My Self Defeating Behavior

Self Defeating BehaviorI am just about to tell you a true story..with the intention of inspiring you to reflect on your own life …so please don’t judge me…it happened over a decade ago, yet I remember it!

My son’s Bar Mitzvah planning and celebration was my epiphany leading to recognition of my need to control– twisting me all up inside… just like a pretzel. As if a monster that looks exactly like me took over! Yes.. I totally controlled all the details and the planning. I decided what we (my husband and I) should wear, what we should eat, what decorations to use…I even arranged a surprised belly dancer that showed up in the middle of the evening party. And, yes, my entire family was in a state of shock and my son totally embarrassed, not to mention the rabbi’s wife!

You might ask why I did it. The short answer is that I felt that no one could do better than I would. And I would rather control the situation than being controlled. Because this way, I will know the expected results!

Does that resonate with anyone?

In Positive Intelligence research, where we often talk about saboteurs, and even take assessments, people score on at least 2 or 3 saboteurs. One of my saboteurs was the controller saboteur. No big surprise there!

In case you are thinking that you would never do what I did or that you are not the “controlling type” (and satisfied that all that is required now is to feel sorry for me), I am here to inform you that we all have saboteurs! Yep,…so sorry to rain on your parade!

I define saboteur as “Self-Defeating Behavior.” Do you recognize any self-defeating behaviors in yourself?

There are 9 other saboteurs you can “choose” from, in case controller is not your cup of tea.

Some of us can be the Avoiders, other Pleasers, Hyper Achievers, Hyper Rational, and yet others are Victim, Stickler or Hyper Vigilant. All these saboteurs, these “self-defeating behaviors,” use and abuse our own natural strengths.

The strengths of someone with the controller saboteur is their competence, confidence, and action-motivated life. They just go for it. For them, the sky is the limit. However, saboteurs use and abuse our strengths. And they do it by lying to us…super sneaky saboteurs promise to give us peace of mind but actually they deliver the opposite.

Was I calm during, before and after my son’s Bar Mitzvah…?? Maybe for an outsider looking in…but inside…different story!

Some saboteurs may say, “Without me no one will be able to do it the right way, I know the best.”

An Avoider saboteur might say, “I will not say anything so I can keep the peace.”
A hyper-rational saboteur might say, “I am not getting why everyone is so emotional all the time…. let’s think about it from a purely rational lens.”

Do you recognize when you self-sabotage?? When you have self-defeating behavior? And when you behave this way, do you still experience fear, feel anxious and overwhelmed, or unhappy? Do you recognize the lie?

Don’t feel despair-the first step is awareness, right? I hope this blog causes you to pause and reflect on your own life. Let me help you even further.

I invite you to reflect and ask yourselves the following questions:

• What do I think is my saboteur?
• An example that this saboteur is a self-defeating behavior of mine is:
• What are the “lies” that my saboteur tells me; why am I not feeling better in the long run?
• What are the ways I use to shift from behaving/feeling in this manner
• Can I counter this saboteur?

As always, I am right here, on the other side of the screen if you want to reach out and find more about the work I do, and how I can serve you find clarity, resilience and peace of mind!

“The fact that you don’t see it, does not mean it does not exist. By becoming aware of how we speak and how we act, we become willing to live in creation mode and not survival mode.”
Dorice Horenstein