Let’s talk about the dirty little s-word...sabotage!
When you’re trying your best to stay the course towards your health and fitness goals, it’s human nature to expect outside forces to trip you up – a glorious chocolate cake at the team lunch for Bob’s birthday, a girlfriend ordering another round of bubbles while you’re in the bathroom, or your partner suggesting a pizza and Netflix night when you’re heading out the door to the gym.
We are quick to go on the defense – pointing to and blaming others when we slip up. But I am here to tell you that the sneakiest hindrance to your success is staring right back at you in the mirror.
That’s right. It’s you.
Self-sabotage is real, friends, and it’s coming for you. The good news, the thing you have the most control over in this world is yourself, so it stands to reason that if you learn to recognize self-sabotage you can sharpen your sword and fight back.
What are you up against exactly? According to Psychology Today, self-sabotage is behavior that creates problems in our life and interferes with our long-term goals. Among the most common self-sabotaging behaviors are procrastination, self-medication with drugs or alcohol, comfort eating, and forms of self-injury.
If you’re anything like me, a couple of those points hit home. Again, we are human so there is no room for guilt or shame around your self-sabotaging tendencies – this is about seeing them for what they are and developing another way to move forward.
I find the best way to begin is with your self-talk. For me, self-sabotage often presents itself in the form of negotiation. If I have this piece of chocolate cake now, I’ll just do a few more minutes on the treadmill to burn it off.
Procrastination. Eh, there’s a lot going on and I don’t want to offend Bob. I’ll just get back on the clean-eating train tomorrow. Cake, please!
Self-soothing. This day is chewing me up and spitting me out. I just need a little chocolate fix to take the edge off – screw it, pass the cake.
Or, worst of all, self-loathing. Come on. You will never get to your goal weight. This is the best it’s going to be so just eat the damn cake.
Whatever your poison, all the above are the same demon... self-sabotage. Now that we are starting to see this ugly beast for what it is, let’s talk about slaying it:
1. Clearly, simply identify your goals – We need a bright north star on our path to success. This will help you make decisions in black and white terms as opposed to operating in shades of grey (which is where self-sabotage thrives).
2. Introduce positive rewards and celebrate your wins – Did you hit your gym goal this month? YAS! Treat yourself to some new Fleo shorts or a Lululemon top. Did you kick that stubborn inch? Queen! Book yourself a massage.
3. Try alternative comfort/coping methods – How about a long, luscious soak to unwind after a stressful day? Or a bowl of yogurt with some berries and dark chocolate when you are yearning for something sweet?
4. Be gentle and kind to yourself – This is a marathon, not a sprint and we all slip and trip along the way. What matters is that you brush yourself off and soldier on with your eye on the prize.
Why? Because you’re worthy and worth your best life!
I’m in your corner! Interested in learning more about recognizing and curbing self-sabotage to help you stay the course on reaching your goals? I’d love to have that conversation – let’s chat!