There are enough enemies trying to bring us down, so why do we engage in self-defeating behavior? Look within. Does this describe you?
What is a self-defeating behavior? Well, this is when we do things to make life harder on ourselves, usually by doing things we think are normal. But if life is already hard enough, then giving in to self-defeating behavior can make life almost unbearable.
So, we have to learn a way to stop this nonsense, right?
Recognizing self-defeating behavior
I suppose we don’t really think about what we’re doing, but we often partake in self-defeating behavior. There’s not a set list of actions that can be categorized as this type of behavior, as each person partakes of their own recipe of self-destruction.
However, there are a few common threads that might help you understand the types of behavior you should single out. Here are a few subtle signs to look out for.
1. Avoiding work in favor of play
I know you much rather be watching your favorite show or hanging out with friends, but when there’s work to do, you should be doing it. Sometimes we spend hours of our day looking at email, posting on social media, and talking on the phone with family and friends, but we fail to approach our problems and work on solutions.
We just keep putting things off for another day in favor of forgetting our pressing needs or important goals. This self-defeating behavior always catches up with us when negative circumstances arise out of unfinished situations. To save yourself a lot of grief, you must switch your priorities and focus on your work. There is always plenty of time to play later.
2. You’re letting others steal your time
Time, unlike resources, cannot be gotten back when it’s wasted or lost. That’s why it is so important to stop others from monopolizing your time. This means, when you have work to do, stop engaging in small talk, jokes, or gossip with coworkers or friends. Although its fun to talk to people, it will bite you in the butt in the long run. It’s possible that you can ruin your life simply by letting others waste your time.
So, get jealous of your time. Treat your time as a precious jewel and tell people no when they want to do other things. Stop letting others tell you what you should be doing, and instead, tell them what you will be doing. Even if they get mad, let it roll off your back and keep going. You will be glad you made the most of your time.
3. You’re always giving up
I know life gets incredibly hard, I get it. In the past week, I have been bombarded by problem after problem, and few solutions to any of them. I have cried, begged, and buried my head in my pillows on several occasions in the past days. But, no matter what, I cannot give up.
The reason why it’s important to not give up is that a breakthrough could be right around the corner. If you can just hold on and do the best you can, something good might come along and fix the majority of your issues.
I have seen one solution fix five different situations in my life simultaneously. It was a miraculous event, I tell you. So, stop giving up. It is definitely a self-defeating behavior.
4. You have too many options
You might think that having a variety of choices would be a good thing. This isn’t always true. Unfortunately, having a number of choices can confuse you and make it harder to take action.
With having multiple choices, you have the complication of seeing good in each choice, which makes it hard to eliminate one decision over the other. Although you do need to take time to weigh the pros and cons, you must not dwell too long in limbo, else you lose all your choices and become stuck where you are.
5. You do not budget your spending
You might think that as long as you pay your bills every month, then you are financially okay. That’s not entirely true. Most of the time, you spend all of your paychecks with no savings put away for the future. You have no plans, no budget, and no goals. You live from day to day and from paycheck to paycheck.
Did you know that this is a self-defeating behavior? Be honest with yourself, do you really want to live like this until the day you die? If not, then you have to recognize this negative behavior for what it is. Your finances are important so you must learn to spend and save wisely.
6. You do not take responsibility
Unfortunately, I met someone that took little responsibility for their actions. I didn’t notice it at first because I felt so bad for their run of bad luck and mistreatment. After a while, I started to understand that they felt nothing was their fault. It was always the bad employer, the bad boyfriend, and the horrible parents. Nothing, and I mean nothing was a fault of their own.
You absolutely have to take responsibility for things you do, and sometimes for the things that are only partially your fault. If you have a fault, then you must learn to take that and try to do better. Every time you deny responsibility, you lie to yourself and get trapped as a “victim”. Life isn’t kind to those who do not take responsibility for their actions, and many times they end up alone.
7. You dwell in negativity
I know how hard it is to always speak negatively about yourself or your unfortunate situations, but it has to stop. Dwelling in negativity is a self-defeating behavior that won’t only damage your life, but can damage the lives of others as well.
Negative thoughts and words will frame what happens to you, so it’s best to start thinking in positive terms instead.
Stop ruining your own life
It’s bad enough, as I stated before when life becomes difficult. Things happen, people leave, and jobs are lost. Yeah, it happens just like that and easily too. But, regardless, there is no sense in making life even harder by the way you act.
Now is the time to stop this self-defeating behavior and see life as a success instead of a failure. There is always time to turn your life around and become what you’ve always wanted. So, never give up on what you really want.