The Art of Self-Sabotage – Are You Limiting Your Fitness Success?
Nearly all of us are masters at it. True artists, in fact. We create and perpetuate feelings and behaviors that sabotage ourselves.
We’ve heard of the classic acts of self-sabotage – procrastination, self-medication with alcohol and drugs, binge or comfort eating – but there are more insidious actions that dwell within us and sometimes we don’t even realize they are there.
Why do people self-sabotage? Commonly psychologists say that any number of factors cause us to practice this dark art. Everything from self-esteem issues and childhood beliefs to a fear of success. But it may also be another self-limiting motivator – the desire for the path of least resistance.
It’s a natural state of mind to take the path of least resistance. As a species we’ve learned to tackle new challenges by calling on our memories. We’ve learned that running from a predator was more effective when we climbed up a tree. We discovered that it was easier to use a tool rather than just our hands.
Our memories help us practice strong survival behavior. We have established successful patterns for driving, cooking, cleaning and even feeding our pets. Using our memories we create the path of least resistance which helps us to meet everyday situations with less stress.
It also generates incredible creativity. Think of all the ways humans have developed to make life easier. The human race is rife with fantastic inventions and innovations which make our existences simpler and more trouble-free.
So we know we’re designed to make life easier on ourselves. Yet you can see how this characteristic can backfire. It’s harder to work out than to sit on the couch. It’s easier to drive through a fast food restaurant than prepare a nutritious meal.
These patterns can then become the art of self-sabotage. By taking the easy way we stay stuck. We limit our potential and trend toward negative rather than positive actions.
Changing Your Artistic Journey
Want to stop your own self-sabotage? You can do it. Like an artist who explores with new colors, you can change your world in a revolutionary way. Try these 5 things to get you on a new path of resistance, change and success:
1. Recognize your self-sabotage rationale. Take some time to listen to that voice that is always chattering in the background. What are the messages you are telling yourself? When you focus inward you’ll find strong trends of self-talk.
2. Challenge your self-sabotage rationale. Have a discussion with yourself. Why don’t I want to begin a workout routine? Why do I resist eating vegetables? Most likely changing these behaviors will add resistance to your life, which is exactly opposite of what you’ve trained yourself to do.
3. Replace your self-sabotage rationale. This is where long-term goals come in. Fast fixes and irrational expectations are the paint brushes you use to produce that artistic work of self-sabotage. Create an opposite framework. Your goal shouldn’t be just to lose 10 pounds. It should be to build a healthy long-lasting lifestyle.
4. Give yourself permission to take baby steps when confronting self-sabotage rationale. Massive change is difficult to sustain. Put small actions into your day that help you reach that big goal. You probably won’t become a veggie lover overnight but you can add a veggie to each meal that helps you create a positive path beyond your natural resistance.
5. Get help facing your self-sabotage rationale. Finding like-minded people will help you stay on the path of resistance. With encouragement and support you’ll discover that resistance is the key to change and that change will mean a host of new possibilities in your world.
By confronting your self-sabotaging habits you’ll strengthen the foundations of psychological strength – resilience, confidence, competence and tolerance.
At Training for Warriors South Metro, our coaches and students are united in helping each other daily to overcome the temptations of the path of least resistance. Check out our Facebook page for helpful tips and inspirational stories to make you an artist of a different type – a happy warrior committed to and capable of a life of success!