Self-sabotaging. Accidentally-on-purpose missing important deadlines. Turning a little mistake into something so overwhelmingly big that you can’t even conceive a course of action to solve it. Dealing with a setback by condemning yourself and giving up.
Most of us have been there. After all, there’s no lack of opportunities to perform self-sabotaging. But I want to focus on one particular attitude here. If you’re like most people, you kick yourself for your shortcomings. That disappointment usually triggers what has been called a what-the-hell attitude.
You tell yourself that you’re going to the gym tomorrow but you skip it. And then, what the hell, why shouldn’t you have pizza for lunch? That pizza itself becomes a license to pig out. After all, you feel like a failure who can’t reach their dietary goals.
And now you’re back to berating yourself. Is it really worth it? I mean, if self-criticism worked, then successful people would utterly and completely hate themselves. Is that your picture of success? Is your self-criticism really helping you achieve your goals? Or is it defeating you?
If you want to break the self-sabotage cycle, your best way out is through self-compassion. When you substitute self-hate with compassion you can finally foster positive change in your life. Want to see how? Here are a few tips:
Separate yourself from your shortcomings. Remember that improving yourself is a constant work-in-progress. Personal development is about more than just theorizing. It’s about trying, making new experiences, and making mistakes to better calibrate. Your mistakes are an integral part of your journey to success and you shouldn’t let them define you.
Don’t just look at where you want to land feeling disheartened by where you are right now. Learn to affirm and appreciate how far you’ve come. Look at the overall picture of your progress. That pizza was a slip-up, but it’s just a minor blip after a month of healthy living.
You can actually develop a mindset that benefits from setbacks. How can you make them work to your advantage? When you accept your setbacks you have the opportunity to find new strength and regain your perspective.
When a setback happens, it can stop you in your tracks. And the truth is, the longer you don’t take any action to keep going, the harder it will be to start moving forward. To bounce back, take a step forward, no matter how small.
Once we familiarize ourselves with our self-sabotaging behaviors, we can live a more liberated life, in which we are more powerful and much more in control of our destiny.