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5 Ways to Stop Self-Sabotaging Behavior Now so You Can Thrive
Woman looking in the mirror

5 Ways to Stop Self-Sabotaging Behavior Now so You Can Thrive

Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. Our inner voice often tells us we’re not good enough and we believe it.

But it’s time to turn your self-critical mindset to a more positive one. You are the master of your own perspective and self-sabotaging behavior is your biggest barrier to success.

We’ve asked experts about how to see yourself in a better light, revel in your achievements, and ultimately realize you are entitled to be happy and successful.

1. Implement affirmations

When you notice you’re engaging in a self-sabotaging thought or behavior, choose an opposite option.

“This can be in the form of an affirmation like, 'I DO deserve a better job' or 'I AM going to be in a loving relationship,’” says life and relationship coach Catherine Tingey.

These affirmations create new neural pathways in the brain and, with time and diligence, absolutely have the power to eliminate self-sabotage, she says.

2. Shift your inner narrative

When you see your thought pattern digressing to a negative path, take control and shift your self-talk. 

“Start noticing when your mental monologue becomes angry, shaming, or hopeless and talk back to that voice the way you would an employee or even a child,” suggests Mike Ensley, a professional counselor. 

These responses could include "Stop" or "That attitude isn't helpful" or "You aren't allowed to speak to me that way.” 

It may feel silly at first, says Ensley, but if you stick to it you'll see the power of mastering your inner narrative.

3. Work to change habits that are hurting you

Get organized, implement a plan, and make schedules and budgets.

“Whether you're trying to improve finances or relationships, or change some habits, what often trips people up is a lack of intentionality,” adds Ensley. “Intentionality is deciding beforehand how a resource (time, money, talent) is going to be spent. This applies to so much, from saving money to making sure your partner feels cared for.”

You can leave room for spontaneity and choice, but failing to build intention leads to unfulfilled hopes, he says.

4. Make a decision to be your own authority

In order to develop self-confidence and a greater sense of self-security, you have to be in control of your mindset, choices and life.

“You have to be your own authority,” stresses David Neagle, an author and founder of coaching company Life is Now. “You know better than anyone else who you are and what you need. But until you recognize that truth, and step into your own authority, you will never lead yourself to a place of 100% self-confidence.”  

5. Realize you are entitled to be happy

You may be hindering your success by not feeling you are entitled to it.

“At the heart of self-sabotage is the belief that one is undeserving,” explains Tingey. “This feeling of undeserving usually has deep ties to one's family of origin or early life experiences.”

Start believing you deserve to be happy and your path to awareness will become more attainable. There is nothing stopping you, but yourself!

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