Daniella Whyte

5 Ways We Unconsciously Destroy Ourselves (365 Days of Spirited Living — DAY 335)


“Sometimes you hit a point where you either change or self destruct.”
— Sam Stevens

There is a thing commonly called self-sabotage and it is very real even in some of our own lives. We don’t necessarily set out to destroy ourselves. However, the little things we know we shouldn’t do if we really thought about them, but that we do anyway intentionally or unconsciously, on a fairly consistent basis, are what help to destroy our psyche and eventually our lives.

Most times, it isn’t anything big like doing drugs or getting drunk or repeatedly landing in jail for minor offenses. Most times, it is the subtle little things we do that are so threatening to our productivity but aren’t necessarily crimes that cause us to get stuck in self-defeating behaviors and thoughts. But we don’t have to stay stuck if we do something about it.

Here are 5 ways we unconsciously destroy ourselves and how we can stop:

1. Spending all your time planning.

Many people dread the daily business meeting or the weekly project agenda conference call simply because it’s a lot of talk and planning and no action. At the end of it all, most times, nothing gets done and a lot of time is wasted. It is good to have a plan. You should always be prepared and sometimes a plan helps to do that. However, preparing and planning are two different things. But if you are not careful, you can spend all your time preparing and planning, but never actually play the game. All plans are subject to change without notice anyway. That’s why starting is the most important thing.

2. Avoiding hard work.

No problem has ever been solved in the world by checking email or laughing at cat videos on social media. Never. Ever. Never. If you want to accomplish something that is worthwhile and produce something of value, you won’t get it done with your eyes glued to your phone for most of the day. Most of the information we receive through our phones and social media timelines is not that important. Furthermore, the stuff that really matters — solving problems, being innovative, creating things and marketing our work — requires that we focus and concentrate on the task at hand. Not surprisingly, you can’t do that avoiding hard work.

3. Succumbing to decision paralysis.

Sure, it is great to have options, but too many options can put you in a state of indecision. More options aren’t necessarily a good thing. When I was looking at grad schools to apply for, I had many options, but six months before the deadline, I pretty much narrowed it down to four schools. Sure, there are other great schools besides the four I chose but the problem is, I can’t follow ten paths at once. Neither can you. You’ve got to choose. Finding what you want to do in life and where you want to go is a process, but don’t allow the process to make you get stuck where you stop moving forward all together.

4. Running a negative story through your psyche.

Even the best people do this at one time or another. Some of us tell ourselves that we’ll never be as good as the next person or we’ll never live up to our parents’ expectations or we’ll never make it big here or be good enough at this one thing. All of that is negative self-talk and it really doesn’t mean a thing unless we let it. We are storytelling and story-hearing creatures. We tend to remember stories much better than we remember assignments from a textbook. This is why you have to watch what you tell yourself and the way in which you persuade yourself. If you let your mind do all the talking, you may never get ahead to live the rest of your life.

5. Standing in your own way.

I know it sounds insane that someone would stand in their own way. It sounds more believable that someone would stand in the way of someone else. You know, it’s human nature not to exactly like it when someone does better than us. But the truth is, many people stand in their own way more often than they stand in someone else’s way. We say we believe something but don’t really believe it. We say we want something but do everything not to get it. Nothing is really holding us back from living a good and productive life but our own selves. The future we aim to live in is actually calling us straight there. But most times it has to wait until we get ourselves together. Get out of your own way and instead turn your thoughts and perceptions around to set yourself up to live the life you’ve always wanted to live.

“It would be a sin to help you destroy yourself.”
— Leo Tolstoy

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