Hand-in-hand with many mental illnesses is self-sabotage. This is when we consistently behave destructively toward ourselves, sabotaging the good things in our lives. The focus here is on that moment when you look back at the choices you’ve made and ask yourself Why Do I Destroy Everything Good In My Life?
1. You Don’t Deserve It
Often, we tell ourselves we aren’t good enough or that we don’t deserve something. Without even thinking about it, we sabotage our own relationships, careers, etc. because we tell ourselves we don’t deserve it. This mostly stems from insecurity and believing that we aren’t worthy of good outcomes.
2. It Would’ve Ended Badly Anyway
When we do something to sabotage ourselves, such as not studying for a critical exam, we tell ourselves we would’ve failed anyway. This reasoning goes behind much of procrastination or quitting. This goes along with a student skipping math classes because of the belief it wouldn’t have made a difference.
This is also shown when we end relationships because of the fear we will be dumped and have our hearts broken. This mostly stems from the anxiety about potential bad outcomes.
3. What If I Actually Succeed?
Sometimes, when a goal is so big and detrimental, we fear what will happen after we succeed. When you have been working toward something for so long, you might worry that after the success there will be nothing left in your life. Also, this can go back to the line of thinking that you wouldn’t have succeeded anyway, even if you didn’t self-sabotage. This stems from fear of the future, and of achieving an ultimate goal.
4. You Deserve to be Unhappy
A lot of self-sabotage stems from passive aggressive towards ourselves as punishment. Sometimes, especially when mental illness is involved, we are so miserable that we ruin the good things in our lives just to “punish” ourselves. This also connects with the idea that we don’t deserve good things or to be happy. This stems from self-aggression, sometimes related to the passive-aggressive personality disorder, where you are acting out against your best interests.
5. We Like To Watch Things Burn
This one can be called, by some, human nature. Why do toddlers put together a puzzle only to break it all apart? You could call it morbid curiosity. What would happen if I destroy something; a relationship, someone’s trust, my own success? We can’t be completely sure why we do these things. Maybe we are fascinated in it in the way we are fascinated by a car accident on the highway or a large fire. We have the tendency to read all of the juicy details in a police report or watch reluctantly the news telling of a mass shooting.
We know that what we are seeing is horrible, but we can’t pull ourselves away.
This aspect of human nature ties into the destructive behavior we commit against ourselves.
Self-sabotage is not positive, healthy, or productive, but it is important to recognize it. Most of the time, we do not realize we are acting destructively, so we do nothing to change the pattern. The key to change is awareness. The key is to look at your own behavior, without judgment, and admit when we are sabotaging our own well-being.