When we fall victim to our critical inner voice and listen to its directives, we often engage in self limiting or self sabotaging behaviors that hurt us in our daily lives. This is a power you can cultivate.
If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. Once we know where our self sabotaging thoughts come from, we can start to differentiate from the negative identity we have cast upon ourselves. We can familiarize ourselves with our critical inner voice and notice when it starts to seep in to our thought process. For example, if we often feel embarrassed or ashamed and, as a consequence, hold ourselves back socially, we can start to push ourselves to be more outward and open.
Differentiating from these behaviors is essential to leading happy lives.
How to Stop Self-Destructive Behavior
In their book The Self under Siege: A Therapeutic Model for Differentiation , co-authored by Dr. Lisa Firestone and Joyce Catlett, we describe the four steps involved in differentiation. Step one involves separating from the destructive attitudes critical inner voices we internalized based on painful early life experiences.
The third step involves challenging the destructive defenses or adaptations we made to the pain we experienced growing up. These adaptations may have helped us in childhood but, very often, hurt us as adults. For instance, if we were used to being let down or rejected as children, we may have formed a defense that shuts us off from wanting or expecting much from others.
Though this lowering our expectations may seemed to help cushion us from getting hurt as kids, this same defense can keep us from trusting or getting close to someone as adults. The fourth and final step of differentiation asks us to develop our very own sense of our unique values, ideals and beliefs.
- Pointe break: ballet's destructive power laid bare in Sergei Polunin documentary?
- Clark County (Postcard History);
- Self-Sabotaging: Why We Get in Our Own Way.
- How to stop being a perfectionist | The Law Society of NSW.
Once we have separated from the negative overlays from our past, we can uncover who we really are. We can stop self sabotaging behaviors and choose the person we want to be. The defenses and critical inner voices that we carry over time often lead us to recreate dynamics from our early life in our adult life.
We tend to play out negative, old behavior patterns with the people we get close to. We often form self sabotaging relationships by indulging in our critical inner voices and failing to challenge our core defenses. For example, if we felt abandoned as a child, we may have the tendency to become insecure in our adult relationships. She is just going to leave you.
Our critical inner voices encourage us to act out our defenses in all areas of our lives, but most often in our closest relationships. They often hold us back from getting what we really want, instilling fears in us that we will be hurt in the same ways we were hurt as children. Getting to know our patterns can help us to avoid self sabotaging relationships. We can start to act against our inner critic and break from defenses that no longer serve us well today. Facing our past is an important part of this process. Once we familiarize ourselves with our defenses, we can differentiate from self sabotaging behaviors and live a more liberated life, in which we are more powerful and much more in control of our destiny.
Why some of us have this very strong compulsion, when we know it will cause us intense emotional pain, makes no sense. I have serious issues with self-sabotaging relationships. I am the cool girlfriend, age 30, bouncy blonde who loves to have fun. In every relationship, I craved novelty—the exciting phase at the beginning. And then once reality set in because the novelty began to fade, especially when it started to get serious, I began picking apart the relationship. Why I was not worth staying in the relationship long-term. Because my value was centered around being fun and interesting.
2. I don’t have enough money.
The fitness guru pro-ball player. The CPA from my hometown. The friend who was a therapist. All of them, I bailed on. All of them guys that had staying power. And then I would leave. And now, I am with an incredible guy. And now I am doing the same thing. Beginning to pick apart the relationship. Because I am not perfect, I am not worthy of being in this relationship. And he has the insight to point this out to me, even after I had figured it out. By the way, he is an incredible doctor.
I would and could not ask for more.
How to Stop Self-Destructive Behavior
But here I go again—sabotaging this. I need to conquer my fears of intimacy and the need for perfection. OR I will lose the best relationship I have ever been in.
And my work starts on the inside. Rose, I hear your pattern, as I have been there myself many times for different reasons. Our biggest challenge and frankly the only challenge worth transforming… Is to truly love ourselves. It is cliche, absolutely. The fear of failure is not uncommon among driven professionals, who often berate themselves for even the smallest error and find that any perceived negative feedback feels excruciatingly bad. Perfectionism can lead to negative emotional states including depression, anxiety, stress and a host of psychosomatic symptoms which impact performance.
External influences, such as your workplace, can also amplify perfectionistic tendencies. An environment that constantly scrutinises your output can exacerbate these feelings. A good example is the conventional billing system. Lawyers often tell me that it cultivates a culture of internal competitiveness and errorless outputs. The conveyor belt of goal-oriented achievements commonly measured in six minute increments can be unrelenting, particularly as it is constantly monitored and judged. Overlay this with individuals who display perfectionist tendencies and you have a recipe for unhealthy behaviours such as procrastination, increased conflict, eating disorders and more.
Want to avoid this gremlin called perfectionism from interrupting your capacity to reach your true potential? What messages do you give yourself when you make mistakes? What is your dominant pattern of thinking? What words are you using? Rachel Setti is an organisational psychologist and coach who specialises in effective leadership and interpersonal skills. How to stop being a perfectionist. Breadcrumb Home Resources Career hub How stop being perfectionist. How to get the best employees for your business Follow the rules Four-day work week. You can make it happen How to work better with introverts Michael Kirby: The case that changed me The case that changed me - Jane Sanders The case that changed me: Anna Cody Working from home?
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