It does not have to be the new year to improve your life, you can think about those resolutions that you had in your mind right now and pay attention to them. The strength of will not only have to remove it when you start a new year, you can remove it at any time of your life. Perhaps since the beginning of the year you have realized that you have strayed a lot and you do not understand very well why.

This phenomenon is called self-sabotage, which is actually not as dramatic as it might seem. It simply means that you are engaging in self-directed behavior, thoughts or actions that are unconsciously preventing you from obtaining what you are consciously trying to achieve. 

Self-sabotage is our brain safety mechanism to protect us from disappointment, actually, and our brain has incorporated danger and safety signals that unconsciously activate certain behaviors, thoughts, and feelings to protect us from being hurt, either physically or emotionally. . Our own unconscious self-sabotage is our smart way of doing “our best”, making us feel comfortable in life instead of taking risks. Therefore, below we are going to explain some ways so that you can overcome this and improve your life .

Don’t hold on to the past

We often use past experiences and memories to predict our present and future, the problem is that our memories are highly fallible and our subconscious tends to favor our memories over objective reality. What we focus our attention on tends to grow more. This means that if we are focusing on bad experiences or feelings of anger, sadness, disappointment, or worry, we will experience more of these feelings and bad experiences .

Have you ever been to bed, desperate for sleep, but felt more sleepless and anxious as the night progressed? When holding on to memories or experiences becomes harmful and useless to the dreams and desires of our present, it’s time to let it go. The solution? Just let it go. Letting go simply means getting mental and emotional space to detach yourself from a belief that is hurting you.

To do this, allow yourself to experience your emotions and memories without trying to push them away or feel overwhelmed by them. It is as simple as letting them be as they are. Letting go does not mean that the experience or memory did not happen, or that it is irrelevant or unimportant. It means that you are making a conscious choice to stop reliving past pain, and that you are allowing your story to grow and change, rather than reproduce. When we do something important, like moving toward our goals and desires, we challenge ourselves to go from comfortable to uncomfortable.  It’s okay to not be perfect and have trouble along the way, we are human after all. Remember letting go is a work in progress, it takes time. Sometimes letting go means accepting the past and allowing yourself to create a new present and future.

Don’t support your false beliefs

This is called confirmation bias. We tend to unconsciously surround ourselves with people, experiences, and situations that are aligned with our beliefs. This means that we seek information that confirms our thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Our subconscious mind will do its best to protect our beliefs, and this is not always a good thing. 

This means that if we feel self-conscious, nervous or even worried about something, our mind will search for information to confirm it, sabotaging and finally stopping you. For example, if you want to try yoga but feel uncomfortable in gym clothes, you walk into yoga class and when you pass a group of slim women, you attract the attention of one of them and then you hear laughter, you will automatically think; “I knew I looked funny, they must be laughing at me.” You decide to drop out of class, and there goes your desire to start practicing yoga – this is your confirmation bias at work. Another example of how this mental bias works is that you unconsciously seek to gather evidence to support your belief. For example, if you want to buy a new car, you will see new cars everywhere and you will think that it is a signal to buy it.

The solution? Your thoughts are not always facts: part of being human is our ability to think. Much of our day is made of thought. For example, in a 24-hour period we can plan, imagine, or even worry within the inner confines of our mind. Thoughts can be intentional, like when we are actively trying to remember something, or they can be automatic, like when we make assumptions or judgments. One way to overcome our confirmation bias is to know that thoughts are not always fact, and that many times our thoughts are judgments and opinions. 

The thought “the temperature of the sun is 15 million degrees Celsius” may be a fact, but the thought “it is nice to be warm when I sit in the sun” is an opinion. This is important, as part of being stuck in our own confirmation bias means that we often believe that all of our thoughts are true. It is important to be aware of the thoughts, with awareness comes the choice, the choice to accept the thought or challenge it and create more balance. When you start to notice that your thoughts become useless, ask yourself three basic questions:

    • Is it just an opinion or is it a fact of thought?
    • If my friend told me this thought, what would I say to him?
  • Is this thought helping me get closer to achieving my goals?

Stop starting sentences like: “What if …”

Reflecting on the past and fantasizing about how you would have ‘done things differently’ only perpetuates anxiety, frustration, and disappointment. Focusing and reliving regret for the things we did or did not do can prevent us from taking action in the present and in the “now.” Fixing on wishes that are not possible, such as wanting others to change, creates frustration and hinders the future. For example, if you are obsessed with the unhelpful behavior of a loved one, the more you obsess over the “what if” thoughts, the more resentment builds up within that relationship.

The solution? Being empowered on the inside, we are ultimately the drivers of our own lives. This means that we have the supreme power of our thoughts, feelings, choices and behavior.  If we have the ability to think about the past, to fantasize about what we could have done or should have done, then it makes sense that we can also use those thoughts to motivate, cultivate and grow what we want for our present and our future. 

It is completely up to us, if we choose to stay with thoughts that do not help, they keep us stuck, suffering and anchored in doubt.Make the decision to embrace your inner strength, take advantage of your positive state of mind and move towards the desires that you have. If you notice that you get stuck in useless thought patterns, breathe, we all have an internal criticism.  If something is not helping you reach your goals , shift gears and allow your mind to accept the positive and helpful thoughts that motivate and nurture your dreams. 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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