We've all done it right - trying to build healthy habits for your body goal, sticking to a diet, saving money for 'x', holding off until an important deadline. Self-sabotage can have many causes and it results in us getting off track, feeling we have messed up but at the time we don't/fail to acknowledge the consequences. The result - we feel pretty crap about ourselves which in turn perpetuates a cycle, which repeated enough time in most of our cases = an automatic behaviour/action.
But why do we Self - Sabotage?
There are many reasons for self-sabotage, but 3 key ones to consider today concern your thinking patterns, fears you may have in intimate relationships, and the tendency to avoid things that seem challenging or difficult for us.
1. Faulty thinking
The human brain is wired for patterns and familiarity - the path of least resistance for our minds
This tendency, known as the familiarity heuristic, leads us to overvalue familiar things and undervalue things anything unfamiliar. If we are stressed, consciously or not, we tend to rely more so on the familiarity heuristic. With brain fatigue, old habits are the easier thing to resort towards as they are so ingrained in us, even when they do not serve us.
2. Procrastination and avoidance Behaviours
Secondly, we may have tendencies to not want to deal with something in the present and leave it until the last minute, when the need then becomes so great, we act from a more survival level state (fight/flight/freeze), we lack the responsibility to get something done and take action. There are several potential reasons for procrastinating and avoiding. You may never have learned the correct process/skill or how to break the task up into a more chunking situation or you may are too tired to create a plan or action, perhaps you suffer from overwhelm at the enormity of the goal/task at hand? Consequently, imposter syndrome can sneak in on us, we doubt our abilities, our worth, and ultimately if this is our identity.
Procrastination and avoidance also occurs when you have perfectionistic tendencies, or are an overthinker. The fear of getting things wrong, being judged, showing our weaknesses. Perfection does not exist, it would be a damn boring place if it did as we would have no more to learn or improve upon.
Importantly in relation to this blog regarding escaping binge eating behaviours, procrastination and avoidance (as well as addictive behaviors) can also be ways of not taking responsibility for your actions. These behaviors allow you to blame outside factors, like not having enough time, if you do poorly, rather than admitting your role in not using your time well. Some of us fear success, because we shun the limelight or fear that others will expect more from us than we can deliver. But rather than facing this fear head-on, we tend to set ourselves up for failure instead.
3. Fear of Rejection
We all know people who sabotage their diets when they reach close to a certain goal, or in a relationship will break up with someone when it gets too serious. We do this in a number of ways and often these are unconscious and fear based of rejection from others (in some cases, becoming attractive to others where abuse may have occurred in the past).
These patterns are usually established from childhood in reference to their primary caregivers. If you have “insecure attachment,” you may unconsciously fear repeating the past. Perhaps your parent was rejecting or neglectful, critical, inconsistent, or you had to be the “parentified child.” Parts of our brains remember this pain and begin to act in adult relationships as if we are with our parent (or perhaps do the complete opposite in an extreme way, which gets us into trouble as well).
If this is an area that you struggle with, working on our belief system, establishing what we know to be true and what in fact is no longer true/serving us, becoming self aware, mature and responsible for the adult lives we now lead is the right step to breaking some of these beliefs down...
Let's shift to binge/emotional eating:
Many of us have potentially everything we need to succeed from ending behaviours such as binge eating (even quite quickly and easily), however will sabotage themselves with their own victim mentality.
“Victim mentality” is the terminology describes the pattern of thinking that people unconsciously train themselves into, where you blame someone else for your problems, and take no responsibility for yourself. Some describe it as a form of avoidance.
How do we resolve this? BY TAKING OWNERSHIP!
When a person is stuck in the victim mentality, it’s common for them to blame others, even for things that are clearly untrue. They run their world from the emotion rather than logic.
Each time something fails, or goes “wrong,” it strengthens their belief that the world is out to get them, and strengthens this victim mentality of "Poor me!".
Don't get me wrong at some point many of us go through periods of victim mentality and feeling sorry for ourselves, that is part of the human experience, however, it is the degree to which this embeds into your everyday life, especially when focusing on your goals/dreams/aspirations.
“Why does this always happen to me!?”
Sound familiar?? Well hang on there - you should be asking "How can I make this work FOR me?"
Life doesn't happen to us, it happens for us - always remember this.
Ever feel you're heading into this negative self talk - change your state. Do something that instantly changes your energy levels, listen to a great upbeat song and sing along, dance and jump around...just move!!!
If you live your life in a victim mindset, escaping from emotional and binge eating or food addiction will not happen. If you truly wanted this to happen you need to take full responsibility for yourself and own your s**t, own how you currently show up in the world.
“You can have your dreams, and you can have your excuses. But you can’t have both.”
The best success from our Ditch the Diet clients, are when they take Supreme maturity, responsibility and ownership for their actions, in fact, this is the only way you will have success in life full stop - you need to drop this victim self you carry around. Many of us have suffered various degrees or levels of trauma in our past - however, every time to dredge this s**t up, you are repeatedly re-living this trauma, you are not taking responsibility for the fact that it has happened, it is in the past and only YOU have the choice to take action to begin to move forward to what it is that you DO want from life!
What does Supreme ownership look life? They take full responsibility for their beliefs, thoughts, language, actions and also their inactions for how they show up for themselves and to the world.
To have your food freedom from the Ditch the Diet programme, expecting things to happen for you in a passive manner will get you nowhere - embracing active habits and re-patterning of your current behaviours to become the behaviours that you see from your new self, YOU are the one taking those steps, I merely show you the way.
If you are always looking for another coach, another specialist, another programme that will try and resolve this issue for you...want to know why it doesn't? Because you are always seeking someone else to fix you, when YOU need to take action to FIX YOU. Even with the best programme in the world, you still need to do the work!
The systems, strategies, support are all provided for you to succeed, if you don't put in the work, then do not expect the results to come. There is no secret pill/potion to your goal success, adding up all the diet crap, you have tried over your lifetime will highlight that.
Who would you prefer to see more of - your inner victim or your inner hero? We all have both within us, which ever you offer the most focus, energy and thoughts towards, the more of that in your life you will gain. When you allow your Hero to flourish, you show up as your best self, and allow your highest potentials to be reached.
When you believe and tell yourself that you "can't do 'x'"... instantly start to flip this around and say “HOW can I do 'x'?” This is the mentality of any successful person, tackling challenges with problem solving and curiosity.
How often do you ask yourself 'Where can I take responsibility for myself right now?"
When you start to feel down on yourself, change your state as mentioned above, and ask yourself this question. Start to incorporate this into your daily routines and rituals throughout the day as you will begin to see and realise that things start to go way more in your favour, things will progress at a quicker pace, gratitude will reach all time highs and you will overcome those things you deemed impossible e.g. "your emotions and lack of control around food". Your whole life will elevate and reach epic empowerment levels and you, YES YOU, are allowed and are obligated to let yourself find this.
One thing I have said many a time before - the life we have right now, is not a practice run, it is no rehearsal...we get one shot at this life, so make the most of your opportunities, invest in yourself and maximise your potential, as no one else will do it for you!
The most damaging mentality to end binge eating has nothing to do with food and everything to do with your beliefs about the world.
One size does not fit all, we will all have varying roots as to why we do or do not take action, is it important to understand the root cause, perhaps yes to some extent but not to obsess over this so much to keep reliving the negative past. Do we need to be goal oriented and future focused....Abso'bloody'lutely! We need to rewire new beliefs once we are clear on the ones no longer serving us, and make them new, fresh, exciting and practiced! Of which involves taking action, immediately. If we don't know our destination, how can we progress along the journey?