Understanding your destructive habits: 12 signs of self-sabotage
Self-awareness is a huge advantage when it comes to identifying your own self-sabotaging behaviours, and understanding the ways you're being self-destructive can be a great place to start.
Addictions are one of the highest forms of self-destructive behaviour and over time destroys self-esteem and your confidence, becoming a deadly cycle that keeps you trapped in an unproductive lifestyle.
Repressed emotions are not good for your mental or emotional wellbeing. Failing to express emotion (both positive and negative) is a self-sabotaging behaviour and one that you need to fix if you wish to become free from anxiety and stress.
Nihilism is “the rejection of all religious and moral principles, in the belief that life is meaningless.”
Those who undertake this attitude tend to become lost, unaware of their real purpose and extremely unmotivated.
Are you under eating? What about eating too much? This can be a sign of low self-esteem and issues with your self-image and confidence levels.
If you’re neglecting to feed yourself, this can have serious side-effects long-term and can be classified as self-harm.
Lacking belief in self
Are you constantly pulling yourself down? This is one of the most subtle ways of self-sabotage because in the long-term you miss out opportunities to develop your skills and ultimately progress within your life.
Speaking down about yourself
Related to the above, but this is what you’re saying about yourself. What do you say to others about who you are?
Being too agreeable
Sometimes, you hide the fact you have given up on yourself by accommodating other people’s needs, and it can hurt you long-term.
Do you purposely (or perhaps, unconsciously) do things that alienate you from your social group? A tendency for anti-social behaviour or being deliberately arrogant, irritating and annoying can be some signs you’ve developed a self-destructive habit when it comes to forming mutual relationships and friendships.
Anxiety and worry
Not all anxiety is bad. We need it to keep us alert in situations that may be dangerous for us, it's the "fight or flight" aspect of us that keeps us aware of hazardous situations. It's when our anxiety and worry are not constituted with any real threat that becomes the problem.
Lack of action
Do you always have big plans, but you never take action towards that desired goal? Feel like you’re constantly going around in a circle? Without taking action we never leave our comfort zones, leaving little room for growth and development within our lives.
Self-pity is one of the easiest forms of self-sabotage because you can develop the tendency to become a victim and blame everyone else but yourself, which allows you to neglect personal responsibility.
We can be extremely hard on ourselves. And when you consider that suicide is the leading cause of death of young people aged 20-34 years of age in the UK, it gives you a chilling revelation into just how many people are taking their self-hatred to extreme lengths.
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About Stuart Downing
Stuart Downing, DMH DHyp, DNLP, EMDR Dip, MNACP, working from clinics in Warwickshire, Birmingham and Harley Street, London.
Extensive client experience of successfully treating addictions - drug, alcohol, gambling and the associated anxiety and stress which is often present.