7 Ways to Overcome Self-Defeating Behavior

We tend to think that most opposition comes from around us—a complaining spouse, a controlling boss, a road-raging driver—but rarely do we acknowledge the truth of the matter: we are often our own worst enemies. Here are a few ways to stop self-defeating behavior.

#1: Let go of victory. It’s nice to win, but you don’t have to win all the time. The lust for victory can often lead a person to keep chugging along a path of stupidity, wastefulness, and recklessness. On the other hand, sometimes it’s good to admit defeat and win a lesson instead.

#2: Stop trying to please everyone. You cannot make everyone happy all of the time. Rushing around and trying to make other people happy is a huge cause of self-defeating behavior. Whether you’re doing it at work or in your personal relationships, trying to make everyone happy all the time can cost you your health and peace of mind.

#3: Accept imperfection. If you seek perfection, you will never find completion. Can you imagine great artists like Michelangelo continuing to work and work on the Sistine Chapel, because it wasn’t exactly the way he wanted it? Nothing would ever get done! Imperfection is part of being human, and most of the time, you’re the only one who will notice your mistakes anyway.

#4: Eliminate bad habits. These days, most people have bad habits that relate to technology, like obsessively checking our email or social media accounts. Take stock of how you spend your time. Make a detailed log of the minutes and hours, and see how much time you might be wasting with various pursuits.

#5: Overcome fear. Fear is something that holds most people back from living a higher purpose. You can’t fly if you don’t jump, and you can’t jump if you’re afraid. Fear doesn’t necessarily have to be a direct sense of trepidation. It might be disguised as laziness or avoidance.

#6: Stop being a lone wolf. Everybody needs help sometimes, even lone wolfs. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help when you need it, because a severe, self-imposed sense of independence could actually be doing you more harm than good. Whether it’s in business or personal life, make friends, accept help, and seek help when it’s needed.

#7: Drop the guilt. Allow yourself to enjoy life, even if your past is checkered. People can change and grow, so you don’t have to let your past hold you back. Most of us are raised with a mentality that we have to slave away for someone else and only enjoy the weekend, but you can break free from this thought prison.

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