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Mental Health

I Finally Learned How I Self-Sabotage & How To Get Through It

I never really understood the concept of self-sabotaging. I thought it was just some overused term, so I never attributed any of my feelings to it. I did not understand it, nor did I care to, so I was not able to look further into it in order to help myself. I closed the door to a solution that was pressingly obvious. 

[bf_image id="q2wigt-bmepps-fd4q0z"] So, what does it mean to self-sabotage? Self-sabotaging is doing something to purposefully harm yourself. I knew that, but I did not understand its implications or the extent to which it existed in my life. For example, I knew binge-eating for hours while watching Netflix was probably some sort of self-sabotaging because it was not good for me. I considered staying up late on my phone self-sabotaging as well because I was well aware it was not good for me. But what else was bad for me that I was not aware of? That was clearly harming me, setting me back and in turn triggering myself to harm myself more and more? 

[bf_image id="q2wigt-bmepps-7abzxl"] I asked myself, what does not make me feel good? What causes me stress? What would I not want people I care about to be doing? And the moment I added that third-person perspective - the moment I flipped the question onto someone else - was the moment I was able to find answers. These answers later answered the most important question: What else was I doing that was harming myself? These are my top five realizations: 

  1. Procrastinating is self-sabotaging. 

  2. Letting an assignment linger, inducing anxiety and stress every single time, is self-sabotaging. 

  3. Eating foods that make me feel bad is self-sabotaging

  4. Scrolling mindlessly through Instagram is self-sabotaging. 

  5. Letting your to-do list pile up is self-sabotaging.

  6. Missing sleep for little to no benefit spent on my phone is self-sabotaging.

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All of these things are self-sabotaging, and the moment I stuck a label to them, I realized what I was doing to myself. Why would I be purposefully trying to harm myself? Each of those habits was, even though I may not have realized it, deliberate acts of harm I was doing to myself. They were completely in my control to stop. Self-sabotaging is a complex concept, but once you understand it and apply it to your life, you are able to move closer and closer to what is good for you and gravitate away from the bad. And that is the recipe: more good, less bad. So why not master it? And feel just a little more liberated? 

Nicolette is sophomore at UCLA studying psychobiology with a minor in professional writing. She is the author of her first published book, Control Mindset, a nonfiction guide to taking control of your mind & reality. Her aspirations are in the field of medicine, but she enjoys connecting the art of writing and creation with the sciences. She thinks writing biographies is very hard so she is butchering this as she types. She thanks you for reading her article and hopes you learned something new. She also loves coffee and needs some right now. She argues dark roast is the best roast. She's also probably hungry right now. Nom nom.
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