How to stop being self-destructive?
Many people want to make a change in their lives. They want to stop some self-destructive behaviors. But they have no idea how. As result, they remained exactly as they are.
The failure to implement your plan is frustrating. It stems not on your inability to make things done but on your hesitation and doubts in yourself.
Doubt kills dreams and goals. The truth is, you can be anyone you want to be. You just need to decide and defeat your inner enemy.
If you want to stop smoking, for instance, you can definitely do it. Many people have already done it. Commitment is key. This will not be going to be easy. Your determination will constantly be tested.
But the good news is that human behavior is learnable. You can definitely transform yourself and discover the greater version of it.
Here, I will be sharing with you some tips on how to stop being self-destructive. These simple strategies are powerful enough to aid you in the process of metamorphosis. A little caveat though. None of these tips is easy. You need to devote yourself to the process.
1. Feel and embrace the pain
It is easy to get motivated by seeing others doing any success. It is easy to get inspired when you see someone likely you achieved what you want to achieve. But when you put yourself in the process, you’re stunned by how hard it is. It is more painful, difficult, and frustrating than you think. It seems that it is so hard coaxing yourself to detach from the old habit.
The secret to winning over your doubts and self-defeating thoughts is by recognizing the pain that you currently have. Know that it takes discipline and determination to get there. But it is that pain that makes every step of the process worthy and significant. It is in that very process that develops a person you want to be.
2. Face the challenge head on
Most people struggle to reach their goal because they turn their back from challenges. They avoid the hard way. Their fear makes them avoid the problem instead of dealing with it. In order to achieve modifications in your behavior, you need to break the cycle. Face the reality that your goal is achievable only if you have self-discipline.
3. Focus on one step at a time
One of the reasons why most people who want to achieve change in their lives failed is that they tend to do all the stuff all at once. The result? They get overwhelmed. You will also end up in this fate if you do the same thing.
What you can do instead is break down the process into smaller steps. If you want to quit smoking, for instance, you don’t have to totally do it in one day. Instead, you can slowly decrease your cigarette consumption on a daily basis until you reach one stick a day. Then one stick in every two days, one stick in every three days, and so on. This looks like a very slow process but it works. Always remember that patience is important in achieving any goal.
4. Commit to the process
By now you might already realize that changing a destructive behavior is long and can be a painful process. It can only be done if you commit yourself to the undertaking. But how can you develop commitment? Well, there are many things you can do. One of them is announcing your goal to other people, family members, and friends. Inform them what you are up to and make yourself accountable. This will help you develop a sense of responsibility.
However, you should be careful though. Sometimes, the announced goals fail. Yes, but not all the time. If you let others know your goal, you’ll get feedback. And that feedback will either boost your confidence or weaken your self-esteem which in turn kill your goal. Remember that in the planning process, the goal is so brittle and susceptible to criticisms. That is why I keep my goal in myself and work on it silently without others knowing it. Fortunately, I always achieve what I intend to accomplish.
5. Believe in yourself
Unless you honestly believe in yourself, you will not make any changes in your life. As a teacher, I always remind my students that if they don’t believe they can survive in their academic journey, they already fail. Same is true in behavioral modification. If you want to change your self-destructive habit, you have to believe that you can achieve it. If you don’t believe that you can, then stop pretending you’re doing great. People fail not because they lack capability but because they lack self-efficacy and self-reliance.
6. Abandon negativity
Your greatest enemy during the process is yourself. This is because you are the only one who decides either to quit or continue. Most of the time dreams are killed by negative self-talk. Because the process is both painful and difficult, most people give up before they make any progress. They listen to their negative voice in their mind. If you want to remain focused on your goal, you need to shut down the voice whispering at the back of your head. Hold your goal so tight and never ever let go until it becomes yours.
7. Find social support
Regardless of how hard your goal might be, as long as you have people who believe in you it becomes bearable. Your friends, spouse, and family members are a great source of social support.
Changing a behavior is a challenge. It takes discipline and determination to actually get it done. But it is not impossible. Anyone can achieve personal development.
I hope that these tips on how to stop being self-destructive will help you attain your goal.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.