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.