Stop Self-Sabotaging! Here Are 5 Ways to Unf*ck Yourself and Live Your Life Empowered

Teresa Mason
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At some point, everyone has done it. Whether it’s going back on a promise we made to ourselves, backtracking on goals, or just plain procrastination, we’ve all self-sabotaged. And once we’ve done it once, we’re more likely to repeat the same bad habit. It’s time to unfuck yourself – keep reading to find out how!

Studies show people with high levels of “self-control” aren’t constantly battling temptation – they’re simply relying on good habits.

The best first step is to replace old, negative habits, with new, positive ones – and it only takes anywhere from 18-66 days to form a new habit! Think of it this way: it’s much easier to replace a bad habit with a good one than it is to just stop doing the bad one.
 

Here Are 5 Ways You Self-Sabotage, and How to Unfuck Yourself:

1. Self-Sabotaging Statement: “I don’t have the time.”

Most people would say that they are extremely busy people. In a study with 10,000 adults, roughly half of young people (aged 18 to 34) said they overstate their own busyness to others.
 
No matter how “busy” you are, you are never too busy to brush your teeth or shower on a regular basis. You make time for these essential things. So, the things that you “don’t have time for” are really things that you deem non-essential.
 
How to stop: Plan a time to accomplish the things on your list, but also re-wording the phrasing in your head. Instead of “I don’t have time for . . . ” say “It isn’t my priority to.”
 
This will help you evaluate what you will make time for and what isn’t important for us in the moment. (Example: “It’s not a priority to call my grandma today” triggers more of a response than “I’m too busy to call my grandma today.”)
 
 

2. Self-Sabotaging Statement: “I’ll deal with it later.”

“Later” is an imaginary time-frame that sets us up for failure. If you messed up on your diet and had a brownie (or three), you don’t need to wait until tomorrow to begin again. Simply begin again, right there. We learn this in meditation constantly.
 
It isn’t about having an empty mind, it’s about returning to the breath. Not “later” but now.
 
Here’s how to stop: If it takes less than five minutes, do it now. Dishes, that email you’ve been meaning to send, paying a bill, thanking a family member, etc. These things sit on your list for hours when they could be done before the barista has made your matcha latte.
 
For things that take more than five minutes, take five minutes to make a plan of when you will do it and make sure to follow through. It might be helpful to set up a reward system, or find an accountability partner to keep you on track.
 
 

3. Self-Sabotaging Habit: Comparing ourselves to others.

It’s said that “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Comparison is so deeply embedded in our culture – from keeping up with the Joneses, to competing in sports or education, to every fashion and beauty ad ever created. How can you move past it?
 
Here’s how to stop: This solution is deeply personal and varies from person to person. I’ve had a great experience with gratitude journals and affirmations that make me look at the big picture. They help generate positive feelings for the present moment.
 
Another key thing to do is to unfollow people on social media that don’t make you feel good. I officially give you permission! I don’t care if they’re the “best,” most “inspirational” guru out there, if this person and their perfectly crafted Insta-world makes you feel like sh*t, then don’t have them on your feed!
 

 

4. Self-Sabotaging Habit: Creating impossible expectations.

I once had the goal to read one book per week. Sure, some people can accomplish this feat without much hurry involved, but I am not one of those people. So when I made this impossible-for-me goal, I was predictably disappointed within the first month when, despite my hurry, I hadn’t even finished my third book.
 
Here’s how to stop: Be realistic. Review your past habits in the department you’re looking to grow. Your next step should look similar to what you already have in place – baby steps. Once you do that, break it down into the smallest steps you can think of.
 
You might find that there are more steps than you realized, and that starting even smaller could get the ball rolling. (Ex: Triathlon. You might want to start with running a 5k, but when you realize that a 5k is 3.1 miles, and you’ve never run even one mile, then maybe running one mile is a more realistic goal.)
 
 

5. Self-Sabotaging Habit: Analysis Paralysis.

Analysis Paralysis happens when we are confronted with a decision that we can’t decide on. We think we are being logical by comparing the facts or writing pros and cons lists. But, in the end, we are made useless by the information and are rendered emotionally or physically immobile.
 
Here’s how to solve it: Just do it! I know. It is the hardest and most impossible thing to do. If you could “just do it,” you would have already! But I will say it again: if it doesn’t hurt you or another person, do it!
 
Don’t make another list. Remove any delay mechanisms (“I’ll do it later,” “I’m too busy,” or any numbing versions of self-sabotaging like drug use or comfort eating), and pick the option that comes to you organically.
 
Measure the pros and cons, sure. Be prepared, yes. But don’t let those things stop you from making a change and growing yourself spiritually, physically, or emotionally.
 

Stop Self-Sabotaging and Unfuck Yourself!

Self-sabotage is a common and preventable occurrence. Everyone does it, and there is no fool-proof way to stop it completely. With these five examples, you can see that you can take negative habits, halt them in their tracks, and change them for the better.
 
Start with mindfulness of self. Find the root of the problem and establish a compassionate way to set yourself on a more beneficial path.
 
What kind of self-sabotage have you experienced? How do you re-route this habit? Tell us in the comments!
 

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Teresa Mason

Teresa is a Yoga Alliance certified yoga instructor and a Karma Kids certified kids yoga instructor. Her top passions are yoga, books, cats, and nutrition. She hopes to show that yoga is for everyone and to inspire others to find balance and self-love on their yoga and mindfulness journey.

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