We all want to live vibrant, joyful, meaningful lives. Many times we get a glimpse of that life and other times we feel like we are magnificently blessed. But most of us have experienced the frustration of feeling like the life we really really want is elusive, just out of reach. There seems to be an invisible boundary that we just can’t cross. There are many reasons why that might be, but for now we will address the possibility of self-sabotaging. When we sabotage ourselves we usually have a combination of thoughts, feelings, and actions that get in the way of experiencing the life we desire. It’s kind of like putting up our own obstacles that work against us.
The good news is, when we discover that we’re putting up obstacles, we can take them down!
Start by taking this quiz to see if you are sabotaging your own efforts:
- Have you caught yourself thinking, “I’m so stupid.”?
- Do you sometimes feel like you are wearing a “KICK ME” sign on your back?
- Does it seem like the life you really want to live is always just a little out of reach?
- Are you sometimes indecisive or fearful and as a result, chances often pass you by?
- Do you tend to start projects with great gusto, but have difficulty finishing them?
- Is your financial situation chronically chaotic?
- Do you automatically blame yourself when things go wrong?
- Do you automatically blame others when things don’t turn out the way you thought they should?
- Do you think others are prettier, smarter, more deserving, or more fortunate than you?
- Do you look in the mirror and usually find something you don’t like?
If you answered YES to three or more of the questions above, you tend to be self-sabotaging. The good news is, it’s probably a habit you got into and you now need to take steps to get OUT of that habit.
The first step toward healthy well-being – or treating yourself as God’s wonderfully made child – is to realize the above behaviors are self-sabotaging. Next you must choose to turn around those behaviors. The following tips will help you turn your self-sabotaging behaviors into healthy thoughts, feelings and actions.
- Turn your failures of the past into triumphs of the future. Stop repeating your self-sabotaging story. Maybe you can’t change your past but you can identify the lessons you learned from it and move on. When you stay stuck in your story you become a victim. Choose a different scenario and repeat that one to yourself rather than the one that sabotages you.
- Practice positive, encouraging self-talk. What is that voice in your head saying? Yes, that voice that just said, “What voice?” Tune into it and find out if it is repeating negative self-talk. Then practice saying positive, uplifting things. Try saying a Bible verse whenever you catch yourself engaging in negative self-talk. A couple good verses are: Ephesians 3:20 and Psalm 32:8.
- Forgive yourself for your mistakes. We all make mistakes. Look at the characters in the Bible! Stop berating yourself and use that energy to create the life you want to live.
- Realize that conflicts, confrontations, and disagreements are normal. Women often receive the message that bad consequences result when we stand up for ourselves. Develop good people skills so you can listen to others and at the same time know that it is okay to express your own thoughts and opinions. We just can’t please everyone all the time. Part of being an adult is working through issues.
- Face your fears and move forward. It’s okay to fail. That gets you another step closer to success. Stop comparing yourself to others and trying to live up to an unknown standard. Appreciate who you are and what you have to offer. Be who God made you to be and allow others to be who God made them to be. Overcome the habit of fearful behavior by doing one thing each day that scares you!
The key to well-being is allowing God’s healing power to wash out all the fear, failure, doubt, questioning, comparing, shame, and anxiety. Then let God pour into you His love, confidence, joy, compassion, security and purpose. Picture it. Embrace it. Internalize it. You are His creation – let His best in you shine through.
His power flows in and through you. Your job is to turn your mind toward His value in you and let it shine. Try this exercise. Go back through the quiz and make “I Choose 2” statements to turn around all the points you said yes to. For example:
- I choose to think about my strengths and God’s blessings.
- I choose to share my value with others.
- I choose to be decisive and believe in my abilities.
- I choose NOT to blame myself or anyone else when things don’t turn out the way I think they should. Instead, I choose to trust God for the next step.
You get the idea. Make I Choose 2 statements. Break free of old, self-sabotaging thoughts, feelings and actions. Step into the YOU God created you to be. YOUR life is vital, meaningful, and loving. Live it!