comfort in the harmful actions of self-sabotage.
There are a few main reasons that we participate in self-sabotaging behaviors; perhaps the most all-encompassing is feeling a lack of self-worth. Even if you may think you don't have a self-worth issue, I invite you to take a good look at your beliefs if you are engaging in these types of behaviors. You are not alone, the majority of people are not aware they have low self-worth. but the fact you are engaging in these behaviors is a sign.
There are a million little factors that can contribute to our feelings of unworthiness, and it would take a dozen classes to cover them, but the concept of cognitive dissonance can help us understand more cumulatively.
Cognitive dissonance refers to the tendency we have to seek consistency among our beliefs and opinions. Every time something doesn’t make sense (like when we’re hurt or surprised by an action), we feel discomfort, our brain compensates by creating a new “reality” that eliminates the dissonance.
How does this play out in terms of self-sabotaging behavior? Here’s an example:
Let’s say you don’t like someone you work with, but one day they run out to get a coffee and ask if they can grab one for you too – their treat. After experiencing this exchange, you have two options moving forward:
Once you land on one of these options, your brain sticks to it. Your belief is either altered or strengthened based on what’s just occurred.
Processing new information makes our brains work harder and throws a wrench in the inner workings of everything. Therefore, our first instinct is always to come to a conclusion and move on, even if that means making a judgment that is not factually correct.
Your brain likes it when you fall back into previous patterns because that’s less cognitive work. It would be uncomfortable to learn new information, process it, then apply that new knowledge to all your memories and beliefs, and so it’s easier to fall back into old ideas and prejudices.
We like to be in control. It feels better to accept your own failure rather than face the possibility of failure taking you by surprise. At least when you’re steering the ship, you know where it’s going, even if that means driving it into an iceberg of self-sabotage.
Next week, I will cover one way you can start the process of stopping the habit of self-sabotage.
Remember, I'm always here to help, email me your questions on self-sabotage at Toni@drToniCamacho.com. Click here to learn more about self-sabotage by listening to this week's radio show.
Until next week. Have a happy week,
Dr. Toni is a Best-selling author, Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP) & Registered Herbalist in San Diego, California. She holds a PhD in psychology, and a Clinical Herbalist Certificate, an HHP certificate and is a Certified Trainer in the Success Principles. In private practice as a HHP she has been influenced by a variety of clinical modalities and orientations, and by the diverse life experiences of her clients. Toni’s approach to healing is holistic & transpersonal. In her work, she integrates the principles of Eastern and Western nutrition, herbololgy, energy medicine, Buddhist mindfulness and personal counseling to assist others in working through their physical or emotional blocks to attain optimal health.