Do you suffer from negative behavioral and thought patterns that you know are unhealthy? These are referred to as self-defeating behaviors. They are on-going responses to stressors that sabotage your everyday life.

These types of thoughts and behaviors cause you to literally work against yourself. They make it all but impossible to fulfill your dreams and goals. In most cases, they develop at some of life’s lowest points. The problem is, they continue even after things get better.

Such attitudes and actions go against the principals of good physical and mental health. All they succeed at doing is reinforcing the self-defeating behaviors and thoughts that already exist.

Self-Defeating Behavior: 5 Tips for Overcoming It
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Examples of Self-Defeating Behaviors

Think of these behaviors as circuits that are hard-wired into your brain. They effectively limit your ability to respond to crises and unexpected changes in life, in a healthy, productive fashion, be it physiologically, psychologically or emotionally.

Some examples of behaviors that stop you from being the best you possible include:

  • Creating illogical conclusions in your head
  • Believing things that limit your achievements
  • Succumbing to unhealthy fears that hinder your growth
  • Making bad choices simply because you’re a “self-sabotager”
  • Disowning people, places and things that could help you thrive
  • Minimizing important things just to make other things seem larger

Making positive behavioral changes allow your brain to function in a healthy manner. You’ll experience more calmness, have healthier relationships, emotional stability and your physical longevity will improve.

However, when you don’t follow that model, these are some of the patterns that will seep in and take over your life:

  • Binging
  • Stressing
  • Anger
  • Toxic relationships
  • Emotional eating
  • Becoming overweight
  • Substance abuse
  • Smoking
  • Self-medicating
  • Perfectionism
  • Co-dependency
  • Poor sleep
  • Bad hygiene
  • Poor nutrition

Yes, life can be very challenging sometimes. We all have negative experiences we have to deal with at one time or another. But it’s important to find healthy ways to cope so you don’t succumb to self-defeating behaviors.

Don't Self-Sabotage Your Own Future
Don’t Self-Sabotage Your Own Future

5 Ways to Combat Self-Sabotaging Thoughts

Your thoughts dictate how you see yourself, as well as the world around you. This determines your capabilities, and ultimately, your successes. Thoughts that limit your abilities, skills, connections, opportunities, etc… defeat your true purpose in life.

Recognizing that you suffer from self-defeating thoughts is the first step to recovery. But changing those negative patterns is key. Here are five tips for getting rid of behaviors and thoughts that limit you and your future:

1. Imagine Being Someone Who’s Fearless

When you find yourself experiencing a negative thought, imagine who you would be if that thought didn’t exist. Would you have more friends, a better job, less stress, etc…?

Imagine what you could be and/or accomplish without that thought. In time, you’ll want to actually develop a pattern of pushing away such thoughts, so you can actually become that person.

2. Do Positive Things No Matter What

Most self-sabotaging people believe that what they do should be a direct reaction to how they feel. But healthy thinking says it’s the other way around. Change your dramatic patterns by doing the right thing, even if you don’t feel like it.

Determine your long-term goals. Take action daily to achieve them. If not, acting on impulse will continue sabotaging your future.

3. Prove to Yourself That You Can Do It

Are you looking for ways to become more confident and self-assured? Well, that’s impossible if your self-doubt stops you from going out and proving to yourself that you’re capable of achieving goals.

Instead of looking for some sort of mantra or divine intervention to help you believe in yourself, get up off your butt and just go prove to yourself that you can do it!

4. Remember, Truth Is Objective

Just because you are honest about how you feel about something, that doesn’t necessarily make it “truth.” There’s transparency in honesty. It helps you express your experiences and personal perceptions. Truth, on the other hand, is objective.

Self-defeating behavior makes you believe you’re a failure. This is your honest perception. But, truthfully, you’re actually doing well in life… other than your self-doubt and insecurities… of course. It’s crucial that you understand the difference between the two.

5. Stop Saying, “I Can’t”

Don’t let your self-consciousness cause you to believe you “can’t” accomplish something. Why? Well, the reality is… more than likely you simply don’t want to do it. Why? It’s probably because the positive act seems like something that might make you extremely uncomfortable.

What’s the answer? You need to change the way you think. Stop telling yourself what you can’t do. Fight the fear of failure (or success). And stop impeding your own ability to achieve.

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  • Kiesha Joseph

    Kiesha Joseph, aka The SEO Goddess, is a content marketing maestro based in the heart of Hemet, California. With a passion for helping new and established brands discover their ideal target markets through psychographics, Kiesha combines the power of SEO-friendly content with a personal touch.

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