Stop Self-Defeating Behaviors With Therapy

Everyone has goals they'd like to achieve. Fulfilling dreams requires determination and hard work. Unfortunately, some people sabotage themselves, often without fully meaning to do so. Self-defeating behavior can keep you from living your best life. It can be hard to change habits that have been with you for a lifetime. If you'd like to stop getting in your own way, therapy focused on changing self-defeating behavior can help. Here are four things a counselor will help you do in this type of therapy:

1. Clearly identify what you want.

In order to achieve your goals, you first need to know what they are. Clearly articulating your desires can help you figure out how to get them. Your therapist can help you make a list of your most cherished goals. Make sure your goals are specific, actionable, and attainable. Deciding you'd like to be wealthy is not a good goal, since wealth is subjective. A more specific goal would be deciding that you'd like to have $10,000 in the bank. Hang on to the list you make with your therapist and consult it whenever you feel uncertain of your next steps in life.

2. Notice unhelpful thought patterns.

All self-defeating behaviors start with thoughts in your mind. In order to change your actions, you first need to change those thoughts. Changing thoughts is a lengthy process, but simply noticing them is the first step. Your therapist can help you by giving you the tools to identify thought patterns that are unhealthy and untrue. Anxiety often makes people fear things that aren't likely to occur. Talk your self-defeating thoughts out with your therapist and listen carefully to their input.

3. Stop self-defeating habits.

Once you understand which thoughts lead to self-defeating behaviors, you can start changing the actions themselves. Your therapist may ask questions to help you more carefully examine your state of mind when you feel compelled to self-sabotage. If you can identify that feeling ahead of time, you can stop yourself before you take actions you will regret later. Changing habits doesn't happen overnight, but your therapist will work with you weekly until it becomes second nature.

4. Create better habits.

You'll need to replace your old, maladaptive habits with healthier habits. Deep breathing can help center you and prevent you from making rash decisions. Therapists who specialize in self-defeating behavior can offer therapy that will teach you new and better ways to deal with your emotions.

If you are struggling with self-defeating behavior, schedule an appointment with a self-defeating therapy service provider like Stanley Kramer Psychotherapy.