Have you found yourself gravitating back toward habits that you “know” aren’t good for you? Do you struggle to maintain a healthier lifestyle? This article explores the idea that even though it seems like we are self-sabotaging, even bad or unhelpful actions are in our favor. Let’s dissect this idea together, step-by-step: is self-sabotage a myth?
What are Some Examples of Self-Sabotaging Behavior?
Let’s unpack this. So, do you find yourself “self-sabotaging” through behaviors like:
- Deciding to take a nap but realizing after an hour that you’ve been on your phone scrolling and exhausting yourself even more?
- Committing to losing weight but being unable to resist temptations, so much so that you might yo-yo and GAIN weight?
- Being sure you will NOT stalk that “ex” but end up feeling really bad after an hour of ruminating through their social media?
- Planning to meditate in the morning, but suddenly “not feeling like it” when the time comes (and then distracting yourself with work or by sleeping in).
You’re NOT the only one. Behavior that seems to go against what we logically know we should be doing is very common when we have an “unhealthy ego” running the script from backstage.
Now, you might wonder why I say that self-sabotage is a myth.
It’s because no matter how destructive the behavior can seem on the surface, underneath the “bad execution” is good intentions. In other words, there is a part of you that gains something through the bad execution, even if almost all of the other parts of you are losing something. So, this gives that self-sabotaging part of you permission to keep going, because it hasn’t yet identified a way to have that “need” met in a more healthy way.
Examples from the above scenarios could be:
- Your mind wants you to remain productive even when you are resting. So, it decides to engage you in more mental activity, such as worrying, mindless scrolling on your phone, dreaming of to-do lists, etc.
- Those snacks and sweets are actually a way for your tired mind to reward you for all the hard work you’re doing with your diet!
- Your mind is still hunting for evidence that your ex still misses you or has remorse now that you’re gone.
- Your ego mind is afraid of enlightenment! It’s literally protecting you from whatever it believes will go wrong if you get enlightened.
Do any of the possibilities seem relatable? Maybe these aren’t the exact reasons for you, but what if you could take a pause to reflect on any self-sabotaging behavior you think you’re engaging in? Especially if you frequently say that you “know” you should not be.
Not sure how? Let’s explore some ways you can learn to understand your sabotaging mind better.
3 Powerful Resources to Help You Understand & Overcome Self-Sabotage
I LOVE exploring the workings of the ego and unconscious mind. It’s benefitted my personal and professional development exponentially! And there’s a lot of work around habit change and healing the “shadow” aspects of ourselves that we’ve done together as a community, as well as within my 1:1 client work. Sharing this list of resources with you, if you’d like to go deeper:
#1 – Journaling Prompt to Understand Your Self-Sabotaging Behavior
“What is the BENEFIT of me doing this seemingly ridiculous behavior?”
And if you’ve discovered your deeper WHY, what can you do differently?
So for instance, if it’s about reward, can you develop non-food-related rewards for yourself? I noticed that this was my pattern and I decided to choose gaming as my “reward” versus putting more calories in my body. It not only allowed me to take better care of my physical health, but it also helped me get in touch with my inner child’s need for play. I share a bit more personally about my journey of overcoming my chocolate obsession during my podcast collaboration with Katie Allen.
Let’s take another example: If stalking your ex is really about confirming that you’re still loved, can you start leaning on your friends and loved ones to help you fill that empty reserve?
The point I’m trying to drive home today is that even the most outrageous behavior that we engage in has some underlying purpose – otherwise, we would definitely NOT be doing it.
#2 – Try out the tools from this class
We recently explored the different types of unconscious blocks and how to overcome them, in our monthly group call. Login into your account or sign up and get access to this exclusive resource, as well as hundreds of other bonus resources and monthly live group coaching calls!
#3 – Engage in deep self-reflection through 30 days of daily activities
I love journaling and decided to create one for my favorite reflections! In this unique workbook designed like a self-paced course, you get insights into the workings of the unconscious mind, ego-work, shadow-work, and such.
This is an editable workbook you can immediately download, and redo as many times as you like. If you’re old-school like me, you can also print out these pages and meet pen-to-paper.
30 Days of Enlightened Thinking and Being is NOT about renouncing the world or wearing orange robes. It’s about taking all the knowledge and “digesting it”. In other words, embodying intelligent words so that they can become intelligent actions.
Don’t beat yourself up for not having the habits, success, or goals you long for. You are fully capable and worthy of them!
There is massive potential and power in working with your unconscious mind.
So, focus on this key frame of mind: what does my self-sabotaging behavior actually want for me?
Do share your reflections with me in the comments below, I’d love to hear how this article and resources serve your growth!
Vasundhra is the Founder & Writer of My Spiritual Shenanigans. After seeing 11:11 on the clock one fateful night, her life turned around. Ever since, she has been blending modern psychology and ancient spirituality, to help herself and people around the world elevate the quality of their lives.
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