We’ve all heard the saying “if something can go wrong, it will.” Many of us do not have a difficult time believing the worst; about ourselves and others, and about our circumstances. Can you even imagine… instead of expecting the worst – giving this thought a try:
“If something can go right, it will.”
We’ve recently begun a new year and many are looking forward to a great new year full of promise and new adventures. But, if you sabotage your happiness with negative sayings and thoughts you might find 2012 very similar to 2011 and all the years before. How can you change your thoughts and habits to reflect a happier you in 2012? If you recognize yourself in any of these self-sabotaging issues, take notice and try our suggestions interrupt the cycle make your 2012 your best, and happiest, year yet. Here are five ways you might be getting in your own way, and suggestions for how to finally change your self-sabotaging behavior.
Procrastinators unite… tomorrow! If “I’ll get to that tomorrow” is your life’s adage, then make this new year the time to break the procrastination habit. The reason most people procrastinate is due to fear:
Fear of being labeled inferior
fear of being imperfect
and I bet you could list a ton of other fears that stand in your way…
That fear is what keeps you from doing things like getting a project started when you know you have a strict deadline. That fear can often stop you from starting a new fitness program or changing your diet. That fear can keep you stuck in a job you don’t like… On a smaller note, procrastination can contribute to you being chronically late for your appointments and feeling rushed for time day in and day out.
Solution: Worst-case scenario
In order to combat procrastination, it may be helpful for you to think in terms of worst-case scenario. If you have a deadline to meet and you just can’t find the gumption to start the project, think about the worst thing that could happen. Being fired and never finding another job as long as you live, losing the adoration of loved ones forever and other outrageous scenarios may help you put your issue of beginning a project into perspective. It may soothe any anxiety you may have and help you on your way toward finishing your project on time and within your standard.
What’s the worst thing that could happen if you try a new fitness program? You fail? Really… it is failing if you choose not to continue with the first or even 10th program you try? No, it’s not – it’s just experimenting. Keep trying until you find one you like.
What’s the worst thing that could happen if you try to change your eating habits? You cheat? So what… you can start over and get better at making healthy food choices with a little practice. It’s impossible to fail, because it’s never over. You can just try again until you get it right.
Issue: Shopping addiction
Of course you deserve a new sweater for your birthday; but when that one new sweater turns into 10 fancy Nordstrom’s shopping bags full of goods, you may be looking at a shopping addiction. Similar to any other type of addiction, a person may be masking their true feelings with the euphoria of shopping. The problem is that the issue(s), whatever they may be, aren’t solved this way. Also, the time and money wasted on the unnecessary purchase of items can leave you in a financial and emotional bind.
It may not be practical to keep a pen and paper on your person at all times, but the one thing everyone seems to have on hand is a phone. If you have a smartphone, then you can download a notepad app free of charge. Whenever you feel the urge to spend, spend, spend with no purpose, take out your phone and record what you are feeling at that time. Once a month has passed, you can review what your true feelings are and what the source of your shopping addiction may be. If all else fails, consult a professional who can help you along the way. Don’t feel like writing? Use a dictation app or call a friend. Speak your feelings rather than shop them.
Issue: Ruining your diet
You may be pretty close to your goal weight; maybe even for the first time in your life. That has to be an exciting feeling! Because you can see your goal so close now, you may be tempted to go off the healthy lifestyle wagon more frequently because you figure you can get away with it. But – what often ends up happening is you go a bit too far in the over-indulging and push yourself even further away from your targeted goals. Added to these unhealthy habits is the frustration that sets in when you realize you’ve slipped back into old habits and old weight gain.
Solution: Improve your self image
If you spent a long time being heavier than you would have liked, you may find yourself still thinking about yourself in terms of a heavier person. Basically, even though your goal is in sight and you look and feel better than ever, you still find that you think of yourself as that former heavier person. Give yourself permission to see yourself in a new light. Try putting yourself in situations that require you to be the center of attention. Enroll in a public speaking class or sign up for a few one-on-one personal training sessions to give your confidence a boost. The more confident you are in the new you, the more likely you are to keep to a diet and exercise regimen that won’t allow you to fall back into old habits.
Issue: Being chronically late
I have a friend who can’t ever get anywhere on time. Dates, boot camp, work: you name it and she is going to be late for it. It got so bad I give her a false start time for events in order for her to make it on time. Fortunately, I’ve learned to work around this habit of hers, however, her work is not as amendable as I am. Being chronically late gives the impression that you are inconsiderate of other peoples’ time, energy and efforts. While it’s true that sometimes people are just late because circumstances of the day have them running behind, most of the time tardiness can be avoided with just a few minutes of extra planning or less procrastinating. However, being perpetually late can signify a need to undermine a situation or subconscious passive-aggressiveness.
Being late can be a sign that you’re committed to something you don’t believe in. Take inventory of what you truly want and if you find your values and day to day commitments don’t align, take steps to rectify your situation. Whether it’s a job change, lifestyle change or any other type of change, figure out what you need to do to show that you value your own time and others.
Picking fights is a way of life for some individuals. They thrive on testing the people in their lives to validate their loyalty to them. Often, rather than strengthening the bonds of the relationship, constantly picking fights will cause the bond to break. The motive behind the constant need for negative attention is insecurity. Many people who engage in constant warfare with friends and lovers are people who fear that they will not be loved once their “true” self is revealed.
Jumping to conclusions and mistakenly interpreting the behaviors of others is often what leads to unnecessary fights. Instead of jumping to conclusions, try asking a few clarifying questions to learn the intent of someone’s words or behaviors. Also, take yourself out of the equation. If you are constantly assuming that the motives of others are directly related to you somehow, you’re more likely to see the need to address everything that doesn’t tickle your fancy. Instead, realize there are more factors at work in the lives of others, even those you are close to, than you.