As a female entrepreneur, you have carved your own way through the world of business. Nobody simply opened the door for you; you have worked hard, pushed each day, and earned your spot in your industry.
You might not think, therefore, that you would be capable of self sabotage. After all, if you’ve achieved so much in your professional life - you have it all figured out, right?
Wrong. Although all people in business have worked hard and have made great strides in their career, everyone is capable of sabotaging themselves, even unintentionally. Whether you do this in your professional life, your personal habits or in your relationships with others, it is easy to get into a self sabotaging pattern without even realizing it.
In today’s post, you will discover some common examples of self sabotage, paired with sage advice on how to combat your self sabotaging tendencies.
How to tell if you’re self sabotaging: 3 key examples
Most people who self sabotage on a regular basis don’t even know they are doing it. They wonder why they can’t seem to catch a break at work or in their personal lives, but deep down, they are the architects of their own misfortune a lot of the time.
Here are 3 key examples of self sabotage. Do you recognize yourself in these?
Workplace self sabotage.
As a woman in a busy workplace, sometimes it can feel like you aren’t taken seriously. 65% of women have reported workplace discrimination, so there’s a good chance you might have experienced this first hand. It could be passive-aggressive put-downs from male colleagues; your ideas not being heard in group discussions; or even something more sinister, like workplace harassment.
None of these examples are your fault, and if you’ve experienced them, it could have damaged your confidence. This is where self-sabotage starts to come in. Although it is totally natural to withdraw or become a little hardened by bad experiences, many women find themselves going too far in the other direction.
For example, many women put on a hard exterior at work, trying to have a more masculine, hard-hitting energy. While this is a normal reaction to not being taken seriously in the past, it can hurt you in the long run. Being steely and not letting your guard down with your colleagues can damage your relationships with them long-term, and can earn you an unfair reputation of being unfriendly.
While this does feel like being stuck between a rock and a hard place - you’re either too soft or too “bitchy” - try not to self-sabotage as a woman in the workplace by shutting yourself off to rapport or camaraderie with your colleagues! Be yourself and shine brightly, and if they don’t recognize your talents or value, it’s time to move on. It’s as simple as that.
Health and wellness self-sabotage.
All people, men and women, young and old, enact health and wellness self-sabotage upon themselves. Unfortunately, our world makes it easy to do so: most of us are overworked and tired, and the temptation to eat badly and not do enough exercise is everywhere.
Of course, skipping workouts and grabbing a drive-through meal at the end of the day is absolutely fine sometimes, as long as it doesn’t become a daily habit! By forming toxic habits you are limiting your potential; your energy will be lower, your mood more irritable, and your self esteem dimmer.
Ah, yes. The kicker. Relationship self-sabotage. As a working woman, you might be expected to “have it all” - meaning you are expected to maintain perfect romantic relationships, family relationships and friendships while also smashing it at work every single day. As we all know, it’s definitely not that simple in the real world.
Relationship self-sabotage comes in many forms, but one of its most common iterations is ending relationships, or cutting off your opportunities to have one in the first place, by throwing yourself too hard into work. At the end of the day, work isn’t everything: balancing it with healthy, meaningful life experiences is crucial for your happiness. Don’t throw away what could be a great relationship, or ignore your friends and family, for the sake of your paycheck. It’s never worth it.
5 Ways To Stop Self Sabotaging
If you recognize yourself in any of those scenarios - or perhaps in more than one of them - you aren’t alone. Don’t beat yourself up about your self sabotaging tendencies; we all do it, and we can only be gentle with ourselves in trying to combat these patterns we have formed.
There’s no time like the present to start making a change. Here are 5 ways to stop self sabotaging, so you can live to your fullest potential and achieve great happiness and success in your future!
Seek professional guidance to get to the root of your self sabotaging patterns.
It is hard to be self aware when you have been unintentionally self sabotaging for years. If you have had these patterns pointed out to you by a concerned loved one, or you noticed them on your own, that doesn’t mean you know when they started or where they came from!
Unraveling all the inner workings of your mind can be a treacherous task, but it is somewhat helpful when discovering why you self sabotage in the first place. Knowing why you seem to cut yourself off from good opportunities can be instrumental in helping you heal from these toxic patterns.
Seeking professional guidance, such as through a therapist or counsellor, can assist you in your journey to rooting out your self sabotaging tendencies and progressing onto a new chapter in your life. Although it’s scary, professional therapy has helped millions of people around the world to move on from difficult situations and negative behavior patterns.
Redirect yourself when you catch yourself engaging in sabotaging behaviors.
Now that you have become aware of the ways in which you sabotage yourself, you can start actively combating those behaviors in real time.
How do you catch yourself in the act of self sabotage and redirect it? Simply put, you should try to see your behaviors as others see them. If you enter into a conflict situation and immediately retract into old behaviors, don’t panic. Try apologizing for the way you reacted, and taking a gentler, more collaborative approach.
If you tend to overreact or snap at the slightest inconvenience, remember that this is an act of self sabotage, too, and actively work against your instinct to lose it with people. If you tend to withdraw the moment you need to be vulnerable with someone, step back and ask yourself whether withdrawing will make you happy in the long term. The chances are, it won’t.
Remember who the F you are!
You are a hugely successful person, even if it doesn’t feel like it all the time. You have achieved great things in your professional life, and have found your way through this difficult world, learning new lessons and trying to be better each day.
No matter what industry you work within - you could be working as an engineer, a marketer, a lawyer assisting with Immigration Bonds, a doctor, a beautician or a schoolteacher - you should remember to always be proud of yourself. You wouldn’t let any of your friends or loved ones put themselves down and sabotage themselves like this, so don’t let yourself do it, either!
Being your own best friend is one of the greatest steps you can take towards giving yourself a chance.
Don’t expect too much of yourself too fast.
The chances are, you have been self sabotaging for a long time. If you are not doing great in your journey away from your old self sabotaging self, that’s normal. You are unlearning years and years of negative behavior patterns, so be kind to yourself in the process.
If you slip up and fall back into old habits, it doesn’t mean all your progress is ruined. Often, progress is not linear, so don’t expect too much of yourself straight away. It could take years to undo all the self sabotaging you have built up in your system!
Embrace your weaknesses as well as your strengths.
Being a rounded, whole human being means embracing every part of yourself, even the parts you often hide from others. You are a human with weaknesses that go alongside your strengths, so don’t only pay attention to your strengths. By acknowledging the ways in which you self sabotage in life, you are taking the first step on your journey to self acceptance.
If you notice yourself falling into weak habits, just acknowledge it. Acknowledge, allow, let go. Bullying yourself about your weaknesses will never help you in the long or short terms.
If you are becoming aware that you self sabotage in life, either at work, at home or in terms of your health, it is never too late to make a change. Start making small, incremental changes that will compound into a radical new attitude towards life!
WRITTEN BYIman Oubou