Today’s guest post comes from good friend and TG.com regular contributor (albeit it’s been a minute), George Kalantzis.
We all have that negative voice inside our heads telling us we can’t do something or convincing us there’s no way to accomplish a goal.
- I can’t lose 20 lbs, why even try?
- There’s no way I can survive a CrossFit class.
- Can I really pull off white after Labor Day?
There’s a myriad of examples in everyday life where we self-sabotage or talk ourselves out of doing something.
George helps to shed some light on the topic and to encourage use to cut the shit.
Self-Sabotage: No One Is Coming to Save You
What would your life look like if there were no limits?
If the above question has you thinking about life from a different lens, then I did my job, and you do not have to read the rest of the article.
If life was only that easy- right?
But we both know you aren’t here for the easy way out, and Because Heavy Things Won’t Lift Themselves, let’s get warmed up for some heavy lifting, but not by using our god/goddess-like structures we’ve all sculpted during the quarantine.
Today, we are going to train using our brains.
Whatever challenge you face in life, asking the right kinds of questions can help you achieve massive breakthroughs. I’ve spent most of my life looking for answers until I went through a tough transition in life and discovered self-sabotage patterns and how my mind was holding me back from doing dope shit in life.
Self-sabotage exists for a reason.
It perceivably keeps us safe from our fears and prevents us from stepping outside our comfort zones. But if we can find ways to get past the voices holding us back, we can turn the impossible to possible, and limits become limitless.
What is Self-Sabotage
In a nutshell, self-sabotage occurs when a pattern of behaviors creates a conundrum of limiting beliefs that hold you back from achieving goals and stepping outside your comfort zone. When you embark on a self-discovery journey, whether through lifting heavy weights, running, yoga, or any other way to challenge your mind and body, patterns from your past sneak up in subtle ways and interfere with your growth.
It’s not your fault because your subconscious (the little voices in your head) creates templates throughout your life based on past experiences. Anytime you start to approach the edge of life you are used to, you mess up and revert to old routines.
(I did this a lot, and still, catch myself).
You might even be aware of this pattern, but you reject the thought and look for more answers. You try new things. You process information, and for some reason, never able to change. Self-sabotage has taken you hostage.
Maybe you are afraid of failure and give up on yourself. Or scared of rejection, and never stand up for what you value. Perhaps you are scared of what others think, and seek validation in all you do. While well-intended, the intention does not support unlocking the doors to do dope shit with your life.
How do you recognize self-sabotage and call yourself out before your limiting beliefs take over?
I wish I could say I had all the answers to those questions, and I’m willing to bet Lisa, Tony’s wife can help you with this area of life. But to keep things simple, let’s talk about some basics.
Note From TG: Lisa’s written a number of great articles on this site revolving around motivation and mindset. You can check them out HERE.
Also, you can visit her Instagram page (HERE) where she does a splendid job at interweaving fitness and psychology with her daily posts. Or, you can check out her website HERE. Finally, on an aside, she can likely beat me in an arm-wrestling match. She’s pretty jacked.
Because like heavy deadlifts help create a fantastic physique, acknowledging patterns of self-sabotage gives you the tools to break away from the limiting beliefs holding you back.
Let’s Pick Some Heavy Ass Weights Up!
To get started, you must call out these areas before you begin any transformation and catch them before the repeat in your life. Think of it as selecting specific exercises for a specified training session to hit a massive PR.
Every time you acknowledge and name the area in life, holding you back, you build a new set of skills to push past your comfort zone. Sure, you can skip this step and get amazing results, but eventually, the subtle signs of self-sabotage will catch up to you, and before you know it, you are right back where you started.
Possible areas holding you back:
Health. Money. Relationships. Sex. Happiness. Careers. Accomplishments. Family.
Standard methods of self-sabotage:
Procrastination. Perfectionism. Emotional eating. Undertraining. Overtraining. Impulsive spending. Busyness. Sleeping late. Constant tardiness. Temper issues. Anger issues.
These areas of life are ubiquitous, yet many of us have no clue how to overcome common obstacles because we become victims of the stories we tell ourselves.
- I’m too old
- I’m too fat
- I’ll never be able to look like “x.”
- I’ll never change
- I’m not strong enough
- I’ve always been like this
- You fill in the blanks
The sad part is when we have beliefs like these, we hardly ever test our limits. Life at best becomes a chase, and we seek to find surface-level answers to problems deep-rooted from our past. When viewed from this perspective, self-sabotage makes sense.
We’re all under pressure from today’s world, forcing us to make quick decisions without ever taking a step back to ask more questions. The paradox in our chase for life is many of us are never satisfied because the things we think we want never align with our values.
Which brings me back to you, and my original question.
What would your life look like if there were no limits?
(👆👆👆 Tony’s Editorial Contribution 👆👆👆)
I ask my clients this because it opens up doors for them to dope shit, not because it’s a dope question, but because questions like this demand, they choose a path in the face of uncertainty.
You are what you choose, and an uncomfortable truth many are not willing to face is we can never choose two things at the same time.
Or as the old English proverb says, you cant have your cake and eat it too.
The right kinds of questions can challenge you to see maybe you don’t know much about life, if anything. And the more invitations we give ourselves to ask better questions, the more we take full responsibility for our lives and punch our comfort zones in the kidneys.
Here is why this matters
The hardest part of any transformation is understanding what you want and value because without doing so, your brain will hunt for negativity in life. Psychologists refer to this concept as ” negativity bias: the idea that we’re always searching for negativity to see the dangers around us, but when we embark on a transformation of any kind, it doesn’t serve us well.
We all want to look good, feel good, have amazing relationships, and be happy. But no one ever wants to take full responsibility for the choices in life when we experience uncomfortable feelings associated with growth.
The truth is, nothing in life comes easy. You already know this, but because you focus on all the things you don’t want, you stay inside your comfort zone even if your comfort zone leaves you feeling depressed, burned out, exhausted, and resentful. When your behaviors and choices don’t match up with what you say you want, you’ll let self-sabotage ruin your entire life.
If you’re ready, I’d like to invite you beyond self-sabotage so you can go on to do dope shit in life.
How To Beat Self-Sabotage
Write down all the areas on your life holding you back, and the stories you continue to tell yourself. Notice how those stories make you feel and how often they prevent you from growth. The more honest you are, the more success you’ll have, changing them later on.
One of the biggest ones in my previous life was
“I am always broke…”
My story prevented me from saving money because I was afraid of my numbers and avoided them like the plague. This story made me feel like a failure, and I was in a constant state of financial stress.
After you acknowledge these beliefs and how they make you feel and hold you back, write down the opposite of this belief to help you prove this belief is not valid.
Self-Sabotage- I am always broke
New Story: I have never been honest with my numbers and have enough skills and experiences to live with abundance.
After you tell yourself a new belief, design a plan, and take action to prove to yourself you are worth the new life you say you want. Anytime you find yourself in a block, come back to the beliefs and write the opposite feeling holding you back. It will not be easy; you will get uncomfortable; change does not happen overnight. But the results will be worth the struggles.
Remember, the goal is not perfection, but consistency. You might not like what you discover in these exercises, but this is your life, and there is no time for fucking around if you want to go all-in on and doing dope shit.
About the Author
George Kalantzis is a coach, writer, and dad, committed to helping people do dope shit in their lives. He is a seasoned Marine Corps combat veteran with over ten years of experience coping with high-pressure and constantly changing environments.
He writes about tough transitions at www.theartoftoughtransitions.com.
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