To improve the quality of our lives, it is critical that we evaluate our actions to see if they are helping or hurting us. If we could eliminate all forms of self-sabotage from our lives, we would be happier, healthier and more prosperous.
Here are 4 common forms of self-sabotage. Imagine how much our lives would improve if each of us found a way to drop habits like these that erode our confidence and limit our power!
1. Negative Self-Talk: So many of us are extremely critical of ourselves. We measure ourselves against impossible standards; we spend countless hours criticizing of our bodies, our personalities, our abilities and our achievements. This negative fixation can lead to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and low performance.
To be our best selves, we must focus on our positive traits! Like attracts like, so focusing on the good things we have to offer will bring out more of the good in us.
If you find that you engage in a lot of negative self-talk, here is something that you can try at home to start focusing more positively on yourself:
When you are getting ready in the morning, pause to look at yourself in the mirror and make a list of all of the traits (physical or otherwise) that you like about yourself. Review your favorite traits each morning and try to find new things to add to the list every day. With the simple act of repeating this small action, you will start to change the way you see yourself.
Make positive-self talk your standard. It’s good for your self-esteem and it will improve your life.
2. Trying to fit in: Humans are social creatures and we want to connect with each other. Unfortunately, this often manifests itself into trying to fit in with the crowd by hiding our differences from others. We are often afraid to dress the way we want, befriend who we want and/or honestly speak our minds.
What makes you an asset to all of humanity is that you are unique and different from everyone else. The things that make you the weirdest are also the qualities that make you invaluable, because no one else can do what you do the way you do it.
Censoring yourself often hides your invaluable assets from others, as well as yourself. No one can see a shining star when it is blocked from view!
If you have been hiding a part of yourself, please try to give yourself permission to uncover a little more to the people around you. Make a small effort each day to do or say something truly authentic to who you are. With a little practice, you will find that it becomes easier for you to show your true colors.
Allowing others to see you for who you really are is a liberating experience that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy.
3. Ignoring our needs: In the name of productivity and responsibility we often fail to meet our own needs. We skip meals, we lose sleep and we say “no” to fun activities in order to do what we think everyone else wants from us.
Life is passing us by in each minute. There’s simply no good reason to willingly go through life tired, hungry and uninspired.
If you’ve been ignoring your needs, please consider making them a priority. Not only will you feel better, you will actually (and ironically) be more productive and responsible.
People who make their needs a priority produce better life results because they are happy, healthy and relaxed.
4. Trying too hard: Most of us have been taught that the only way to achieve our dreams is to work hard, and we often literally take this to mean that getting what you want should be an uphill battle.
In truth, the best work that you do happens when you are in a “state of flow.” Think of the ballet dancer floating through her solo, the magician performing for the crowd or the lion chasing the gazelle. Not a one of them looks like they are struggling or in pain (at least not if they are any good at what they do!). They are simply allowing their talents to flow.
To be truly great at anything you must be in a state of flow while you are doing it. It is best to find work and activities that put you in flow and do them whenever you are so inspired.
If you are in a place in life where there is little flow, please do not worry about it! You don’t have to change your career right this minute or do anything drastic. All you need to do is spend a little more time on hobbies and activities that you enjoy and that feel natural.
Little by little, get back in touch with the things that make your heart sing. The more time that you spend in this state, the more flow the universe will bring to you.
Just make your it goal to be in flow as much as you can, and the successes will follow. This is how people become great at what they do.
If each of us spent our days using positive self-talk, being ourselves, caring for our needs and staying in a state of flow what a magnificent world this would be! Imagine how much creativity, love and innovation could thrive in a situation like this.
A life without self-sabotage is possible, if we are willing to take small steps towards it.
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Photo Credit: “Free Fall!! #2” by Ben Salter. Some Rights Reserved. This image has been cropped and resized.