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Mental Health

How to Stop Self-Sabotaging for 2020

Over the last few years, I’ve been guilty of self-sabotaging. 

If you don’t know what that is, self-sabotaging is basically any behavior or thought that gets in the way of achieving your goals.

Have you ever stayed in your dorm room and watched Netflix, instead of going to the gym like you planned? Have you ever procrastinated on important projects? Ever experienced imposter syndrome? These are all signs of self-destructive behavior.

I think everyone has done these things, at some point, but for some, myself included, this kind of behavior can start to interfere with everyday life and long-time goals.

Signs of self-sabotaging behavior can vary from person to person. These can include procrastinating, constantly focusing on the negative or the past, feeling inadequate, lacking motivation, stress-eating and driving away relationships.

Here are some new habits and activities I’ve found that help me break these destructive thinking patterns and habits. 

Get Organized!

I am a professional procrastinator.

After doing some research, I found out most self-sabotagers are. The most frustrating thing about procrastinating is that I know it causes me unnecessary and avoidable stress. But I still manage to wait until the last minute to do things, especially school work.

In 2020, the minute I arrived on UNC’s campus, I went straight to the bookstore and bought a planner. And I promised myself I was actually going to use it.

I found that the act of writing everything down holds me accountable and helps me keep track of everything I need to get done. 

Catch Negativity!

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room with your nose in the air and thinking you are better than everyone else; it’s walking into a room and not having to compare yourself to anyone else in the first place.” – Unknown

Before, I often found myself thinking negatively about things in my life. 

In 2020, I’m making a conscious effort to catch myself when I think negatively. For instance, if I catch myself thinking I’m not good enough and can’t do something, I immediately stop myself and think no, you can do this because of x, y and z.

Get Up Early!

This year, my class schedule obviously varies, but I have been waking up at 8:15 a.m. every day. Waking up early has encouraged me to develop a morning routine. I feel ready to seize the day, and I feel way better about myself! 

Last year, I woke up around 11 a.m. or later, if I didn’t have classes. I noticed that the later I would start my day, the less productive I would be. As you can imagine, waking up late and being a professional procrastinator didn’t mix well. 

Get A Hobby!

School is tough. Nobody is denying that. You are going to be stressed sometimes – it’s inevitable. For me, this stress affected my motivation for finishing my schoolwork. I didn’t know how to cope with it. 

I needed a creative outlet outside of school, so I went to the store and bought some plants. I love them like they are my children, and I water them every week. They make my dorm room come alive.

This may seem small, but research shows the importance of having hobbies. Hobbies get your mind off of the everyday stresses you may experience. 

I hope this gave you some ideas for breaking the self-sabotage train. I know it is not easy, and I know these habits are not going to disappear in a day. 

In conclusion, 2020 is your year. Don’t let anything, especially not YOURSELF, get in the way.

Jackie Sizing

Chapel Hill '21

Hello! My name is Jackie Sizing, and I am a junior at UNC-Chapel Hill. I enjoy writing about pop culture, lifestyle, and food!
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