We’ve all heard the definition of insanity. It is doing the same thing but expecting different results. While I know the definition, I’m no stranger to living this way, desiring change, even investing everything into it but living stuck in my old patterns. Of course, I don’t intentionally keep myself stuck. It’s an unintentionally subconscious response repeated when we fail to live aware of our drive to self-sabotage.
Let me define self-sabotage to give you an adequate description of what we’re talking about. Self-sabotage is when we actively or passively take steps to prevent ourselves from reaching our goals.
Most likely, you don’t go around bragging about your latest attempt to self-sabotage, but if we’re not careful or aware of it, self-sabotage will be the very thing that keeps you from moving forward. We all do it or have done it until we learn how to undo it.
Self-sabotage is the natural pull of life, but when we know better, we can do better. We can learn to overcome self-sabotage.
Today on the podcast, I talk with mindset expert, licensed clinical psychologist, and certified weight management specialist Dr. Candice Seti. We dive into the habit of self-sabotage and the key steps to overcome it. Trust me, it’s not as difficult as we make
The hidden truth about self-sabotage.
It’s a messy and yet consistent truth, self-sabotage. One that goes relatively unnoticed or unnamed while simultaneously bringing with it a host of pain and bitterness, leaving us to question what is wrong with us? If you’ve been here, spinning your wheels but not moving forward, you can most likely thank self-sabotage. An element of life that most hate and yet fail to understand.
Self-sabotage is a form of self-preservation. Your body is hardwired to crave familiarity, making the body’s natural pull away from different things and back into safe things.
When life feels unfamiliar, the need for control kicks in, leading us to take action outside of what we’re working for to maintain a level of familiarity, a level of safety.
This is what psychologists call cognitive dissonance. A definition that is best understood as two parts of yourself that are in conflict with one another. Take your health, for instance. In many cases, you want to get healthy for the right reasons. Because you know a healthy body is an energized body that will allow you to get out and live your life. One part of you craves the healthy change. But this change threatens the other part that lives for safety and security.
Your hates the temporary pain of change.
Your body hates the temporary pain of the change, creating conflict internally between the parts of you that want to change against those that need to feel safe and secure.
More often than not, self-sabotage pulls ahead as the weapon of choice that wins the war. Keeping you stuck in the familiar and the safe while living frustrated that nothing changes, no matter how much you try.
The reality is no matter how much you want something, if it threatens your safety, you’ll self sabotage your way out of it. Leaving you stuck in your old but comfortable patterns.
The idea is hard to understand without understanding the importance that safety and security are to your being. Safety is the strongest survival pull we have and one that takes precedence over any other change, even healthy change.
It’s why you can have all of the best intentions to eat differently, try intermittent fasting, or wake up and workout, but the second your body feels the pain or even envisions the pain of those changes, you self-sabotage. It’s why the pain of temporary hunger when fasting sends your body into a spiral of survival.
Your body fears pain when you haven’t made peace with it. But to create change, we have to become safe with it, and we have to learn the art of loving different.
The life-changing art of different.
Self-sabotage may be woven into your DNA as a form of self-preservation, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. The key is to make peace with different. To friend change and to make change the familiar rather than the unfamiliar. Of course, this isn’t going to be easy, but it doesn’t have to be complex. Complexifying things is one of many ways we self-sabotage.
The key is to maintain safety in your beliefs and perceptions that behavior change is no longer a threat. If we go back to your health and the changes you are making, you have to find safety in what you’re doing. This means you have to work on your beliefs and thoughts before you step into the behavior change. Before you change your diet, do the workout, start the fast, you have to find safety in these things. You have to believe these things not just for the change they can make but for what they offer you right now.
Unfortunately, the diet industry has made health very unsafe. The first step begins by changing your view of what health means—stripping away the restriction and deprivation mindsets that keep you stuck and moving into a place where health is the safest form of living.
We know, The human brain is wired to cling to familiar and overestimate risk. But when you know this, you can change this—making peace with different.
Today I want you to start to embrace the idea of change, not as a threat but as the safest thing you can do for yourself. Then you have to act accordingly.
Stop beating your body into submission and start loving it well. It’s the only way to embrace the art of different and embrace the idea of change to make it last. It’s the only way not to sabotage yourself back into the patterns that have kept you stuck. To love yourself well and find safety in the changes you make.
It begins by making small changes, little shifts, and showing up for yourself, basking in the reward of feeling energized and healthy rather than living in fear of your problems. Start small, show up, do something and enjoy the process.
Are you ready to beat self-sabotage in your health goals?
Check out these nine ways to overcome self-sabotage and live healthy.