7 SCIENTIFIC REASONS WHY WE SELF SABOTAGE

By Kritika Joshi, Freelance Contributor

“Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn’t happen.” ~ Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby
We all get in our way of intent occasionally and some may do it repeatedly, whether it’s procrastinating drinking or overeating. Self sabotaging behaviours are such damaging behaviours which create problems and interfere with long standing goals. They are actions that get in the way of achieving your goals.
Following are 7 reasons why we self sabotage
1. CONTROL

A thing that always feels good is having control of your own life, especially the failures. It feels better to control your own failure than to let it blindside you. Self – sabotage isn’t pretty, but it’s a dignified alternative to spinning out of control. Reaching for something, desperately working something and it not working out would be more humiliating and damaging than if you just burnt it all down yourself in the first place.

2. SELF WORTH-

Dr. Ellen Hendrickson puts it, “People like to be consistent- our actions tend to be in sync with our beliefs and values.” When they aren’t in sync we make efforts to line them up. If we start to rack up the victories and accomplishments, yet still view ourselves as flawed and worthless, we “pull the plug” to get rid of dissonance. Most common ways of doing this is by procrastinating, or numbing oneself through alcohol, binge eating or even general recklessness.

3. BOREDOM-

People do actually self sabotage when they are bored. Yes, sometimes we indulge in activities in activities that are considered to be “destructive” only because we are bored of our lives. Boredom can either be due to uninteresting work to do or due to no work. Sometimes we self sabotage simply to push buttons.

4. FAMILIARITY-

We all like to be consistent. We tend to choose consistency over our own contentment and happiness. If you’re used to being neglected, abused, ignored, or exploited, it’s oddly comforting to keep putting yourself in that position. You’ve probably been there your whole life, and while you may not be happy, that which you know is preferable to the unknown. This familiarity removes out the fear of failure.

5. ALLOCENTRIC-

It is to care about what others think of us. If your tribe members decided to kick you out of the camp, your chances of survival alone in the “wild” would be tiny. Taking everything so seriously, especially other people’s opinions can be another common cause of self sabotaging. We waste so much precious time and energy worrying about what other people think about the things we do. We will stress out over every little detail, comment, or choice because we worry what will s/he think? We shouldn’t have the emotional capital to spend on it. So give yourself a break from it; you’ve earned it.

6. SCAPEGOATING-

If things aren’t resolved (or when they aren’t resolved, because that’s the only option, right?), we can blame the action instead of ourselves. Of course she left me — I was never around. Of course I failed the class — I barely studied for any exams. While these reasons may be true, they are more frivolous, and easier to come to terms with and swallow than the deeper reasons we only believe to be true. Of course she left me — I’m not worthy of love. Of course I failed the class — I’m incapable of grasping the material.

7. PERCEIVED FRAUDULENCE-

As the stakes get higher and higher—you ascend to ever more rare levels of education, take on more responsibility at work, or do something that raises your public profile—you feel you only have farther to fall. You think if you call attention to yourself by being successful, it’ll be more likely that you’re called out as a fraud. You may push hard and go big, but worry you’ll be revealed at any moment. Either way, feeling like a fake is a one-way ticket to procrastination and getting distracted—if you’re faced with a task that makes you feel like a big fat fraud, it’s a lot more appealing to check Twitter, or realize you’ve never made banana bread from scratch and, by gosh.

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