“I know what I must do but something stops me”
This is a phrase that many of us have said and it is common with people who have self defeating behaviors. Also it is known as self destructive behavior since in some cases it is. These unwanted behaviors are actions; attitudes and though patterns that sabotage your goals and doesn’t let you live according to your true values and desires. These behaviors can be present without us having awareness of it. Other times we are aware of the problem but we don’t know what to do about it.
These behaviors begin generally due to one or more experiences in the past than once helped us to bear a stressful or painful experience but now that same action continues and it does not allow us to respond to life of healthy way. These actions can take the form of decisions that perpetuate cycles of failure and defeat, creating habits that we often follow in an unconscious form. To do something that you know that you should not do and not to do something that you know that you must do are self defeating behaviors.
The first step
The first step is to become aware of these behaviors. Observe yourself and ask person you trust or a professional in the area who you wish to improve to help you to identify these behaviors. Receiving and accepting critic is a positive step towards improvement, be coachable. Take notes on a notebook or diary.
A behavior is something you do and not what you are so it does not define to you therefore you can change it. For example: do not say “I am alcoholic”, say: “I drink alcohol”. The drink does not define what you are; it is something that you do. Replace “I am this or that” by an action “I do this or that”. And what you do can be replaced it by something new. As there are behaviors that can lower your quality of life and self esteem there are others that can improve them. The objective is to identify and to change that unwanted behavior one that helps you to reach your goals and it improves your quality of life.
Sometimes we have failures and setbacks during the process. This is normal and it happens to everybody. Nobody is perfect. Instead of seeing it as a failure you must see it like a small slide or lapse, learn from it and continue even if you fall many times. Keep getting up.
I heard that one that fails to plan plans to fail so we must have defined goals, to know to where we are going or we will not know if we are making real progress. For example: instead of saying “I want to be healthier” or “I want to lose weight” say “I’m going to lose 20 pounds”. That is a goal that you can measure. Find someone that you trust and ask them for help or hire a professional like a heath coach or a personal trainer if you need to lose weight.
How to get started
Define your goal and identify three things that you can start doing, three that you can stop doing and three that you can continue doing to reach your goal. Not only desire it but take the decision to do them today. Put it in writing and take action today.