With the exception of my weight-gain confession, this post is probably one of the hardest I’ve ever tried to write. But since I made a promise to share more about things that matter to me, I knew I’d eventually have to talk about my struggles with self-sabotage and selling myself short…out loud.
I like to think of myself as a pragmatic person. I’m definitely not an eternal optimist but I don’t spend my life having pessimistic thoughts either. As such, I’m usually very self-aware. I know my strengths and weaknesses are and usually I’m able to play up the former while working around the latter.
However, I developed a nasty habit of self-sabotage during my first year of university. And for a couple years, I did my best to avoid thinking about the fact that it was an issue I needed to address.
What is self-sabotage?
I’m not a psychologist so I can’t give you the textbook answer but I think of self-sabotage as anything that I do to consciously or subconsciously interfere with my goals. For me, it manifests itself as eternal procrastination but for others it may take the form of comfort eating, self-harm, self-medication and the like.
Why I sabotaged myself
In secondary school I was used to being smart and my love for school was a huge part of my identity. I excelled in school even without trying and that made me work even harder to be as good as I could possibly be.
So coming to university and realising that I was just one of many and not especially smart in comparison to the others was a shock that I obviously didn’t handle well. I stopped trying as hard and did just enough to skate by for the first few years.
It wasn’t until I faced the very real possibility of failing my first course ever that I really stopped and took note of what I was doing to myself and my future. And once I recognised the pattern of self-sabotage I started asking myself ‘why’.
What I found was both the biggest cliche and the sad reality for a lot of us.
I was literally selling myself short and sabotaging my dreams because I didn’t think I was good enough.
I had it in my mind that no matter how hard I tried, I’d never succeed so why should I bother trying? Having low expectations is better than having high ones you’ll never meet, right?
Objectively, I know that’s a load of bull. Working towards hopes, dreams and expectations is what keeps many of us going. But that pattern of self-sabotage and selling myself short was so hard to break.
Even though I eventually started working hard and applying myself to my studies again, the rest of my life isn’t always safe from self-sabotage.
I see it when I skip entire weeks of posting for no reason at all. Or when I apply for shit jobs because I don’t think I’ll get the ones I really want. Or when I’m afraid to say yes to trying new things. Or when I stop going to the gym and laze around all day instead.
It’s a daily fight to keep showing up and giving my all when there’s a voice in the back of my mind telling me I’m not good enough for all the success I want in life.
But you know what? It’s a fight I don’t intend to give up.
Because regardless of what the voices in my head say, I am 100% worth it. We all are.
I deserved to study hard and graduate with an honours degree. I deserve to apply to and get a good job in my field. I deserve to work hard and succeed at being a successful blogger. I deserve to eat right and treat my body well.
And I wouldn’t stand for anyone else saying otherwise. So why should I allow myself to do it?
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
- Are you guilty of self-sabotage?
- How do you deal with it?
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