Are You Self Destructive?
Ask yourself the following questions:
Do you procrastinate? Turning things in late even though you had time to do complete something early? Are you capable of doing something but never end up doing it?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you are engaging in self-destructive behavior. So now the big question, how do we stop being self-destructive?
The underlying process that results in self-destructive behavior is your brain, in some way, convincing yourself that you aren’t good enough or unworthy. This persistent thought pattern affects millions of people every day; it’s a process known as the self-critic. Its psychological purpose is meant to allow yourself to learn from mistakes and evaluate your thoughts and actions to provide constructive criticism. However, this self-critic can drift away from constructive criticism and manifest into a harmful voice, instead of a helpful one.
While we highly recommend that you seek therapeutic counseling, everyone should; we wanted to provide a few ways that we think can help increase your self-confidence and reduce the intensity and frequency of self-destructive behaviors. With effort, there are ways to combat this self-critic, but it may take longer than expected dependent on how severe this detrimental and self-limiting voice is.
Let’s begin by determining what types of self-destructive patterns you tend to engage in. Start by making of a list of all the ways suspect are harming your success. If you can’t think of what to write, we’ve made a list below that might fit for you or can be expanded on:
- Submitting things late
- Arriving barely on time or late
- Overconsuming socially accepted substance: caffeine, sugar, alcohol, processed carbohydrates, etc.
- Addiction (drugs, gambling, sex, food, etc.)
- Talking behind the backs of other people
- Driving over the speed limit
- Refusing to wear a seat belt
- Not practicing safe sex
- Having no plan for retirement
- Refusing to buy insurance that you need
- Failing to create strong and clear boundaries
- Not having your personal and emotional needs completely satisfied
- Scared to ask for what you want
- Not speaking up for a promotion when you deserve one or after you’ve accomplished something great at work
- Lacking an emergency fund
- Fearful of criticism
- Not reaching out for help (training, coaching, counseling)
- Not investing in yourself
- Delaying help or advice
This is just a brief list of several common ways we engage in self-sabotaging behavior. It’s not always known why we do the things we do, but we do know of a few ways to help move in the direction of greater self-confidence and less self-sabotaging behavior.
Here are the Eight Steps You Can Use To Increase Self-Confidence and Stop Self-Destructiveness
Step 1: Recognize that you are not alone
Everyone in the world struggles with confidence in some area of their lives. There are only a handful of people who are engrossed in confidence. However, those people are likely extremely arrogant and suffer from a superiority complex. The rest of us are consistently doing self-destructive actions otherwise advertisements and junk food wouldn’t be a thing. Take a deep breath; you’re not the only one.
Step 2: Reach out for support
You don’t need to handle this alone. It’s only going to make your life better if you’re getting the help that you need, whether this is counseling or life coaching or even both, do not be afraid to get help when you need it.
Step 3: Start implementing a positive attitude
Now your problems are not going to go away if you just invoke ignorance and think everything that has happened to you and will happen is a good thing. However, it’s incredibly likely that you are viewing your life negatively. It’s important to realize that the voice telling yourself that you’re not good enough and don’t deserve happiness is inside your head. What this means is that you’re the one in control, not this voice. You can start building a new brain pattern of positivity by simply reminding yourself that you’re a great person and that you do deserve happiness. It may not work at first, but over time you will help define a pattern in your brain of seeing the light of the world instead of the dark.
Maybe you’re on your way to work and traffic is causing you to be late, but hey, you got up, didn’t you? Yeah, it is raining outside but you haven’t sat by the fire with hot chocolate and your favorite book in weeks, today’s the perfect day. Evaluate your sentences as well, instead of saying “I can’t believe I ate another donut today when I told myself I would never do it again, I’m so pathetic” say “I know I told myself I wouldn’t eat another donut again, but I caved in. I’m too restrictive, maybe I’ll have a donut at work, but I’m not going to do it more than three times a week.” Rewiring your brain to develop healthy and positivity thinking patterns is critical for not only your self-confidence but for your overall wellbeing.
Step 4: Create and set firm boundaries
If you struggle with self-confidence, you already know it’s difficult to set clear boundaries with yourself and those around you. We suggest that you think about and set strong boundaries. These may include something like: I’m going to speak up when someone hurts my feelings. I’m not going to take advice from people who I never asked. I’m not going to allow people to make racist remarks around me even if it is not about my race. I won’t be peer pressured. Without clear boundaries, you’ll never allow your self-confidence to increase. You also won’t be able to earn the respect of your colleagues and employer for a promotion.
Step 5: Figure out how to completely satisfy your personal and emotional needs
Begin by first determining what your needs are and then you can figure out how you can get them satisfied.
Step 6: Become successful
Basically, we want to create a domino effect of success. Begin by getting a couple of wins, and you’ll start to notice your confidence rising, as it does, so will your success thanks to momentum. Start small, and you’ll begin to see a chain reaction of success.
Step 7: Learn to delegate.
What can you do if you simply cannot seem to get good at something? Hire someone. Pay someone to do something you’re not good at so you can focus on what you are actually good at. There’s no need to be great at everything, learn to delegate tasks by importance as well as assigning tasks that are taking up too much of your time.
Step 8: Celebrate your success, however small
Make it a habit to maintain a journal of your daily accomplishments. Reward yourself, pop open a bottle of wine or throw a party! Do something to celebrate your success, no matter how small it is. The more you do, the more you solidify that brain pattern of reminding yourself that you are good at things and deserve success.
Self-confidence is one of those things that you can develop just as well as lose. If you’ve been in a rut recently begin taking using these eight simple steps to help increase your self-confidence and kick out that negative self-critic. You know the steps, but this isn’t something that happens on its own. Having a professional and certified life coach by your side every step of the way to encourage and support you makes it substantially easier to become successful. You decide if you want to become successful or remain 10% away from it.