Written by: Dr. Clinton Bullock, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Self-sabotage is represented by committing chronic, dysfunctional behaviors that are debilitating and do not lead to desirable personal or professional outcomes. An example of self-sabotage may be illustrated with alcoholism. Alcoholics excessively drink, and this generally leads to a lack of performance and attention that is needed to sustain a healthy work and personal life. Many alcoholics have been terminated from their job and have ruined various types of relationships on account of dysfunctional behaviors associated with alcoholism. Although self-sabotage may stem from low self-esteem and negative self-talk and emotions, the following highlights three distinct ways to overcome self-sabotage and significantly develop self-mastery in an effort to acquire the life that you’ve always desired.
1. Stop Making Emotional Decisions
As humans, we are oftentimes overrun by our emotions. We make emotional decisions, and said decisions tend to not serve us in the moment or in the future. A good example would be if you feel that someone insulted you or said something that didn't make you feel good. There are two ways to deal with this scenario:
A. Maintain Your Integrity: Never allow someone to take you off your game. Just because you feel hurt by someone doesn't mean that you need to hurt them back. Perhaps the person didn't mean to hurt you. Intent does matter. You have the option of saying something disrespectful back to the other person, trying to understand the person’s reasoning for speaking to you in a less-than-favorable manner, returning to the conversation at a later time, reducing contact with the person in question, or eliminating that person from your life on the whole. The point is that making emotional decisions can have severe ramifications and deeply hurt you and others around you in the short and long-term.
B. Never Allow Someone’s Dysfunctional Behavior to Dictate Your Reaction: Some people, because of their ill-tempered nature, say things just to get a rise out of you. Again, if you feel as though someone is deliberately trying to disrespect you, then you should have a conversation with that person about their remarks; and if the behavior continues, you may wish to completely reevaluate the situation and your relationship with said person. However, never allow someone else's dysfunctional behavior to dictate your actions. Before reacting, your response should be well-thought-out, allowing you to leave the situation/conversation with your integrity intact.
2. Learn To Receive Constructive Feedback
As people, our ego doesn't like constructive feedback. So, when our supervisors provide us with said feedback, we just grin and bear it. However, in our personal lives, many of us don't accept constructive feedback very well, and we react in a myriad of dysfunctional waves. For example, some of us cry. Some of us become defensive. Some of us become belligerent. However, we must keep a couple of things in mind so that we can advance and grow as people.
When someone is giving us constructive feedback, think, “how well does this person know me.” If this person is making blanket statements about you and they just met you yesterday, they may not serve as a sufficient feedback tool for you and your life. However, many times when we receive constructive feedback, we are being told about our dysfunction from people who know us well (spouse, parent, boss); and most of the time, we don't lash out because they're wrong. We lash out because, deep down inside, we know that they are right. In effort to grow, it is important that we learn how to accept criticism so that we may achieve unparalleled success in life.
3. Recognize & Act On Things That Don’t Serve You
Throughout my practice, I have found that most people do, in fact, recognize their own dysfunctions. I have met many people who properly understand that they are overweight, alcoholics, or that they have a gambling problem, for example. The challenge lies in knowing how to overcome things that don't serve us. I suffered from extreme anxiety for decades, and it was my responsibility to find a pathway to tranquility. I recognized that my anxiety didn't serve me, and it was physically and mentally debilitating as well. In that, I researched various ways to better myself, which centered on eliminating or reducing the time spent with certain people from my life, moving to a healthier environment, exercising, and doing breathwork. As my mother used to say, “You’ll change when you're sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
Many people don't act on things that are a disservice to them because of many reasons. However, one of those reasons stems from fear. At the same time, most of our fears are imagined and will never become realized. In that, make powerful decisions out of strength and logic, and increase the probability of producing desirable outcomes in your life.
If you find that the relationship with yourself or with others suffers because you self-sabotage on a consistent basis, contact us for a FREE, 30-minute coaching call here, and we’ll assist you in becoming the efficient and empowered individual that you always visualized yourself being in all areas of your life.
Dr. Clinton Bullock, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Dr. Clinton Bullock is the author of the best-selling book, “The 18 Rules of Engagement to Interpersonal Communication.” He is also the founder of Clinton Bullock Worldwide—a high-performance coaching practice that specializes in assisting professionals, entrepreneurs, and aspiring high achievers in overcoming self-sabotaging and other dysfunctional behaviors, so that they may function at extraordinary levels by living efficiently and creating a life that is professionally successful and personally fulfilled.