What Is Self-Sabotage
Are you your worst enemy?
Often we, as humans are and it gets in the way of our own dreams, goals, and successes. We act against our own self-interest, self-destruct at our own hand, procrastinate, stop doing something that we know is good for us, and prevent our own selves from achieving something that makes us better. As our own inner critic continues to sabotage our efforts, we often wonder why things turn out as they do.
According to Psychology Today, “Behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals”
When it comes to weight loss, selfsabotage can manifest itself through our internal dialogue and behaviors. Acts and thoughts of self-sabotage deceive us into thinking they are helpful, when in fact, they ultimately undermine our efforts, especially when we continue to do so for a long period of time.
Procrastination is one of the main forms of self-sabotage, and when it comes to weight loss,
procrastination often prevents people from achieving a healthy weight, but there are other
forms of self-destructive thoughts and behaviors that keep us from achieving weight loss goals.
2 Reasons For Self-Sabotage
There are many reasons why people sabotage themselves, but two of the most significant are
self-perception and fear.
One of these reasons for self-sabotage is how we feel about ourselves. The spectrum of those
feelings can range anywhere between self-hatred to narcissism. Regardless, it is our own internal voice, how we truly feel about ourselves deep inside that guides our thoughts and subsequent behaviors.
For example, if we suffer from low self-esteem or worse yet self-loathing our inner dialogue will reflect scripts of unworthiness of things, which are good for us. In this case, we are often guided by our own critical inner voice that is always there within us to deny ourselves.
The Inner Voice
When the critical inner voice is loud, it can interfere with our ability to implement and succeed in self-supportive actions and goals, one of the biggest of which is weight loss.
While some may think this ridiculous, after all a voice like that is destructive and any smart
person would shut it down, the truth is that it’s easier said than done when in fact the human
psyche and our emotional and mental states are quite complex.
That voice can trick us with subliminal dialogue that can be rather deceptive. For example, instead of directly telling us, “You don’t deserve to lose weight and be healthy,” it will instead sabotage us with flattery and seemingly self-supportive statements…
“It’s okay, you’ve got this, you lost 15 pounds already, you can handle a piece of cake”
“Wow look how much willpower you have, get off that diet already, you’re doing great
“You’re tired and stressed, take the day off from exercising”
“You’ve had a long day, you’re too tired to cook, go ahead, and grab a burger and fries”
This dialogue appears self-supportive and complimentary, when in fact it is not as all these scripts lead back to self-defeat.
As the dialogue continues, and we follow, it takes us further and further from the goal.
Then when we fail once again to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves, that voice kicks us hard, “what a loser,” “ha, you failed again,” “you can’t do anything right,” which only goes to feed the negative perception we have of ourselves.
As sad and painful as this sounds, we become used to this type of inner dialogue and therefore allow it to control our actions, after all it reflects how we feel about ourselves.Thus we become comfortable with it and it continues.
Fear is a powerful emotion. It can make even the strongest and bravest of man cower, and often it holds us back from achieving what we yearn for. In regards to weight loss, fear is often a significant driving factor for self-sabotage.
• Fear of the unknown
• Fear of failure
• Fear of change
• Fear of something new
• Fear of the effort it takes to change habits and lifestyle
• Even fear of how a new body may change our lives
• Fear that if we lose all the weight, we will gain it back and hate ourselves
These are very real considerations that require introspection and confrontation on the deepest
levels within ourselves.
Thoughts that sabotage your weight loss efforts
“I WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT TO BE MORE ATTRACTIVE”
The motivation to be attractive may seem like it’s a big deal, but once you get hungry you will easily forget about those people to whom you want to become likable. There are far more important things about attractiveness than looks. No matter how good you look, people will get used to it quickly and go on to look for other traits you may have that they can find attractive.
Moreover, and most important, being more attractive is usually not enough of a motivating
factor to keep you on track, and rarely stands up to cravings, and unhealthy lifestyle habits.
Whether you want to be healthier, feel lighter on your feet, have more energy to play with your kids, or fit into a hot dress, those are your best reasons, and not any external sources, which are never a strong enough motivator to keep you going.
The greatest success comes when you do it for yourself
“I WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT BECAUSE I WANT TO LIKE MY SELF”
The truth is that statement is backwards, you must first like yourself, which motivates you to lose weight.It is okay not to be satisfied with yourself if you do not like the fact that you are overweight, but the only way you can achieve any goal is to work with yourself, rather than against yourself.
“I WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT TO KEEP MY SPOUSE, BOYFRIEND OR GIRLFRIEND”
Lasting, weight loss success can only be achieved when you do it for yourself.
“I WILL NEVER LOSE WEIGHT, I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH WILLPOWER”
Willpower is misleading, and plays a lesser role in weight loss than people think.
The key to lasting weight loss success is making profound habit changes and shifting mindset
towards a healthy lifestyle and a big part of that is learning to enjoy a new way of living and
“THIS LATEST FAD DIET WILL HELP ME FINALLY LOSE WEIGHT”
Diets don’t work; they only keep from your ultimate goal.
Lasting weight loss comes from making profound lifestyle habit changes in diet and exercise.
“IF THIS DIET DOESN’T WORK, I WILL TRY ANOTHER ONE”
How many diets have you tried in your life? 10? 15? 40? If diets worked, you would have been done with the first one.
Again, the key to lasting weight loss success is making profound habit changes and shifting
mindset towards a healthy lifestyle and a big part of that is learning to enjoying a new way of
living and eating.
“I CAN’T LOSE WEIGHT, THERE IS NO POINT IN TRYING”
This is the most perfect self-sabotage statement. Think about it, you’ve already lost without ever entering the game.
“I’M TOO BUSY TO TAKE TIME FOR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS”
Another classic excuse to avoid the effort, work and maybe face the fears of making the changes necessary to change.
Self-sabotage can be a serious detriment to achieving our weight loss goals. It is important to
consider and address these issues in order to ensure success in weight loss and even in other
areas of our lives.
It never hurts, and often helps to seek professional help in exploring these issues, especially if
they have been a life-long problem. A qualified counselor or therapist can help you identify why you self-sabotage if you are not able to stop this behavior on your own.
Stay well and take care!