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This is Part One in a series.

Self-sabotage is a term used to describe how we get in our own way when trying to make changes and accomplish goals. Usually stemming from self-doubt and insecurities, self-sabotage relieves us from the fear of failing. Feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy can amplify our insecurities which may lead to patterns of negative behavior that make it less likely we will meet our goals. These behaviors can drain our motivation, enthusiasm, and self-esteem. Many people describe self-sabotaging behaviors as part of why they have not met their weight loss goals. Eating habits may represent self-sabotaging behaviors or may be a sign of more complex physiological issues.

Luckily, behavior is something we can change once we identify and address the negative patterns getting in our way. Let’s look more closely at some of the causes of self-sabotage.

Causes of Self-Sabotage

Fear of failure: This is when we shy away from our goals because we are afraid we will not succeed; it feels better to say we chose not to do it rather than we tried our best and were not successful. Have you ever joined a gym with a plan to go at least a few times a week and then found yourself not ever going? Maybe you repeatedly overslept or decided that traffic was too bad to make the drive. These are examples of how we know what we want, but we don’t do the things to help us get there. Our behaviors are not lined up with our goals.

Self-doubt and scared inner voices: Do you find yourself having thoughts of not being good enough? Maybe you find yourself frequently comparing how you look with others. So many times, we find ourselves engaging in self-destructive behavior because we believe the scary words we tell ourselves about why we can’t or shouldn’t try something different. We end up avoiding the possibility of our fears coming true and the unwanted feelings that go with that. Avoidance feels safe because we get to control the outcome before we even try.

Looking to the past: When we constantly focus on the rearview mirror, we miss opportunities that can exist for us in the present moment. Ruminating on past experiences and interactions will often obstruct our ability to make decisions that help us move forward, do something different, and grow with optimism and confidence.

Focusing on what we don’t have: One of the biggest deterrents to achieving our goals is when we get stuck thinking about all of the things we wish were different or comparing ourselves with others. It is important to be mindful of the positive aspects of our lives to build on a foundation of what does work for us.

Take a moment to consider how any of these behaviors apply to you and how you might want to make a change. Change can be hard, but change can also be exciting and open many doors of opportunity. The Bariatric Counseling Center can offer support for the behavior changes you are looking for by helping you gain self-awareness and a plan to achieve your goals. We would love to hear from you!