Updated: May 29
Take a good look in the mirror; you know that you are a badass right? But for some reason, you are a sucker for self-sabotage, so let's explore how to stop doubting yourself.
On one level, you may already understand that you are an accomplished and bright individual but you may not fully believe it, with all of your being. Or perhaps you don’t see any of your amazing qualities, relying solely on compliments from strangers, for a sense of self-worth.
The seduction of sabotage is powerful. But where does this come from; why are some of us so prone to doubting ourselves?
Self-sabotage can take on many, layered forms and it can affect us on a psychological, physical, and spiritual level. But you can overcome self-sabotage through therapy and enlightenment and with the help of a strong support system.
1. Seeing Yourself In The Dark
When it comes to your dreams and ambitions, there is sometimes a war that wages between your conscious and your subconscious mind. Consciously, you may want to accomplish something but subconsciously, you are also fighting against your own achievement.
“Your subconscious probably sees self-sabotage as self-preservation; a way to safeguard and defend yourself, even if it’s no longer needed. Some of our self-sabotage is so subtle it’s easy to miss.”
Self-sabotage is the result of habits formed over time, which can impede you from personal growth and success. When you lack awareness, it can be difficult to recognize these habits and patterns as destructive.
The first step in breaking destructive patterns is to become fully aware of them. Here are some examples of self-sabotaging habits:
Perfectionism; expending too much effort in lower priority tasks
Imposter Syndrome; feeling like you don’t deserve success
Fear of failure
Negative self-talk and/or putting others down
Do you find yourself engaging in any of these behaviors? By shedding light on the darkness of your subconscious, you can learn how to stop doubting yourself.
2. Why Do You Hate Yourself?
Self-destructive actions are learned behaviors; you have taught yourself to stand in your way. Somewhere between an exciting opportunity and execution, you decided that you were unworthy of success or undeserving of happiness.
But why; where is your venom coming from? In stopping self-destructive behavior, you must first look at the source from which these thought patterns evolved.
Generally, self-destructive behavior is rooted in experiences with trauma. This could have been in the form of abuse as a child or from being bullied at school; perhaps you had a parent or an authority figure constantly berate and discourage you.
In an attempt to self-soothe, you may have started to engage in destructive activities such as abusing alcohol or drugs; maybe you developed an eating disorder. While these actions may have provided temporary relief-even temporary forms of pleasure-over time, they eventually start to erode your physical, mental, and spiritual being.
If you were raised with a fear of failure as a child, you have most likely internalized that fear as an adult. As a result, your subconscious mind may now be echoing sentiments of self-doubt.
In an attempt to protect itself from this fabricated fear, your shadow self grows stronger, feeding on the negativity of your self-talk. These perceptions may become overwhelming, as you struggle over how to overcome fear and self-doubt.
“Though we may not be aware of it, we unconsciously seek to punish ourselves for our perceived inadequacies.” As a result, you may become detached from your true existence and your purpose in life.
It is important to remember that self-destruction is not your destiny; these are behaviors that you have chosen to engage in as a result of experiencing pain, trauma and/or fear. And while it may be challenging, it is possible to disentangle yourself from the perils of self-doubt and self-sabotage.
3. Love Will Lead The Way
Self-love is the nemesis of self-destruction. In understanding your demons, you can build up a defense that is made of self-love through therapy, support and personal enlightenment.
Making the conscious decision to heal yourself may feel challenging at first but it will ultimately lead you to personal empowerment. While you may feel overwhelmed by your self-destructive habits (further compounded by negative self-talk), therapy for self-destructive behavior is available.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has been useful in treating self-destructive behavior in trauma survivors. DBT is a form of psychotherapy that was first used in the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder but has since been expanded to treat mood disorders and actions related to self-harm.
DBT can provide you with insight into your emotions and how they relate to your behavior. DBT shows you how to analyze your patterns in such a way that makes space for change and can provide you with the tools to deal with difficult situations and/or people in your life.
A caring and encouraging support system is also important to your healing. This can consist of friends, a romantic partner, a chosen family member, and/or a mentor that inspires hope and positivity.
Your support system is there to help keep you on the path of healing using gentle and loving compassion. Your chosen confidants should offer positivity and encouragement; creating a safe space in which you can express yourself freely.
Support is about quality and not quantity. Be wary of people in your life that judge you harshly and/or who use aggression as a way to influence change.
Finally, personal enlightenment can also illuminate your sense of self-worth. This can be achieved through alternative practices such as meditation, yoga, breath work, and/or through spiritual teaching.
Personal enlightenment can help you to create more awareness around your triggers and your destructive impulses. Mindfulness is a great tool in which to develop a deeper and more loving sense of self.
Look back at your reflection; the person you see is deserving of success and love. You have the power to cease negative thoughts and stop self-sabotage.
Why? Because you are a bad-ass.