The Enemy Within: Tools to Stop Self-Sabotage
When self-sabotaging behavior joins the mix of bipolar disorder, new challenges can support self-defeating tendencies; here’s how to get out of your own way:
Like it or not, as humans, we have a tendency to get in our own way. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, we can set up all kinds of plans to move toward a goal, only to eventually retreat from it-and, in some cases, bend over backwards to convince ourselves that we never really wanted the goal to begin with.
And with bipolar disorder in the mix, there are a special set of circumstances-having difficulty finishing what has been started, the tendency to make rash decisions, etc.-that support self-sabotaging behavior. So what’s the attraction? The list is quite lengthy.
Procrastination, for one, may feel really good in the moment but can lead to stress, which has been shown to impair the brain’s capacity for self-control when confronted with a choice.
Along the same lines, we’re drawn much more to feelings of consistency—of familiarity—than the unknown, even if it puts our happiness at stake. Or maybe we’re afraid we won’t succeed, so we don’t want to risk trying.
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