Personal Development

How to Instantly Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy

Written by Maria Stenvinkel

Will things ever change?

Will a time ever come when you stop self-sabotaging? A time when you, once and for all, become your greatest self and live happily ever after?

You might wonder if something’s wrong with you. You might question your own sanity. No sane person would spend this much time self-defeating, right?

Maybe you know you should meditate but don’t. Maybe you know you shouldn’t overeat but do it anyway. Or maybe you have an overflowing to-do list but procrastinate nonetheless.

worst_enemyDoing what you shouldn’t and not doing what you should. That can easily make you feel like you’ve become the one person you’ve dreaded to meet in life: your own worst enemy.

If your internal enemy is running your life, the time has come to switch sided. Here’s how:

The First Step to Stop Self-Sabotage

The key to end self-sabotage is awareness. It might sound childishly simple, but often unwanted behaviors come as natural to us as brushing our teeth. We just do them without thinking.

We can also be aware but rationalize to justify our self-sabotage. To blame, give reasons, or make excuses, for example. So, start by observing yourself. Become aware of your behavior and self-talk (but without judgment).

How to Reveal the Truth About Your Self-Sabotage

When you know what you do, ask yourself why you do it. You might not be meditating because you don’t make time for it. You might be overeating to relieve your feeling of loneliness. Or you might be procrastinating because you’re afraid to fail.

Be brutally honest with yourself. Play around with answers until you’ve revealed the real reason behind your behavior.

7 Ways to End Your Painful Self-Sabotage

1. Separate Yourself From Your Toxic Thoughts

That mean little voice inside might appear like it’s you, but it’s not. Create distance between you and the thought. Observe it without judging.

Also, try questioning it. If you think, “I’m awkward around new people,” ask yourself, “Is this true?” Can you remember times when this hasn’t been the case?

2. Create a Life You Don’t Need to Rebel Against

If you don’t like certain things in your life, you’ll probably find ways to (secretly) protest against them. If you don’t like your job, you might protest by arriving late or missing deadlines.

Don’t have things in your life you need to rebel against – either accept or change them.

3. Make Conscious Choices

A conscious choice is one where you know what you want and accept both the positive and negative aspects of it. The full package, that is.

For example, if you accept that changing career paths will include some stumble and fall, you won’t beat yourself up if (or rather when) it happens.

4. Ask Better Questions

We tend to ask ourselves the wrong questions, questions that we simply can’t give a positive answer to.

Instead of wondering, “What can go wrong?” ask yourself, “What can go right?”

5. Stop Procrastinating

Procrastination comes when we think action we take will cause some pain. When something seems massive, overwhelming, and scary.

So, how do you stop procrastinating? By taking one tiny step at the time. Focus on one easy thing you can do within five minutes, and then do that.

6. Break Toxic Habits

Habits are things we keep doing. Stop it and you’ll break the habit. It sounds elementary, but doing it makes a HUGE difference.

For example, if you think your opinion doesn’t matter in large groups, raise your hand and speak up more often. Set new and better reference points that will elevate you toward your desires.

7. Practice progress, not perfection

Perfect leaves us feeling miserable, insufficient, and inferior. When (not if) we fall short, we feel unworthy and incapable.

Instead of practicing perfection, practice positive progress.

From Self-Sabotage to Self-Love

Wanting things in life but finding ways to self-sabotage can be devastating. It’s a vicious cycle that you must break. Decide to break it right now.

Decide to not take more of your bullshit. Decide to not be less than what you’re capable of. Decide to not be the person standing in the way of your success and happiness.

Observe yourself and your behavior. Take action to elevate you toward the life you deserve to live. If you ever fall back into the black hole of self-sabotage, remember the seven ways mentioned above.

Let today be the day when you transform your most important relationship – the one you have with yourself – into the best one you have.

About the author

Maria Stenvinkel

Maria Stenvinkel is a corporate drop-out with a mission to help people get a career they truly love. Download her free worksheet Get a Clue to Your Calling With These 10 Powerful Questions.