How to Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors

We all do things that add weight to the journey. We don’t notice until consequences camp in the front yard.

Self-defeating behaviors corrode success even though they seem helpful.

Self-defeating behaviors corrode success. Image of a rusted jalopy.

Self-defeating behaviors:

  1. Strangle your future.
  2. Suppress potential.
  3. Frustrate growth.
  4. Weaken relationships.
  5. Erode self-confidence.
  6. Delay achievement.
  7. Block personal development.
  8. Prolong frustration.
  9. Fuel regret.
  10. Cultivate negativity.

How to defeat self-defeating behaviors:

#1. Face the scary truth:

We put rocks in our own pockets. We don’t intend to add weight to the journey, but we often do.

Writing project:

Ask yourself, what might you be doing to make leading/managing harder? Write down everything that could be true.

Revisit your list tomorrow. What items have the ring of truth? Warning! Your inner critic invents negative behaviors. Cross out items on your list until you’re left with some things to explore further.

#2. Ask friends about self-defeating behaviors:

Your friends see your self-defeating behaviors better than you. Ask three friends for feedback.

  1. Explain one of your goals. “I want to lead energizing meetings,” for example.
  2. Ask them to observe the way you lead the next meeting. “What do I do that adds energy to the meeting? What do I do that drains energy?”
  3. Meet with them immediately after the meeting to record their input. Don’t make promises. Just thank them and explain that you will spend time reflecting on things they noticed.
  4. Determine one positive behavior you plan to implement. Let your three friends know.
  5. Make steady progress.

Expand scope:

Face the scary truth in other arenas. Reflect on relationships, family, your children and spouse. Reflect on mental habits, eating habits, emotional patterns.

Note: John David Mann and I wrote a book that enables people to grapple with self-defeating behaviors. It’s being released in about a month, September 19. You can preorder it now on Amazon.

How do we sabotage ourselves even when we have good intentions?

What suggestions do you have to defeat self-sabotage?

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Stop Punching Yourself in the Face: 13 Self-Defeating Behaviors to Avoid

Self-Sabotaging: Why We Do It and How to Stop the Cycle