August 7

Self-Sabotaging Behaviour: 8 Tips to Stop your Inner Critic from Ruling your Life


From the moment we wake up to when we fall asleep at night our minds race. Most of us have a running dialogue inside our heads, and it doesn’t even switch off when we sleep!

No one seems to be able to say how many thoughts we have a day, but I have seen research quoting anything from 12,000 to 60,000.

Again, there’s no certainty from research but it would seem a large proportion of these thoughts are negative and repetitive. If the majority of your thoughts are negative and repetitive this is a form of self-sabotaging behaviour.

If anyone else lived inside your head can you imagine how they would perceive your thoughts? Would they be horrified with how you talk to yourself?

Your state of mind, or mindset, is the main factor that influences how we live our lives. It is the influence behind what we do, how we do it, and what we achieve. If your mindset is focused on the negative how do you plan to achieve all your goals?

Do you want to take control of your inner talk and switch to a more positive mindset? Use these tips to move away from this self-sabotaging behaviour.

Be aware of negative self-talk

Self-talk is the internal narrative you hold about yourself. It’s your inner voice, which has a big influence on the way you see yourself. Most of the time you don’t even realise how much of this inner talk is critical of yourself, and therefore a form of self-sabotaging behaviour.

Becoming aware of this is the first step. You’ve heard the statement that ‘knowing is half the battle’. However, G.I. Joe Fallacy shows us that this is not the case. It is a fallacy. ‘Knowing’ is only a very small part of the battle. What you do with ‘knowing’ is much more important. If you want to know about this read this.

Change your Self Talk

Once you have identified the negative self-talk, it is time to change the dialogue. The conversations you have with yourself are a direct result of your mindset and your beliefs about yourself. if you are telling yourself you are not enough & you cannot achieve your goals this create your reality.

Purposefully engage in positive self-talk

Make positive statements about yourself. This is not about deceiving yourself into thinking things that are inaccurate. It’s about showing yourself some self-compassion and focusing on what on your successes, and not what you perceive as your failures.

Use statements such as; ‘I am good enough’, ‘I can do it’, ‘If I really want to, I can’.

Research shows that purposefully engaging in positive self-talk can have a big impact on behavioural changes. In addition, it has been shown to help reduce stress, help to boost confidence and resilience and help build better relationships.

Focus on the positive

You had an amazing weekend away, and then on the way back, your flight is delayed by 10 hours (this happened me a few years ago). When you talk to your friends about the situation do you focus on the amazing weekend away or the delayed flight on the way back? We all know we should focus on the positive aspects of the weekend, but we have a tendency to lean towards the negative. Actively choose to focus on the positive.

See your mistakes and feedback as lessons learnt

Rather than failures. Our brains are hardwired to remember negative experiences over positives ones, so we recall the times we didn’t get it right more than the times we do. When you replay these messages in your mind they further fuel negative feelings. Change how you view mistakes and see them as feedback on how to adapt to future success.

Set small goals for yourself

Focus on every single success along the way. Focus on the progress you have made, rather than the goals not yet achieved. It’s very easy to get hung up on the end goal and not even notice the progress you are making along the way.

Surround yourself with people that match your desired mindset

I often have clients share their frustrations with family and friends who are not supportive of their goals. It is common to face resistance from others when pursuing big goals.

This lack of support is often about other people’s fears and not a reflection of the worthiness of your goals. Find people who have either succeeded at your goals already or are on the same path. Spending time with these individuals will help you focus on what is possible, rather than what others are focused on – what might not be possible.

Decide who you want to be and then just be her

As one of my mentors, Cyndie Spiegel (@cyndiespiegel) says, ‘Decide who you want to be and then just be her’.

This is a reminder that when you set a goal or are focused on how you want your life to look you need to decide who you want to be. Once you have decided who you want to ask yourself these questions. How is she living her life? What are her priorities? What are her habits & behaviours? What is she spending her time on? Who is she spending her time with?

Once you know the answers to these questions start living a life aligned to the answers & values they represent.

Additional Resources

If you’re ready to learn more about stopping self sabotage, and creating the life of your dreams the INLP Centre has a great article and video Self Sabotage – The Solution You Weren’t Expecting. 




You may also like

Wait, Where Are All The Women?

Wait, Where Are All The Women?
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Subscribe to my weekly newsletter!