Throughout your recovery journey, you will reach long stretches of success. You also may experience long stretches of re-occurring failures.
When experiencing success for a prolonged period, many individuals feel uncomfortable, as they may still be used to the hardships of recovery. However, it’s not helpful to feel a vague discomfort about success. Instead, you can pay attention to your behavior to avoid self-sabotage. By being conscious of self-sabotaging behaviors and mindsets, you can continue and further your success.
What Is Self-Sabotage?
Self-sabotage is a common unconscious response to our discomfort regarding our increased success. Unfortunately, self-sabotage can hinder us from establishing healthy relationships, achieving at work, gaining an education, and recovering from addiction. It is very common for us to have a form of self-sabotaging behavior that we don’t recognize.
It is important to become aware of these behaviors and how they are impacting your recovery process, as they may lead you to relapse. It is normal to experience these feelings in recovery. However, we hope to help you overcome the symptoms of self-sabotage before reaching this point.
How to Overcome Self-Sabotage
Using these ten techniques, you can increase your awareness of how self-sabotage occurs in your life and stop it from hindering your progress.
#1 Identify Self-Sabotaging Behaviors
To identify your self-sabotage, you need to understand what potential behaviors this involves. Reviewing the following examples of self-sabotage can help you recognize what this behavior looks like in action.
Among other things, self-sabotaging behaviors can include:
- Abruptly stopping medications
- Engaging in risky activities
- Lying about progress or mental state
- Quitting a job impulsively
#2 Accept Your Failures
No matter who you are or what you have accomplished in your life, you have had some form of failure. Failure happens to everyone and is an inevitable aspect of life.
However, when you allow these failures to take over your thoughts, you are hindering your ability to succeed. It is important to look at your past failures with a realistic viewpoint, understanding why you failed and how you can learn from the experience. Understand and accept the failures you have encountered to move on from them.
#3 Keep a Goal-Oriented Focus
As you move through recovery, your focus may shift between different aspects of your recovery journey. No matter what your main focus is, check to see if you are maintaining focus in a goal-oriented manner. Whatever your thoughts and actions are geared toward, check to ensure they align with your goals and will help you accomplish them.
#4 Stay Confident
Confidence is key. If you do not believe in your ability to maintain a lifestyle of sobriety, then you may not be able to. A large portion of success stems from one’s confidence in their ability to succeed.
#5 Don’t Get Too Comfortable
Although confidence is important, it can be harmful if it leads you to relax your boundaries. Feeling comfortable is great, but it is important not to let it get to your head.
When individuals feel comfortable in their ability to maintain sobriety, they may think that slowly implementing the use of a substance again will go unnoticed. It is easy to push your goals aside when you feel that you deserve a break. Make sure you celebrate your success in healthy ways and enjoy your progress. At the same time, maintain the boundaries you have set to keep you sober.
#6 Pay Attention to Your Internal Dialogue
Think about that little voice in the back of your head that speaks to you and narrates your thoughts. This little voice is considered to be your internal dialogue. If this voice is consistently nagging and feeding you negative thoughts, that is how you will present yourself in the outside world. Try to alter your thought processes to continually feed you positive energy, encouraging your recovery success.
#7 Identify Patterns
Learn how to identify behavior patterns that may signal you are leaning towards behaviors of self-sabotage. Noticing the habitual patterns that you fall into can help you quickly recognize if you are getting off track in your recovery journey.
To help with this, think about prior routines and habits you no longer engage in. Watch for those to show up in minimal forms. This may be a way to recognize the cycle of addiction coming into play again.
#8 Reflect on Your Accomplishments
People commonly reflect on their failures. However, it can be even more important to understand and think about your accomplishments.
Getting to the point you are at today was not easy. Celebrate the accomplishments you have made. If you feel compelled to self-sabotage, reflect on those accomplishments and remind yourself of their importance.
#9 Don’t Expect Perfection
Through your recovery journey, you will experience many moments where you may desire perfection. Getting stuck in this mindset can keep you caught up on learning the same skill or overcoming the same event over and over again. It is important to have realistic expectations for yourself.
You are not, nor will you ever be, perfect. We are full of imperfections as humans, and that is part of what makes every one of us unique.
#10 Keep an Open Mind
Many individuals begin to self-sabotage because of an underlying fear of what’s ahead of them. This can be challenging to face, as you may not be able to pinpoint what that exact fear is. Keeping an open mind about the future and what is to come can help you mentally prepare for the challenges ahead of you and to overcome them with confidence.
Self-sabotage is a major concern for many individuals after leaving recovery. As you adjust to your newfound life, you may reach a point of stability. Although this is a milestone to celebrate, stability may decrease your drive to invest in recovery and sustainable change. You may fear you are doing worse or engage in self-destructive behaviors to hinder your path to success. Being able to identify these behaviors and break these patterns can help you protect your success from self-sabotage. It is also important to stay goal-oriented, reflect on your accomplishments, accept your failures, and keep an open mind. These practices will help you stay on track with your success and continue to move forward in your recovery journey. To learn more about these techniques to avoid self-sabotage, reach out to Dream Recovery at (949) 732-1960.