Self-defeating habits are those behaviours and thoughts that hold us back from achieving our goals and living our best lives. They are often automatic, unconscious, and counterproductive, and they can harm our relationships, health, and well-being. In this article, we will discuss the top 10 tips to better understand your self-defeating habits and how to overcome them.
Identify what self-defeating habits you have
The first step to overcoming self-defeating habits is to identify them. Pay attention to the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that are holding you back from achieving your goals. Do you procrastinate, self-sabotage, or engage in negative self-talk? If so, you might be acting as your own worst enemy. Once you have identified your self-defeating habits, you can begin to work on changing them.
Understand the underlying beliefs and emotions
Self-defeating habits often stem from underlying beliefs and emotions that we may not be aware of. A study on golf participants found that those who spoke negatively of their ability and their game were likelier to perform worse than those who engaged in the self-affirming language.
For example, you may have a belief that you are not good enough or a fear of failure that is holding you back. It is important to understand these underlying beliefs and emotions so that you can challenge and change them.
Self-awareness is key to overcoming self-defeating habits. How can you work against something that you don’t know exists, much less understand. Grab a pen and paper and take time to listen and record what’s going on in your mind.
Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours throughout the day. Notice when you engage in self-defeating behaviours and what triggers them. This can help you to better understand your habits and begin to make changes.
Use mindfulness techniques
Mindfulness techniques such as meditation and deep breathing can help you to become more self-aware and present at the moment. When we auto-pilot with self-destructive tendencies, the results should not be surprising.
Being present, and staying in the moment, can give you far more information on why you do the things you do. Using mindfulness techniques can help you to break out of automatic, self-defeating patterns and make more conscious choices about your thoughts and behaviours.
Challenge your negative self-talk
Negative self-talk is a common self-defeating habit that can hold us back from achieving our goals. Pay attention to the messages you are giving yourself and challenge negative thoughts with evidence-based positive self-talk.
For example, if you are telling yourself that you will never be successful, challenge that thought by reminding yourself of times when you have been successful in the past.