As a consultant, I am not void of criticism. When criticism occurs, it can be painful to hear, so much so that during these occurrences human nature often compels me to want to sling my opinion right back at the commenter. However, for the sake of avoiding self-sabotage through impulsive speech, I often listen and hold back my own opinions. In the space of the internet, cancel culture and criticism have become common practice. This makes the need to defend daily work, causes, beliefs, and suggestions extremely tempting. However, it is likewise important to step-back, to assess every situation. In the heat of the moment, remaining calm is vital.
Most research studies on self-sabotage focus on procrastination, addiction problems, and self-harm. However, as I have mentioned above, self-sabotage can also be apparent in chosen communicative responses led by perceptions. It can also appear in perfectionism, imposter syndrome, care of finances, family matters, and everyday relationships. And often people are not aware that these common behaviors are the very ones holding back success.
The root causes of self-sabotage can be biological or environmental. In some cases, both constructs are its source. Research studies show that childhood trauma can undermine a successful future. On the flip side, this type of trauma can also drive some individuals to a life of perfectionism. Another concern is when success is apparent, some people may believe they are not worthy or deserving. Environmental links can show up in daily associations, life experiences, and choices.
Self-sabotage in business is rising. This may be present in sexual misconduct both physical and in speech, racism, ableism, xenophobia, heterosexism, antisemitism, and sexism. Beliefs and doctrines could wake up sleeper cells holding principles that some of these issues are not of God, creating interpersonal conflicts and spiraling self-sabotaging behavioral patterns.
When it becomes evident that problems exist, it is important to conduct a self-assessment either alone or with a professional therapist. In addition, one general conflict management tool is:
- Speak your mind with your heart as your guide.
- Attentive listening.
- Be conscious of speech when expressing feelings.
- Remain logical.
- Review and then ask questions.
- Give each person a chance to speak and allow the same for yourself.
- Avoid hurtful statements.
The Bible tells us that “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” – Proverbs 25:28
Whether self-sabotaging behaviors are personal or includes other interdependent parties, it is certainly something to investigate. Careful assessments of its root causes provide individuals with the tools to begin healthier life journeys. Biologically every person is different, it is important to remain open minded when it has been determined that change must come. Self-sabotage is dangerous in all contexts. It destroys the human spirit. As life slowly returns to normal, churches will be at full capacity. Office cubicles will most likely be filled again, Lunchtime with team members…a must! Travel on full airplanes, and more people to share the world with again…all of this!
We are a connected people. And, to holistically connect with people, self-sabotage type behaviors must be treated and released!