What Are Self Sabotaging Thoughts?

Self Sabotaging Thoughts Act as a ‘Clear’ button

Identifying self sabotaging thoughts in your life will help you answer many other nagging questions, questions like: why does it always happen to me? Why can I not make progress? Why do I always attract the wrong people?

Self sabotaging thoughts are normally the opposites of what you want to achieve consciously in your life, for example, the smoker will tell you that he’s tried to stop but can’t.

He is aware that smoking causes cancer, gives him bad breath, makes his clothes, car and home smelly, yet he continues to smoke.

Two opposing forces within

The reason for this is, once a conscious decision has been made to stop smoking, he has concerns that once he stops, he may pick up weight, and not be able to manage his stress, or won’t be able to socialize the way he used to, these thoughts (beliefs) become the reason for him not quitting.

So, on the one hand (consciously) he wants to stop smoking because it’s bad for his health, but on the other hand (subconsciously) he smokes, because it keeps him slim, and helps him manage his stress etc.

Human behaviour is not random; there is always a purpose, a reason, a positive intention behind it.

The element that sabotages his efforts to quit smoking is the belief that it keeps him slim and helps him manage his stress. Possible self sabotaging thoughts present here are; inner conflict, dependence and rationalization.

This is exactly the same for the person trying to lose weight. Their continual efforts to try and lose weight are dissolved by the belief that, they’ve tried it before and it didn’t work, they lost weight but gained more than they lost, they may even believe that they don’t deserve to be slim, or their personality will change if they lose weight and how about the comfort and assurance they may need after some unsettling experience. Possible self sabotaging thoughts present here are; self-image, lack of confidence, doubt, inner conflict, and rationalization.

All behaviour has a positive intention

You see, at the root of every behaviour is positive intention, it’s hard to understand why people behave in the crazy and sometimes bizarre way they do. Why would a person sabotage their relationship, their promotion or drink excessively.

As I’ve stated before, human behaviour is not random; there is always a purpose, a reason, a positive intention behind it. A person may start smoking at a very young age because it’s “cool” and makes them feel like an adult and fit in with others. As they get older, it becomes difficult to stop, because the part responsible for the smoking is still active. Sometimes the positive intention may not be obvious, because it is normally operating from below conscious awareness.

You see, for most of us, the problem isn’t our parents, friends’ colleagues, the government or the world. It’s we ourselves.
It’s easier and more comfortable to blame outside forces for our difficulties, but ultimately, it’s our own misguided beliefs and behaviours that form the foundation for our troubles.

Take a moment and think of times when you’re inner self-talk created resistance to your desired goals and outcomes, these are your self-sabotaging thoughts.

Mark Csabai

Mark Csabai is an NLP Life Coach in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He works with clients in and around the Free State to help them achieve more, manage stress, build self-worth, increase confidence, overcome fears and help maintain a better life-balance.