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How to Know If You’re Self-Sabotaging and How to Stop

According to Psychology Today, self-sabotage is “behavior…[that] creates problems in our life and interferes with long-standing goals.” The practice of self-sabotage can be common among college students, even when we don’t know it.  So, here are a few ways to figure out if you are self-sabotaging and how to stop.

1. You find yourself bailing when a relationship gets real.

Maybe you pick fights for no real reason, maybe you over analyze things, maybe you nitpick little details about your S.O. It may be the moment to make or break the relationship: will you go in deeper with this person or will you guys decide to end things? Sometimes, it is easier to choose just to end things so you won’t get hurt. This is self-sabotage because maybe you would have been happier with this person, but you use these little fights (that you probably picked) as an excuse not to be vulnerable and brave.

2. You constantly criticize yourself.

This kind of criticism can stop you from reaching your goals and being happy. And, how can you reach your personal goals when you are never satisfied with yourself?

3. You procrastinate.

Okay, most of us procrastinate a lot. But, if you are self-sabotaging, you go into periods of procrastination. You wait and wait and wait until the deadline is hanging over you, and then you try to finish all stressed and end up doing a bad job. You were rushed, that’s why you couldn’t do a good job; that is how you justify it.

4.  You overindulge.

This can mean food, alcohol or drugs, or even going on a Netflix binge. These are behaviors that will ultimately lead to you not doing your best on whatever you are stressed about, and can be used as excuses for this failure.

This is how you stop.

All images via Shutterstock

First, try to stop bringing yourself down so much. I know I know, easier said than done. I said, “try.” Maybe try writing down a couple of things you actually like about yourself. Keep it specific and realistic. For example, “I like that I care so much about my close friends.” Also, you force yourself, as hard as you can, to not procrastinate as much. You just have to try to save yourself from that feeling of panic and unhappiness when the deadline approaches. And, when the relationship gets real and this person is worth it, I know that you may not be able to suddenly be all perfect and healed and ready to be vulnerable. But, you can at least try to be aware that you are self-sabotaging. You can try to take a look at yourself and do a little better. Because hey, sometimes that is all you can and that is all it takes.

Maddie is a recently graduated English major and is excited to enter the publishing industry.
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