Three steps to stop self-sabotage

Make a decision today not to be ruled by your inner saboteur any longer. Use these three simple steps to overcome internal resistance to change and break the cycle of self-sabotage for good. Take the leap and soar into the unknown.

1- Become aware of your inner saboteur

Tune in to what’s going on in your subconscious mind. Start to notice any negative thoughts and feelings you have or self-destructive behaviour you exhibit and note the consequences. These are most likely to become apparent when you feel yourself resisting something.

Keep a note of what comes to mind in a journal. Writing down our thoughts is a powerful tool that provides us with greater insight and self-knowledge. By keeping a journal you will be able to start to recognise more easily any self-sabotage patterns that emerge. Underlying these will be the limiting beliefs you have formed. Their root source may be the result of your reactions to past experiences, feedback from others or perhaps even the culture in which you grew up. Try to identify what they are. What do you believe about yourself and the abilities you have? You can then look towards transforming them into new, empowering beliefs.

First, though, we need to question their validity. Are they sensible or silly? Ask yourself what others would think of them. This will help you to begin to gain a fresh perspective and start the process of moving away from identifying with them.

Then you need to identify the impact these beliefs have on the decisions and choices you make in all areas of your life, whether it be health, relationships, work or money. Ask yourself if they are pulling you away from success or pushing you towards it? Lastly, you need to question what’s stopping you from believing something else. What is it that you fear? This will help you to the next step.


2 Create new empowering beliefs

To establish a fresh set of beliefs, we need first to change our internal dialogue — the doubting self-talk of our inner saboteur — and switch the charge from negative to positive.

Go back to your journal. Take the list of limiting beliefs you identified, the ones that have been working against you, and place them under a column on the left-hand side of the page. Then, on the right-hand side, list a number of advantageous beliefs. These are the ones that will help you get what you want.

It’s important you have ample motivation to push through your internal resistance to change. Underneath the left-hand column in your journal, write down how your limiting beliefs have been holding you back from achieving your goals. Then on the right-hand side, note what the long-term benefits would be if you were to change your beliefs to those in that column. What will they help you achieve? Who will they help you become? What impact will they have on the various areas of your life?


3 Make change happen

It’s now time to break through your comfort zone and make change happen. Create an alarm on your phone that goes off three times a day, every day, in the morning, midday and afternoon. Label your alarm with one or more of the positive beliefs you listed on the right-hand column of your journal. When the alarm goes off, repeat the words to yourself three times and let them sink in.

Make an action list of what you need to do to get what you want. These will be in line with your positive beliefs. There’s a saying: ‘small steps reap big rewards’. Every day, first thing, do one action, however small, that will move you towards success. Schedule it into your diary and put it at the top of your priority list.

Should you start to feel resistance at any point, stop what you’re doing, focus on your breathing and refer back to the list in your journal detailing all the positive ways your new beliefs will affect your life.

Make sure you have support around you. Choose a person to take with you on your journey, someone who can hold you accountable to your actions and be your cheerleader, spurring you on and helping you maintain momentum. With persistence, you will make significant positive progress towards achieving all you desire out of life.

  • Words: Juliana Kassianos
  • Illustration: Ikon Images / Alamy
  • Article extract from issue 5 of Breathe – order digital edition here