better to stay where you’re.
If you don’t believe me, ask yourself and answer this question honestly:
“Does it feel safer to stay where I am in my life right now?”
3 Examples of self-sabotaging behavior
When you live in your comfort zone, you experience the life through the fence you’ve built around yourself. Rather than going and experiencing life fully.
1. You tell yourself that you’re fine (even if you’re not)
Being in touch with your emotions is crucial. When you’re honest about what you feel, you connect with the driving force behind your life.
Our most profound desires are like a fire that keeps us growing and expanding. When you admit to yourself your core desires, you stop living your life through others and instead step powerfully into the best version of yourself.
All of a sudden, you don’t need approval, and you don’t waste your time overthinking and doubting your next move. You do it because the power that moves the universe is burning firmly in your heart.
When you suppress your emotions, you also stuck the life force in your life.
The energy stops flowing freely in your life, and thus it finds other ways to express itself. This can take various forms – a disease, argument, or not grasp a great opportunity because you just don’t feel good.
So when you don’t feel good, get in touch with what the cause of your distress is. Or otherwise, it comes back to you in another form that you might not like at all.
2. You get easily distracted
Anything or anyone catches your attention. You might even go after too many ideas at once (I used to do this for most of my life).
You’re not in control of your days, but you don’t change it – this is a common self-sabotaging behavior.
On the surface, you might think that you’re the kind of person who needs constant change and different inputs. Which is true, we all require change and growth, but not in a chaotic way that makes us walk in circles.
The underlying cause of this kind of self-sabotaging behavior is that you want to save yourself the disappointment in the case something wouldn’t work out (again) the way you want.
So you subconsciously spend your energy without thinking. Thus lacking it to make a break-through and create the results you wish to see.
It’s of highest value to learn how to manage your energy well because the energy is your most valuable currency.
3. You don’t know what you want
As I said earlier, knowing what you want is step number one to creating the life you desire. During my life coaching, I’ve met many people who told me that they didn’t know what they truly wanted. In fact, this is more common that one would think.
If this is your case, I highly recommend you to get in touch with your desires and dreams and make it your priority until you become clear of what these are.
The most common reason why people don’t know what they desire is that they’re subconsciously afraid that recognizing it would mean they’d have to change their life (and people in it).
In most cases, we disassociate ourselves from our desires because we fear that someone wouldn’t like what we’ve discovered in our hearts. Which is often true, it’s usually our closest people who have difficulties with our new-found desires but is it better living a less fulfilling life to make someone happy?
It’s again about the fear of others not accepting us as we are. So we rather, convince ourselves that we actually want to have the 9-to-5 job for the rest our lives, and that’s okay to travel once children are older, or that taking care of your body can wait because now you’re too busy drinking coffee to keep yourself going.
It sounds harsh but persuading yourself that it’s better to keep the status quo is the easier path of how to live. It’s the fear of life itself.