Have you ever reach a certain level of success only to find that you end of blowing and losing it? Maybe you’ve gotten a great job but you find yourself missing critical things that put you in jeopardy. Or you’re are on a strict diet but then you binge to destroy your results. It may be because you are sabotaging yourself. We all do it to a certain extent. Here is how to recognize it and stop it before it ruins you.
What is Self Sabotage?
All systems try to maintain a level of stasis. Your body tries to maintain your blood level at the same PH even if you overeat acidic foods. It tries to maintain the same weight so that if you drop some pounds, your body slows your metabolism down so that fewer calories can get you back to your original weight.
The environment is similar. If you build a city and then abandon it, the wilderness will eventually reclaim the city. If you dump toxic waste into the water, the earth will gradually detoxify it.
Institutions exhibit the same dynamic. An elite college tends to remain an elite college for the duration of its history but it is very difficult for a mid-level college to enter the ranks of the elite.
The reason for this is that consistency is generally a good thing. In a natural state being able to maintain your place meant that it was harder to lose your place in the pecking order. The downside is that the tendency towards stasis also makes positive change incredibly difficult.
Self-sabotage is stasis kicking in. Personal development expert Tony Robbins related that at a young age he started a successful company. He was a multi-millionaire in his 20s at a time when a million dollars was a lot of money kicking in. But right when he was at the top, he began sabotaging himself by not attending meetings and alienating his best employees. It was self-sabotage at work.
Ways in which we self-sabotage
There are lots of different ways that people self-sabotage:
- If you are trying to start of business, you can procrastinate and waste our time on unimportant tasks thus ensuring that our business will fail.
- If you are dating a great girl, you can allow an ex-girlfriend to pull you back into her orbit thus blowing your chances with the better girl.
- You can make poor choices: “winging it” instead of preparing for a sales presentation or neglect doing your reading for class.
- You can arrive late.
- You can get involved with, or stay involved with the wrong people.
Real change is hard. Unless you actively prepare for success, stasis will kick in and use self-sabotage to bring you back down to your current level.
How do you fight self-sabotage?
Acknowledge that the enemy is there. The first thing to realize is that you make any effort to improve yourself or better your position, stasis is going to activate self-sabotage. You will have to face this enemy. Therefore, prepare yourself for battle.
Plan. Don’t take your goals for granted. You are going to need a specific set of behaviors to achieve escape velocity to reach a higher level. Once you are there, you’ll need to perform at a higher level consistently to maintain the new level. Don’t take it for granted. Plan and specify the behaviors that you will need to execute on a consistent basis to remain on the loftier plan.
Be ruthless on yourself; do not repeat the same tired methods. – Robert Greene
Execute and Observe. After you complete your plan, begin executing it. But if you do nothing else, inertia will slowly, inevitably drag you back down. That is why you must observe your actions and compare it with your plan. This examination must be done frequently, ideally on a daily basis. You must be ruthless in this examination. There is no excuse for deviating from your plan.
As with all the articles on this site, there is a greater purpose. Slaying self-sabotage will not only allow you to achieve your goals here and now, it will also prepare you to assume a leadership role in the new world that is coming.
Mark Citadel says
Very true. The enemy within of sorts.
I haven’t yet gotten the chance to read your book, but I will get to it and do a review. Currently have a book and a half on the boiler plate, but yours is next up after that.