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Self-Defeating Habits Part 1

10 Tips To Understand Your Self-Defeating Habits – Part 1

Self-defeating habits are those behaviors and thoughts that hold us back from achieving our goals and living our best lives. They are often automatic, unconscious, and counterproductive, and they can have a negative impact on our relationships, health, and well-being. In this article, we will discuss 5 of the top 10 tips to better understand your self-defeating habits and how to overcome them; part 2 has an additional 5 tips.

1. Identify what self-defeating habits you have

The first step to overcoming self-defeating habits is to identify them. Pay attention to the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are holding you back from achieving your goals.

Do you procrastinate, self-sabotage, or engage in negative self-talk? If so, you might be acting as your own worst enemy.

Once you have identified your self-defeating habits, you can begin to work on changing them.

2. Understand the underlying beliefs and emotions

Self-defeating habits often stem from underlying beliefs and emotions that we may not be aware of. In a study on golf participants, they found that those who spoke negatively of their ability and their game were more likely to perform worse than those who engaged in self-affirming language.

For example, you may have a belief that you are not good enough, or a fear of failure that is holding you back.

t is important to understand these underlying beliefs and emotions so that you can challenge and change them.

3. Practice self-awareness

Self-awareness is key to overcoming self-defeating habits. How can you work against something that you don’t know exists, much less understand?

Grab a pen and paper and take time to listen and record what’s going on in your mind.

Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors throughout the day. Notice when you engage in self-defeating behaviors and what triggers them. This can help you to better understand your habits and begin to make changes.

4. Use mindfulness techniques

Mindfulness techniques such as meditation and deep breathing can help you to become more self-aware and present in the moment. When we auto-pilot with self-destructive tendencies, the results should not be surprising.

Being present, staying in the moment, can give you far more information on why you do the things you do. Using mindfulness techniques can help you to break out of automatic, self-defeating patterns and make more conscious choices about your thoughts and behaviors.

5. Challenge your negative self-talk

Negative self-talk is a common self-defeating habit that can hold us back from achieving our goals. Pay attention to the messages you are giving yourself and challenge negative thoughts with evidence-based positive self-talk.

For example, if you are telling yourself that you will never be successful, challenge that thought by reminding yourself of times when you have been successful in the past.

Sometimes we struggle to pull up information to challenge these intrusive thoughts; if that’s the case, then set aside time to list out some accomplishments or positive experiences that you’ve had over the course of your life, so that you might have a better frame of reference moving forward.


Understanding your self-defeating habits is the best way to eliminate them from your path. Next time, we’ll cover 5 more tips to understand those habits and how to overcome them.


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