There is a voice inside my head that often tells me I’m not good enough or smart enough to reach my goals. I have heard this voice for so long that I now call her the mean girl. This mean girl is very negative, often accusing me of terrible things that simply aren’t true. She speaks to me in a way I wUse The Divi Builderould never speak to anyone else. Yet this mean girl in my head is ME! I’m thinking these thoughts. So, if I would never say them to others, why do I say them to myself?? We have about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day with about 80% of those being negative and 95% being repetitive. Which means we are thinking the same negative thoughts every day! It’s a wonder we get anything done. We are conditioned very early on to think negatively by what we hear from others such as; “you can’t do that”, “money doesn’t grow on trees”, “this class isn’t for you.” We then start to believe this to be true about ourselves. We aren’t smart enough for that class, we’ll never have the money for what we want, we can’t possibly do that job. These turn into the thoughts we believe and the negative self-talk we say to ourselves. Negative thoughts usually fall into 3 types of categories: Mind-Reading-“all my coworkers think I’m stupid”, Overgeneralizing-“I’m terrible at every job I ever had”, All or Nothing-“if this exercise class doesn’t work then I’ll never lose weight.” These types of thought patterns limit our ability to believe in ourselves. Our lack of confidence holds us back from making positive changes. We are essentially sabotaging our own lives. Other forms of self-sabotage besides negative self-talk can include; procrastination, self-medicating with alcohol, and stress eating. My negative self-talk and procrastination like to combine forces, especially when I sit down to write a blog post. I will find five other things to do instead of writing and my mean girl tells me my writing is stupid anyway. Sometimes I start tapping my right shoulder where she sits to knock her down. So why do we self-sabotage in the first place?
- Lack of self-worth. We don’t believe we are worthy of success or love or having it all. Therefore, we find ways to fail so we can stick with the belief we hold for ourselves.
- Imposter Syndrome! When we start to achieve our goals and dreams, we think we are a fraud since we can’t possibly have all this good fortune and we don’t really know what we are doing. We then take matters into our own hands destroying what we have accomplished.
- Control-We fail before anyone else has the chance to make us fail. Relates to imposter syndrome above.
- Fear of failure-If we try this and fail then we really aren’t good enough (not true by the way, failing is a way to help us do better the next time around)
- Staying consistent with being neglected and treated poorly. We are used to this behavior, it is familiar, so we choose the consistency of failing.
- Some of us like the feeling of instability and chaos. We sabotage to create a little drama in our lives.