So I was having a ‘Bloggers Day Out’ with Marty from gumonmyshoe.com in the Life Science Centre and he mentioned that he’d taken some online courses with one being about self-sabotaging and it got me thinking about the topic…
As someone who has been known to regularly mess up good things in her life, I think I might be qualified in giving you all my own two top tips that’ve helped me to stop the behavior of self-sabotaging.
I learnt these skills after reaching the lowest point in my mental health; in the years after being admitted to Intensive Care following an overdose. Spending two and a half years in Cygnet Hospital Bierley meant that I had professional support in learning these skills so in writing this post, my hope is that it’ll avoid others having to reach that point too before they can learn these:
1. Never doubt your capabilities
As a blogger, I’m regularly praised for my writing and told I’m good at it, but I used to find it hard to see for myself. The complimentary feedback actually ended up making me reluctant to write because I worried that others might think I was showing off! As soon as I realized that writing made me happy and that it had such a huge, positive impact on my mental health, I made the decision that I wouldn’t let anything stop me from writing again. I wouldn’t, and I couldn’t. After reaching such a low point in my mental health I learnt that I couldn’t afford to take away anything that gave me even the slightest bit of joy. Realizing that writing was a passion and not a chore, I managed to turn my thinking so that when I received positive comments, I allowed them to bolster me up; encourage me to continue and provided me with the chance to improve my work through studying Creative Writing at Bradford College, and completing various online courses with Future Learn (15% discount code: Aimee_Wilson_15). There are still opportunities or ideas that’ll come up these days that I think I’m incapable of doing and I’ll be reluctant to even try because I’m convinced, I’ll fail. But I’ve learnt to voice my fears to my biggest supporters who can then reassure me and encourage me to pursue things anyway. And when I get through challenging work, the feeling of accomplishment never gets tired.
2. Practice self-soothing skills
One of the greatest skills I learnt in undergoing Dialectical Behaviour Therapy was the art of self-soothing and the importance it holds in being mentally well. Being kind to yourself shouldn’t be as hard as it is but breaking through the struggle makes it even more rewarding. Kindness to yourself can come in the form of such a variety of things: taking a bath, doing breathing exercises, eating chocolate, spending time with your kitten, playing a computer game, having some retail therapy… everyone is different, and no one should be judged for what makes them happy e.g. calling someone who likes doing their make-up, shallow. Having some ‘me time’ can be the greatest distraction when you’re on the self-sabotaging train! You can’t self-sabotage while you’re self-soothing; instead, it provides you with the chance to actually realize that you deserve a place on this earth and you deserve comfort, and fun, and love, and happiness.