UPP Weekly Digest presents:
Self-Gaslighting or Self Sabotage
by Shari Wilson, Psy. M.
August 26, 2022
Happy Friday everyone! Shari Wilson, Psy. M, your virtual psychologist, here for our weekly discussion. Welcome to my virtual office. Feel free to get comfortable, and let's get started...
Have you ever set a goal and the closer you get to achieving that goal, the more you feel like talking yourself out of it? It is something about that self-sabotaging that makes change seem like it is almost a bad idea! Even though there has been tons of preparation for this very moment, it’s getting to the finish line that feels like it has you in a chokehold. Especially if the comments towards yourself are similar to:
“I knew I wouldn’t be able to complete this, so why did I start?”
“Everything keeps popping up when you try to complete this specific goal so why finish?”
“I did all this, but do I even deserve this?"
"What if I’m not good at this?”
These are forms of what we would call self-gaslighting or self- sabotage or the psychological term, Behavioral Dysregulation. The technical definition would be when “Self-sabotage occurs when we destroy ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally or when we deliberately hinder our own success and wellbeing by undermining personal goals and values.
This has been a struggle that I have dealt with throughout life because I would have such high goals and expectations for myself but end up talking myself out of whatever it was. I would wonder, why would I sabotage myself, I'm literally gaslighting myself out of my purpose.
Why would I do that to myself?
I realized that there was a fear of being successful which surprisingly is a lot more common than not. People would rather know that 9-5 job works for them, even though they are unhappy, than try to reach the goal where they KNOW that they would be at their maximum potential.
That was me.
Now don't get it twisted, there are those who are right where they are supposed to be, however I would get upset with myself, feeling trapped in a situation that I thought was secure and safe in. Instead of the situation being my security belt, it would end up being a crutch.
At some point, I had to come to terms with the fact that I was my own barrier. BOY OH BOY, was that a serious internal conversation to have with myself. The realization if I don’t accept my greatness and walk in what I'M SUPPOSED be doing instead of WHAT I'M COMFORTABLE in, then I can no longer be sad.
There was a continuous cycle of content→ denial of being unhappy because I’m being complacent → to feeling stuck at a standard that I would accept for someone else → to noticeably depressed because I cheated myself out of another goal → to grief → to telling myself to suck it up because “that’s life” and “if it were meant for me then it wouldn't be such a task to achieve → welp, we’re content again.
It took me catching a serious attitude with myself, for me to realize that this cycle was hurting me to the point that it was spilling over into other relationships. There are many people who become complacent and end up resentful because of what they missed out on. That saying that "you’re never too late", rings so true because even if the first, second, third, thirteenth, twentieth chance was missed, THERE’S STILL A CHANCE for you to regain your moment and reach your goals. These goals can be anything from career related, to weight loss, to relationships, literally anything that you kept yourself from doing because you may have felt unworthy. THAT unworthy feeling is almost like your inner self trying to let you know how excited you will be when you reach your goal.
When I made the conscious decision to change, I used this guide to help me through.
My first question to myself is when do I start to self-sabotage?
It is all about your frame of mind. If you believe you can do it, IT WILL GET DONE!! This is the one that will set the standard for the rest of your steps.
YOU’VE GOT TO BELIEVE THAT YOU DESERVE THE CHANCE TO SUCCEED AT YOUR GOALS, WHATEVER THEY MAY BE.
This tends to happen when I am actually getting close enough to where my goal is achievable, so instead of falling into canceling out my goals, I create a small list of how I'm actually going to get to my goal because I DESERVE TO SUCCEED.
Now that we are going to start with positive thinking, let's make sure things like work, money, fear of failure, or anything that hindered you before are not allowed to carry such weight now that we are making moves towards our goals.
This could be as simple as a checklist of each step that is completed, all the way up to the goal being reached.
It is the small steps that will keep you from being easily triggered, and feeling like self-sabotaging is the “safest” route.
Now that there is a game plan, procrastination needs to be replaced with organization.
Now you have some who “work well under pressure”, but that is because it is almost the thought of “if I dont complete this task, then I'VE FAILED” … yea, we are trying to avoid the dramatics because it is SO easy to talk yourself right out of what you need to do because the fear of NOT finishing is much more devastating.
So, to combat procrastination, let’s make a small schedule of what you need to get done in a certain time frame.
This time frame allows you enough to complete these said tasks without feeling like the deadlines are holding you hostage. This will allow you to get to each check mark and see your progress!
These steps seem easy, but taking them to heart is what will help you get over what seems like a completely crippling way of living.
When you start to doubt, STOP! Remind yourself why you are working towards this goal and dive in!
YOU DESERVE THIS!
Now at any point you feel like you've taken the necessary steps and the gaslighting and sabotaging is still finding a way to win, SEEK OUT PROFESSIONAL HELP!!!
We are here to help you through things like this because we understand. Do not hesitate, due to fear of whatever that may be.
I promise I do not judge at whatever your reasoning might be BUT I CAN PROMISE that I will do my best to get you to where you need to be. As long as you are willing, that’s all that I can ask for, so I will be right there with you.
YOU GOT THIS!!!!!
This was a GREAT chat!
Feel free to comment and tell me what has helped you, if you had made it through this or have dealt with a form of this and how you are doing now. Or if you haven't made it through and need a little extra coaching or reassurance, feel free to send an email and we can set up a chat from there.
About the writer:
Shari Wilson has a genuine heart to listen to anyone who shares their experiences, traumas, or just life in general. She studied at Purdue Global University, acquiring her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis and Addictions Psychology in 2016. On the path to furthering her studies, she received her Master of Psychology in 2018 from Purdue Global University. Since then she has been enamored with the ability to use her education to help others through difficult times.
She is a Consulting Psychologist for UnCharted Path Productions, working on the upcoming psychological thriller series titled, “Hidden District”. She is a mom of 3, a wife, and an amazing friend to those around her. If you would like to get in contact with her regarding a counseling session, please email her at: email@example.com or her Instagram.
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