Community//

Why Do We Self Sabotage

Three experts talk about what's behind our damaging behavior

(Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay )
(Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay )

Why do we as individuals struggle with self sabotage and why do some well-known organizations do as well? The question is worth examining.

This feature is an intellectual brief in a conversational format.

Gratitude to Jasmine Menser-Lust, Jill M. Sammak and Wendy B. Dickinson, for taking the time to talk. Their comments are informative, educational, insightful, wise and interesting. I think you might find this feature beneficial.

Jasmine Menser-Lust
Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Founder
Catalyst Counseling Group

(Jasmine Menser-Lust, professional counselor and founder of Catalyst Counselor Group)

“I work with leaders and aspiring professionals on overcoming their anxiety and depression. The majority of the time they are uncovering cycles of self sabotage and addressing them head on for the first time in their lives.

“People are more likely to become comfortable with self sabotaging behavior because it builds in a very subtle way. These are protective behaviors and beliefs about ourselves and the world that have built up over time and can be difficult for the person to realize.

“Therefore, they have learned how to challenge negative consequences around them by using a self-serving perspective of the situation that may blame the behavior on others’ performance instead of their own.

“This belief will help them to discount the opinions of others around them.

“Every time they are successful at discounting a negative consequence, it actually provides proof and evidence that the belief they have about themselves and the world is right.

“Overall, the majority of individuals are not even aware they are self sabotaging.

“My approach is to help individuals identify how patterns of negative consequences are playing out in both their personal and professional worlds and make the connection that they are the common denominator.

“It can be a scary thing to challenge the beliefs you have about the world that have been serving you for years.”

Jill M. Sammak
Leadership and Career Coach
Jill Sammak Coaching and Consulting

(Jill Sammak, leadership and career coach, Jill Sammak Coaching and Consulting)

“People with power have a choice that most of us don’t. They can choose to insulate themselves from criticism because the people around them are often seeking to benefit from their privilege.

“Powerful people have the ability to build an echo chamber filled with validation which, like sugar, tastes sweet in the moment, but in too large a quantity, may be very unhealthy in the long run.

“To avoid self-destructive outcomes, it’s essential that people in power follow two practices:

“One, they should keep close (to them) those people that are willing to challenge them.

“The second protective measure is to invite feedback to signal that it’s safe and welcome for those around them to offer it.

“While they may not always like what they hear, it can help protect a long, hard fall from a very high pedestal.”

Wendy B. Dickinson
Business and Leadership Coach and Founder
Ascend Coaching Solutions LLC

(Wendy Dickinson, business and leadership coach
and founder of Ascend Coaching Solutions)

“I believe people struggle to change their thinking and patterns of behavior despite the overwhelming evidence that change is needed for several reasons. Consider these:

“Our brains like routine, get really comfortable and go back to what it knows when stressed. A downward spiral is overwhelming and again, we do what we feel most comfortable with when we are stressed, afraid or angry.

“We have a powerful internal narrative that can deliver the message over and over again that what worked before, that got us to our elevated position, will work again. You could write a book on the fallacy of this kind of thinking.

“Finally, our brains have a bias toward ‘facts’ that reinforce our beliefs that whatever disaster is about to befall us, won’t really happen to ‘me.’”

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