The internal enemy: what is self-sabotage

The expression "your biggest enemy is yourself" today do not allow themselves even Directors of Hollywood blockbusters, but Isutoshi it is not the less true for most of us. Few people have never behaved in a destructive, contrary to common sense and personal interests. To tell you obvious stuff a friend, play a new video game the evening before the exam, forget to set the alarm clock before an important meeting, a means of self-sabotage, there are many. Why do we need it actually and how to deal with it?

Where that comes from

In 1978, two psychologists from Harvard University, and Steven Berglas and Edward Jones, conducted an experiment. Students were handed out the tests, half of which consisted of questions that were only random, others were made so that the final grade is completely dependent on the students ' knowledge. After passing the test, participants were announced that have done it all, but the test will have to go again. Before that, however, you need to take, to choose, one of the pill: improving or deteriorating cognitive ability (both, of course, was placebo). In the end, "inhibiting" the pill, was attended exclusively by men from the group in which the answers had to be given at random. They did not know what was due to their success the first time and didn't want to in case of defeat it was their personal failure is much nicer to blame everything on the pill.

This was the first study devoted to self-sabotage. The common understanding of this phenomenon since then, little has changed. The self-sabotage is the processin which failures externalities (i.e. due to external factors), and the success internalservice (that is, they are considered to be achieved by personal qualities).

As with most other psychological conditions, often "sabotage" learn in childhood. For example, a child who say that asking for toys and sweets "selfish", stops them to ask — and in childhood age, his strategy can be considered advantageous: it adapts to the demands of the people depends on. But when that same person as an adult can't Express what he wants, it may become a serious problem.

Significant risk group — children who are accustomed to excessive care, which has learned that even if you do not do anything at all (e.g. homework), eventually it will find control parent, and he will take the solution into their own hands.

In addition to the "push-to-sabotaging" behavior, children also easily learn the patterns of behavior of adults and parents with similar mechanisms to deal with fear has a good chance to raise a child-a"saboteur".

However, sabotage can be "infected" and in adulthood. A traumatic experience usually causes people to avoid milesago hint of the hardships of the situation, even if objectively the current situation is perfectly safe. A variety of phobias and feelings of inferiority also become a basis for self-sabotage. The realization of their insignificance may be the reason "sick" before an important interview, and accidentally spilled the Cup of coffee is a great reason to avoid going out in the presence of social phobia.

And, finally, self-sabotage is directly linked to a variety of addictions (Smoking and alcoholism to gambling and Shopaholic). As a rule, they are used to reduce the level of stress and really allow you to escape without giving, meanwhile, to achieve what I want really. Care from achieving their goals is not the only negative effect of self-sabotage. To "pay" for it, according to the results of the research have also a bad mood, a decrease in perceived personal competence, falling motivation and new dependencies.


Around the head

A couple of years ago, a group of Japanese scientists decided to find out what changes can be observed in the brains of people more than others prone to self-sabotage. About a hundred Japanese students completed a special questionnaire, identifying a tendency for this strategy, and then the researchers used a method of voxel-based morphometry (it is a technique to study the anatomy of the brain). The main discovery was that the tendency to self-sabotage is determined by only one brain area — subgenual cingulate gyrus (also called the "field of Brodman 25"), it is considered "an important depot" for the delivery of serotonin in other areas of the brain, including the hypothalamus and brain stem that control sleep and appetite, amygdala and Insula that influence anxiety and mood, the hippocampus, which plays an important role in memory formation and some regions of frontal cortex responsible for self-esteem.

Other studies in this area have demonstrated the relationship between tendency to self-sabotage and loss of sense of self, exposure to outside influences, increased irritability, fatigue, and depersonalization (when their actions are perceived from the outside, and manage the feelings, impossible). In addition, men are more prone to sabotage than women, and women often begin to "sabotage" after any failure, when the motivation to keep moving toward the goal falls.


To find and neutralize

Self-sabotage is not always easily recognized, it can have many forms. Here, perhaps, the most popular of them:

Perfectionism. If something does not work quite perfectly, it is better to throw in the middle and take up something new.

Care addiction — overeating, Smoking and alcohol, computer games and gambling, etc. — also a convenient way to get away from their own goals.

Unrealistic assessment of their own capabilities. Taking on many projects simultaneously, some of them can simply be overlooked, or not make it, or, say, “burn out or break.”

Causing, deliberately or not, harm to health: the main thing is to ill to perform the necessary became absolutely impossible.

Overconfidence — the refusal of necessary assistance, agreeing to take on something clearly impossible — also, in General, effective ways to fail that you really want to fail.

Procrastination — where the same without her.

Of course, this list can be extended: ways not to do something that I do not want to do — a lot. But still, to reach consciously chosen objectives, ceasing to sabotage? Here is a list of tips from Dr. Margaret Paul, Ph.D, a columnist for the Huffington Post:

— Notice your judgments about yourself. They are often the cause of sabotage. Finding that the judgment that you are slow, ask yourself whether it is true. This files most often negative assessment of itself, its origins in childhood and are not in adulthood a critical review.

— Analyze the way in which you determine your own value. Decide how valuable you are, is by how you take care of yourself and important people rather than the results of your actions.

Consciously consider mistakes and failures as obligatory steps on the path to success (and not as a method of assessing self-worth). Admit that you sometimes make mistakes is normal. Remove from the failures of valuable information: what else do you need to know and learn.

— Be mindful of your feelings and kind to yourself. If you expect to support yourself in case of failure, and not to judge, you'll soon be ready to try to take the next step.

— Be prepared to most likely lose the other person than yourself. You will not be afraid of rejection or absorption, if you are honest with yourself and begin to do what is important and necessary for you, even if important people don't like it.

And, most importantly, remember that self-sabotage is not something we must fight by default. Sometimes their unwillingness to do something useful to listen. published


P. S. And remember, only by changing their consumption — together we change the world! ©

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