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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Self-sabotage is something you will read about fairly often here on SparkPeople. Many of us will, despite our fervent desires to change our lives, find ourselves eating anything and everything we can find... sometimes without even enjoying it. We talk about it on SparkPeople in blogs on message groups, wondering what is wrong with us. We tell each other to forgive ourselves and keep trying. Some days, we even listen.

Tonight, I am faced (yet again) with a situation where I simply must get a certain amount of homework done, and I have put it off to the point that I have less than two hours to complete it (more like an hour and a half when I finish writing this blog). In the recent past -- as recent as 20 minutes ago -- I would have considered this self-sabotage. But tonight, I noticed something I never recognized before: I had a negative physical reaction when I began my homework. I opened the assignment and a tightness developed in my chest and stomach. My breath became shorter and shallower, and my arms feel as though I had been shaking. Revelation: I was panicking! I have no need of panicking. I am competent to do this work. I even have time to do it. I have everything I need to accomplish this task at hand, yet here I was panicking before I even read the whole assignment.

As I look back, I realize I have experienced this before. I do not know why. Tonight, I am responding by first practicing deep breathing. I have written to my best friend about it, talked to my husband, and am now blogging: in other words, I am processing my experience. I stepped away from my computer for a minute. But the main thing I am doing tonight is deep breathing and reminding myself, "One step at a time." I have read the assignment and know I am capable of completing it. I will keep practicing deep breathing and will take it one step at a time.

What does this mean about self-sabotage? I do not know. It does tell me that maybe we are not sabotaging ourselves as much as we are experiencing an emotional response we do not yet recognize. It definitely gives me something to look at as I face difficult challenges, whether in school, weight loss, finances, or any other situation in my life where I sometimes seem to intentionally work to defeat my own goals.

For tonight, I will just focusing on breathing.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1612 days ago
    You actually discussed two different things --- self-sabotage and high anxiety. They could be connected too, though.

    I told you that I am THE master of last-minute homework and, like you, I am struggling right now. So I talked to my professor to get some support and I am glad I did. I know that you are competent too and that's why you were confused about your strong feelings. I like what you are doing with the deep breathing which is such an important skill for life! With the deep breathing, I do color imagery too. I see myself breathing in clear, crystal, blue light and I breathing out stress and give it a color. I don't stop the breathing exercises until the color coming out of my nose is clear. I love doing imagery and I believe it to be healing so you are on the right path. emoticon

    Part of the anxiety, I am sure, is that you waited until the last minute. I do that all the time. You can write to me anytime and we can talk things out. I have had a few years of practice. emoticon I am SO proud of you for using NEW skills for living and coping. emoticon emoticon
    1612 days ago
    It is amazing how we each react to things and rarely realize that we do it. I've learned that processing things with someone (everyone) helps tremendously.

    1612 days ago
    1612 days ago
  • BECCA315
    I think true self-sabotage is when we have a choice, like between an apple and a piece of apple pie, and choose the lesser of the two, knowing all the while that we shouldn't. Panic attacks are something totally different, and I think most of us experience them at one time or another. And one way to deal with panic is to eat for comfort. I'm glad that you had a chance to process this feeling and work your way through it.

    emoticon Becca
    1612 days ago
    I can be easily overwhelmed and often have to take a step back to reevaluate. I hear ya. In and Out. Just. Keep. Breathing
    1612 days ago
    Yes - there is a reason why so many people recommend taking a good breath at times such as this!
    1613 days ago
    emoticon a thousand years ago (OK, 40) when I was in college, I used to do anything to put off working on term papers. I would have gathered items (books, aricles, etc) that I thought might be useful early in the quarter. But, when it came time to pull it all together, I'd get the urge to clean the oven. I only cleaned the oven when something was due!
    1613 days ago
    1613 days ago
  • KIM22211
    good for you. It is all a mental thing! We just have to get the kinks worked out! lol
    1613 days ago
    Isn't it strange how we can react and not even realize it. Taking time to deconstruct the experience and reconstruct it to your benefit.
    1613 days ago
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