Think about your last relationship… Why do you think it failed?
When a relationship ends, we tend to blame external factors – including the other person – for its demise. Many time the reasoning sounds something like this…
- “My partner just wasn’t there for me.”
- “No matter what I do, I just couldn’t get through to them…”
- “All the good ones are taken, apparently.”
- “They were disloyal to our commitment.”
Chances are, these are very true statements. However, there’s always two sides to every story. For every reason it didn’t work out because of something the other person did, there’s an equal reason it didn’t work out because of something you did.
In all of my failed relationships, there’s one common denominator: me.
Self-awareness dictates that I acknowledge this truth and get to the bottom of why this keeps happening. Because there’s a high likelihood that self sabotaging behaviours are to blame.
To further identify if this is the case, ask yourself these questions:
- Do all my partners have similar complaints about my behaviours?
- Can I identify certain patterns and similarities in all the relationships?
- Has anyone in my childhood exhibited these behaviours to make me think it’s okay?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, keep reading...
Types of Self Sabotaging Behaviour
Before we can overcome self sabotaging behaviours, we must first identify the different types. Depending on your patterns, upbringing and personality, you may have one or more of these characteristics that are holding you back.
- Feeling Insecure in Yourself
- Always Going on the Defensive
- Exuding a Pessimistic Attitude
- Not Letting Go of Control
- Developing an Addiction
- Breaking Trust With Weak Excuses
- Needing to Be Center of Attention
- Having a Fear of Intimacy
Once you’ve identified your struggle, it’s time to start overcoming it.
1. Audit Your Behaviour Without Bias
Which of the above behaviours best describe your struggles. Take an unbiased look at your relationships and see if it falls into any of these categories.
Don’t do this with a harsh attitude, but rather from a place of compassion for yourself. You want to set yourself up for future success. That means approaching the subject with a heart full of love and acceptance for who you are and who you want to become.
2. Find the Reason Behind Your Actions
When often develop these relationship habits early on in life. Perhaps it stems from an unhealthy relationship in your childhood. Or it may be from an early romantic relationship during your teen years.
Think back to when you first remember acting this way. When you think of that time, who are the handful of people that most influenced you? Did any of those relationships breed the habits you now have with others?
3. Identify What Triggers Your Behaviour
Oftentimes, there’s a certain insecurity that triggers these patterns. For example, let’s say you experienced an early trauma where someone you love left without notice (e.g. a tragic death or a parent walking out on your family).
To cope, you make sure to leave relationships before they have a chance to leave you.
After evaluating your past, you notice that something as simple as someone mentioning they’d love to move or travel triggers your need to leave first. Or maybe anytime there’s the slightest health scare in a loved one’s life, you leave for fear of losing them to death.
4. Share Your Story and Find Accountability
Even if we have a tendency to self sabotage, there’s likely someone we trust implicitly. Share your story with that person – from the initial reason to how these patterns show themselves in your current relationships.
Then ask that person to help you identify when it’s happening.
This level of accountability to someone else will often help you identify the behaviour before it’s too late. Plus, there’s nothing quite as liberating as sharing your struggles with someone else.
Let Go of These Self Sabotaging Behaviours
It’s time to let healing begin in your life.
There’s no reason why you can overcome these issues and start a journey to find a happy, fulfilled relationship with the partner of your dreams. It may take a bit of work, but it’s certainly an effort worth making.
Do you struggle with any self sabotaging behaviours? If so, comment below with your commitment to tackle these issues and not fall victim to it again.