The Secret Behind Your Self-Sabotage – And How To Defeat It
Written by: Kimmi Sterner
On track to accomplishing a new goal, kicking an old habit, or even developing a new one?
If you’re finding it difficult to accomplish any or all of the above, it could be because you are engaging in a very common form of self-sabotage that all begins with a simple misunderstanding.
In your efforts toward self-improvement, it is extremely important to understand your personality style in order to gage the reason behind your habits.
Every time I started to adopt new habits that would move me closer to my goal of being healthier and stronger, I would find myself taking a few steps back each time I tried to use the mantra “everything in moderation.”
I would get very down on myself and wonder why I couldn’t be “normal” when I had a bar of dark chocolate in the house and couldn’t help but want to (or actually) eat the entire thing, rather than have one little piece a day. It was mentally exhausting!
It was not until I heard an interview with Gretchen Rubin that I realized there’s an explanation for my madness. As Gretchen so wonderfully put it, “If you want to change a habit, you should start by understanding yourself.”
There are two types of people in this world: abstainers and moderators.
Abstainers are those who can go “cold turkey” very easily and completely give something up. There was a point in my life where I was a vegetarian. When I decided to give up meat, I did it right away – indicating that I am an abstainer.
Moderators, however, might gradually reduce their meat intake to one meal a day, then one meal a week, etc. If I took that route, then there’s a very big chance that I would not have spent 5 ½ years meat-free.
The next step is to understand if you are a broad or narrow moderator or abstainer.
Giving Up Chocolate Vs. Allowing A Little Bit Of Peanut Butter
Recently, I decided to give up one of my first loves – chocolate (please don’t shun me, there’s a method behind my madness).
In the past, I’d given up chocolate, but still allowed myself to have chocolate protein bars, because those were “healthy.” I quickly realized that was just my way of finding a loophole to soothe my addiction. Give me an inch, I took a mile.
Once I decided to just give up chocolate completely, it was extremely easy, because instead of standing in the store trying to convince myself that the item with chocolate fell under my “no, this is healthy chocolate” category, I just walked away. This has also forced me to try new things!
On the other hand, I have a friend who is a moderator. She decided her nut-butter intake started to get out of hand. I’m sure we can all relate – sitting on the couch with a spoon and a jar of peanut butter trying to justify that the 2 tablespoon serving size meant 2 giant, mile-high spoonfuls. No? Just me?
Well, she decided to give up peanut butter altogether, but allowed herself to have almond butter. This is the perfect example of a narrow abstainer. If that were me, I’d probably end up eating more almond butter than usual, because I was “allowed to.”
Think about it. Which one are you? Don’t get down on yourself for being either one or the other. It is a very freeing feeling when you understand which strategy benefits you the most. You’ll start to feel empowered, because you know how to help yourself rather than sabotage your success.
Head over to Gretchen’s website for more information and advice about understanding your personality type, what to do when you’re in a relationship with a person who is in the opposite category of you, etc. Need even more? Try taking a look at her book “Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives.”
Remember, YOU are the master of your success as well as the secret to your sabotage. Love and understand yourself and watch yourself accomplish your goals quicker than you ever thought possible!
Kimmi Sterner is a 20-something newbie to Los Angeles and is currently working as a Fitness and Wellness Coordinator at UCLA, with years of teaching group fitness classes under her belt. A recent graduate with herMaster’s in Health Promotion from University of Mississippi, Kimmi is eager to provide knowledge, resources and inspiration to others, which fuels her fire and gives her purpose in life. She’s already making an impact on the world and through her words, she’s excited to expand her reach to help even more people here at Fitlife!
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