How to Stop Self-Sabotage
Silvia Duran / July 24, 2020
Have you ever wondered or dwelled on why a situation didn’t play out as you expected? Why didn't you get the job, a prospective client that didn’t come through? Does your mind fill with random thoughts? Are they positive thoughts or negative ones? Do you find yourself doubting situations or yourself, even? If so, know that you are not alone. Studies have shown that most people spend 80% of their day focusing or thinking of negative thoughts and emotions. So where does that 20% go? What many of us fail to realize, is that these negative thoughts are what is sabotaging our own relationships and experiences. In order to get more clarity on this, it is important to understand how our minds work.
The mind works on two levels: the conscious and the unconscious. The conscious level of our brain only works at 4% capacity. It is at this level, where we use logic and reasoning and are able to have a clear picture as to what is going on, as well as how to proceed or control a situation. The conscious level is essentially where we have the most awareness. The unconscious level, unlike the conscious level, works at 96% capacity. This is where our emotions, memories, hormones and limited beliefs are run. This is the level of the mind that gets tired or worn out from day to day interactions. We may not realize it, but we tend to go about our day-to-day life with a sort of “survival mode” mindset. Oftentimes, we have a more fogged perspective on situations we encounter, which can cause us to lose sight of our goals and priorities. It is important to have a stronger mindset and to ensure that we are taken care of, both physically and mentally.
Our mindset is where all our energies, dreams and goals are placed, along with our expectations for the ideal outcome. The beauty of having a strong mindset is that the perfect outcome we dream about in our heads is very much attainable! To achieve a stronger, more positive mindset, it is important to exercise discipline and awareness. We must have that hunger for change, that way destructive habits can be broken. When one has a stronger, healthier mindset, all levels of communications, relationships and emotions are improved greatly, allowing us to have a more clear focus on our goals.
Based on personal experience with both myself and clients, the best way to start setting our goals for achieving a stronger mindset is to prioritize the areas that need improvement. These areas are negative habits that can range from low self esteem to self destructive habits. Consciously reflecting on the habits or behaviors that hold us back is integral to the process. How do we express our emotions? How do we react to particular scenarios? Is there a possibility that we are projecting inner frustrations or turmoils onto other parties? I highly recommend looking at these areas first because how we express our thoughts and emotions plays a major role in our relationships. Sometimes, we can express ourselves differently from how we actually feel. Perhaps you’re being perceived as egotistical, angry, too needy? Even if this isn’t how you actually feel? We may not realize it, but the tone of our voice and our breathing impact how we express our emotions and how we are perceived.
One method you can use to calm your mind, thoughts and breathing is through meditations. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. It can take as little as five to ten minutes of your time, or perhaps you prefer meditating for 30 minutes. How you meditate is entirely up to you and what you feel works best, as meditating can have high returns on your health, mental focus and even your social or communicative skills. Meditation can also help lower stress levels significantly and can help lower blood pressure. The goal of mediation is to match your breathing with your heart rate, which can help to calm the mind. There are several resources and links you can choose from. You can choose to use relaxing music, yoga mediation, the Tao, or Buddhism. Whichever you prefer to use is entirely up to you. If you don’t have the time to travel to a yoga studio or group session of meditation you can simply just sit somewhere peaceful and meditate (it can be from the comfort of your home!) or perhaps you can go for a walk. Being connected with nature helps greatly as well. Take your shoes off and walk barefoot on the grass. You decide what works best and brings you the most comfort.By practicing this, you calm your mind and can live peacefully in the present moment. Meditation allows us to experience surrender and a sense of freedom. Remember that the key is to calm your breathing and pair it with your heart rate. Be aware of any thoughts that might creep into our mind, break the pattern of negative thoughts and replace them with thoughts of gratitude. Being grateful for all the ups and downs in your life gives you a sense of calm and trains your mind to identify if you are using negative words to express yourself, even how you are reacting to these experiences.The words that we use on a daily basis can be very effective and are the main source of your reactions.
Life is full of experiences that have very valuable lessons to offer us. It is from these experiences, that we can choose how we react and learn from them. Allowing ourselves to grow and evolve helps us to evolve as a person and unlock a higher sense of awareness, gratitude and maturity. Most of us do not realize it, but by allowing ourselves to dwell in the past or continue on with destructive behaviors, we are essentially sabotaging ourselves. By making these adjustments to our behaviors and mindset, we can be the best versions of ourselves.