Self-sabotage is something everyone suffers from.
After a decade of helping people overcome self-sabotage, we’ve identified a simple, five-step process you can use to snap yourself out of it when it rears it’s ugly head in your life.
The Five Step Process To Crush Self-Sabotage
Step 1: Recognise The Pattern
This is self-explanatory… You need to recognise self-sabotage when it shows up!
You can’t fix a problem that you don’t see clearly.
It’s been said that a problem well stated is a problem half-solved.
I don’t recall who said that, but it’s true!
Just by acknowledging that the problem exists, it will start losing some of it’s power over you.
Which leads you to…
Step 2: Review Your Emotions
It’s time to figure out what caused you to self-sabotage.
Self-sabotage doesn’t arise until you’re going somewhere.
In other words, you set a goal to exercise more and get back in shape… you start getting into action; maybe you go to the gym twice a week for two weeks… then all of a sudden you find yourself digging into a chocolate cake by yourself at two-thirty in the afternoon.
What’s going on?
And how do you fix it?
Start by bringing back into your mind what it is that you want to achieve.
Then identify which fears, worries, anxiety (or any other negative or unwanted emotions) come up in relation to you achieving your goal.
For example, let’s go back to our chocolate-cake eating gym goer… The goal is clear: To get back in shape.
The path is clear: Go to the gym, exercise, eat well, get enough rest.
So what stops you?
Negative emotions like fear of being judged in your workout clothes… or not wanting to go through the “pain” of putting in the work.
The obvious obstacles are one thing… but what’s often more important to making the change stick is to…
Step 3: Reveal Hidden Benefits
One of the assumptions of EPIC NLP is that every behaviour has a positive intention.
In other words, you’re actually getting something positive out of letting self-sabotage win the day.
And until you can identify what it is, you’ll keep self-sabotaging so you can experience that hidden “positive” benefit.
It’s absolutely vital that you uncover the hidden benefits (or “secondary gains” in psychology-speak) to be able to effectively switch off the self-sabotage.
So how do you do it:
Ask yourself this question… “What am I getting out of doing [self-sabotage behaviour] that I’ll have to give up if I stop?”
Once you identify the hidden benefits, the next step is to…
Step 4: Refocus Your Intention
Now you’re now clear on:
- What you want to achieve (i.e. your specific goal)…
- What you do to sabotage your chances of actually achieving success…
- Which fears or other unwanted emotions are getting in the way… and
- The “hidden” positive intentions that have been sustaining your self-sabotage.
Your next step is to find ways to replace your old self-sabotage habits with new ones.
So what will you now chose to do instead of that old, unwanted self-sabotaging habit?
Going back to the gym example from above, one of the triggers was the fear of being judged in your workout clothes.
So the “hidden benefit” of NOT going to the gym is that you won’t be judged because no-one will see you in those gym clothes.
To overcome the trigger and the hidden benefit you have to find a way to satisfy both the goal AND the hidden benefit of NOT achieving it.
In other words, in this example you might like to first get started on your path to getting in shape by actually working out at home, either by yourself, or with a trusted friend who is in the same boat as you… and who you know won’t judge you in your workout clothes.
Step 5: Replace Your Triggers
Replacing your triggers is a lot easier when someone is there to show you how to do it, explain it to you, and hold you by the hand to walk you step-by-step through the process. If you’d like some help sticking to your habit change, it’s time to take the next step.