How do I stop blowing up my life after I survived abuse?
Lets talk how to stop getting in your own way...Self sabotaging… taking something good in your life and setting it on fire!
For example: when you're in a healthy relationship so you intentionally start fights your partner. You insist on breaking up because you feel you are not worthy and you want your partner to be happy… you justify it by saying your partner would be happier without you. Maybe you procrastinate until you miss crucial deadlines which hurts you at work or at school. Or its never good enough so you never finish.
You think you're such a bad person you don't go for things you want or opportunities. Or when bad things happen you think you deserve it.
All above are examples of self sabotaging.
Self sabotaging can be more obvious, like choosing to do something against your morals. It can look like not taking care of yourself. It can appear in more subtle forms like a habit so you don’t even realize you’re doing it… like thinking you’re so dumb you wont even try for opportunities. Maybe you do risky things, substances, gambling, etc.
These are just a handful of examples. The common factor is… you get in your own way either intentionally or subconsciously. And it can come from a place of low self esteem and low self confidence. For example: Believing you don’t deserve good things. Fear of loss. Fear of grief. Fear of failing. You are so afraid of what could happen to you take control by blowing it up intentionally.
I don’t claim to be a therapist and these are not all the ways self sabotaging can occur. But I want to share some tips to help you combat self sabotaging behavior.
Number 1: Love yourself. A lot of self sabotaging behavior comes from a place where you don't believe you deserve better. Practice being kind to yourself, believing in yourself, encouraging yourself.
Number 2: Don’t be afraid to go for it. Jobs, school, relationships, new things, whatever. If things don’t work out, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, or that the universe hates you, or that you deserve to be unhappy. Life is unfair. Things don’t work a lot. Not because of anything you did, but because that’s just life. Don’t be afraid to take a chance, and be kind to yourself if things don’t work out.
Number 3: start small, start slow. Its ok to take time if you have a history of self sabotaging. For example, maybe whenever you make a mistake, you call yourself an “idiot”. Privately or out loud. A good start is changing that to “oops. Well no body is perfect”. Or if there is an opportunity you’re excited about, even if you’re scared or worried about it, go for it! If you feel yourself stalling or making excuses, or refusing to finish because you think its not perfect enough and there fore not good enough... Take a breath. Remember why you were excited in the first place. Break it down into steps and do a little at a time. Tell a friend about what you're doing and put that energy out there (accountability!). Even if this time it doesn't work out, maybe it’ll lead to something better. Or you’ll learn something so you can try again.
And number 4: practice scanning yourself for whenever you start self sabotaging. Once you realize what’s happening, you can notice it and defuse it before it starts. Even if it takes some time to form this habit, don’t beat yourself up. Breaking the cycle of self sabotage is hard especially when you're dealing with trauma, or its a long running habit. Give yourself space to try, mess up, try again, and nail it. You got this.
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