The other day I asked myself a couple of questions it went something like this.
Aye yo Morgan! Why do you flake on things or go halfway on what you’re putting out? Do you honestly think that you can reach your goals and be the person you visualize if you continue to put out work that’s rushed or thrown together? Are you truly happy with others giving your work praise when you know you could put out something better?
I took a step back and realized how much I was self-sabotaging. I didn’t realize it before… or I did, but dismissed it. Then some close loved ones called me to the carpet and made me address myself. Which is why I say,
In that process of acknowledging my self-sabotaging ways I figured why not chat with y’all about it because I know I’m not alone -- That’s right I watch a ton of y’all do it -- and I can’t preach about having accountability partners if I’m not going to be one myself riiight?
Okay let’s start here,
Self-sabotage is when we actively or passively take steps to prevent ourselves from reaching our goals. Some familiar forms of self-sabotage include procrastination, perfectionism, addictive behaviors, poor eating habits and negative self-talk.
“Hi, yeah it’s me Morgan, I’m 29, Female, Atlanta, Sagittarius and I perpetually procrastinate in the name of perfectionism so I’m constantly going in circles with things never getting them done until the very. last. minute. Only to put out creative content that is so much less than what I’m capable of… and your name?”
While I’m making a joke of it, it’s the truth and I know this because I’ve taken the time to self-reflect. Which leads me to step number 3. Yup that’s right, I figured if you start counting at 3 knowing you’ve already got some of the other steps out of the way you’d be more inclined to keep going. PROVE ME RIGHT! Step 1 was understanding self-sabotage, step 2 was recognizing ways we self-sabotage and step 3 is self-reflection.
Let’s face it the only way we are going to get better with anything in life is if we take the time to look within and be honest with ourselves. I know, I know… as SZA said “picking up a penny with some press-ons is easier” but who said reaching your goals would be easy? Take some time to realize what you do to hinder yourself. The next time you find yourself in a familiar unwanted situation ask yourself what you personally did to land yourself there. Can you think of the other time you were in this mess and your actions leading up to it? Is there a trend? How about this, maybe you’re not in an unwanted situation but you do have a goal that you’ve been wanting to accomplish but it keeps getting pushed out. Why do you think that is? What typically gets in the way for you?
Once you’ve identified your self-sabotaging habits, take a moment to realize that you are not alone. Everyone has their own personal hurdles to get over the fun is in figuring out the method in which you’re going to get over yours. In reading Atomic Habits by James Clear he details the importance of setting yourself up with smaller habits to lead you to the bigger habits you want to implement. For example, I know I personally struggle with procrastination, if I know I have time between now and a due date I will wait until I don’t have any more time to get started. I may try to start but I’m easily distracted. I know that if it’s to the wire though and I don’t have time for distractions I have the ability to focus in and get it done. So, I figured if it’s about a time crunch maybe I can trick my mind by setting my phone timer for a certain number of minutes to get a task done. Like right now, I’ve set a timer for me to get this blog post done in 30 minutes. It was definitely a time crunch and I have had to push the timer back for another 30 minutes now BUT I’m on a roll with writing at this point and I’m focused in on getting it done which was the ultimate goal. The following gif is an accurate depiction of what I look like at this very moment.
The small action I did by setting my timer sparked the habit I’m really trying to adopt which is focusing and not procrastinating.
Streamlining can look like placing your keys in the same spot every night so you are not late for work every morning. Putting notes positive affirmations everywhere so you see them before those negative thoughts creep in. Calling your friend in the car ride home instead of when you walk in the house so you can use that time at home to be productive like you’ve been saying you would. Not buying the big bag of potato chips to “last you a week” when you know you’ll be tempted to eat the whole bag by the end of the night. Setting yourself up for success requires taking action beforehand.
5. Acknowledging the small wins
Often times once when we identify our areas of improvement and are actively changing our behavior, we become wrapped up in getting better and reaching our goals of being better humans much so that we forget to look at how far we’ve come. When we don’t acknowledge our small wins, we can become discouraged and never reach our big wins.
Take the time to recognize when you I’ve consistently completed things well before their due date or the long-term relationship you’ve managed not to ruin. Understand the only way to keep moving forward is to remember how far you’ve come. Even if it’s only one step ahead you are simply one step closer to your dreams
In the same vain that we looked at ourselves and practiced self-reflection to see what we needed to work on, we must practice self-reflection to see what we need to care for. Have you ever had a boss, parent, friend or significant other always tell you what you weren’t good at to the point where you just didn’t even care anymore? We have a tendency to do that to ourselves from time to time… more like all the time now that I think about it. Eventually if we keep that up we will be less inclined to keep pushing forward away from those self-sabotaging habits and into the people we are aiming to be. Take the time to look within and see what you need. That could be rest, ice cream, a financial splurge, etc. whatever it is treat yo self.
Self-sabotage is a common and nothing to be ashamed of. When you take the time to recognize how you self-sabotage yourself, streamline ways to combat it, acknowledge the small wins and practice self-care throughout you’ll be able to reach those goals and be proud of how far you go. I can honestly say, while it was like pulling teeth to get myself to focus in, I’m really satisfied finishing this now instead of last minute. Which leads me to my bonus tip.
Bonus Tip (take it as a gift for proving me right and reading to the end)
Take a moment to sit in the feelings you get when you do the good habits, accomplish the goal or refrain from negativity. Sit in those feelings so you can remember them the next time you want to go back to your self-sabotaging ways, try to allow those feelings to propel you forward.
Whether it’s 1 step or 100 steps you are closer to living your best life than you were before and for that, I’d pick up a penny with a press-on any day.
It’s with peace and much love,