5 Small Things We Do That Sabotage Our Lives and Relationships
Nobody really wants to know the small things that we do that sabotage our lives and relationships.
Why? Because it’s way easier to ignore them and watch Netflix, hoping that things will just fix themselves.
Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way.
If we want to live our best life, full of love and joy and contentment, it is very important that we do things that help us in that goal, not sabotage us.
That way, if we know where are opportunities are for growth, we can look at them and make a plan to fix them.
To that end, here are 5 small things we do that sabotage our lives and our relationships, so that you can understand the things that you might do so you can bring about change.
#1 – We judge ourselves.
So, be honest. How much time do you spend beating yourself up for all of your shortcomings?
How often do you look in the mirror and hate what you see? How often do you think of yourself as a loser because you can’t seem to get anything done?
How often do you think that your friends don’t really like you? How often do you blame yourself for everything that goes wrong in your life?
I am guessing the answers to many of those questions, and to many more, are yes and that you judge yourself for it every day.
For years I tried to find a career that suited me. I tried to go back to school to be a nutrition coach. I sold real estate. I worked front desk at a hotel. I tried my hand at baking and started a small business selling frozen chocolate chip cookie dough.
What came of any of them? Nothing. Each one I started and never finished.
And did that make me feel good about myself? Um, nope.
Instead, I judged myself. I had always believed that if I was a smarter, more determined person I would be able to do whatever I wanted to do but, with each time that I let myself down, I believed that less and less.
And that self judgment led to me spending a lot of time on the couch, watching soap operas, waiting for my kids to come home. Ugh.
#2 – We play the victim.
The flip side of judging ourselves is playing the victim, is believing that everything that is happening in our lives is someone else’s fault.
I know that when ex-husband left me for another woman I was devastated. It left me depressed and alone and I blamed all of it on my ex-husband and his new wife.
I believed that if he had done what he always said he would do, namely not leave me, we would still be together. I believed that if she had respect for women, she would respect me and my family. I believed that if we only hadn’t had to move for his job, we would still be together.
What I didn’t do was take an accounting of my role in the divorce.
I hadn’t been a great wife in later years. I had been depressed and focused on the kids. I was always either criticizing him or ignoring him. I rarely touched him and we never had sex.
But I didn’t think of any of those things. I just sat around, wallowing in my victimhood, not moving forward in any good way.
It was once I stopped blaming them that I started to heal. It was once that I took accountability for my role in the demise of our relationship and I was able to start learning how I could do things differently that I started to be able to move forward with my life, to find a new relationship and start a new business.
Playing the victim is one of those small things we do that sabotage our lives and relationships. If we could work harder at accepting that we have some responsibility in our lives, without judging ourselves for being less than if we have made a mistake, then we will have the opportunity to move forward towards the life, and the love, that we want.
#3 – We live in the past.
Again, be honest. How much time have you spent today thinking about the past. Playing those negative tapes over and over, bringing yourself down in the process.
You know those negative tapes – the ones where you replay everything bad that you have ever said in your whole life, where you think about that boy in high school who you didn’t kiss and he told the whole school that he got to second base, when you told your friend that she looked fat or made that mistake at work that caused the company a contract.
You know what I mean, all the things, little and big, that you did once that make you feel squeamish.
All the things that just remind you more about what a loser you are and will always be.
Living in the past is the number one thing that we do every day that sabotages our lives and relationships. Focusing on the regrets that we have and not looking towards to future at what we can do differently.
And why is always looking to the past something that can hold us back? Because it is the past and you can’t change the past.
Furthermore, by focusing on things that we did in the past and wish that we could do differently, we are wasting time creating a story in our heads that may or may not be true.
I know that I wish I had gone on that date with Shawn on Friday, July 2, 1999 because I know that, if I had, we would have gotten married and had kids and been rich and we would have lived happily ever after.
And maybe that would have been the case. Or maybe we would have gone on that date and been robbed on the way home. Or maybe we wouldn’t have been able to have kids. Or maybe I would get sick and die young and he would fall into a deep depression.
Do you see what I mean? We focus on all of the regrets that we have, thinking that, if we had chosen things differently, we would have been happier but, in fact, we have no idea what our lives would have looked like if we had done things in another way.
What we can control is the present and the future. We can learn from our regrets and do things differently this time around. Instead of looking to the past, we can look to the future, with a plan, determine to live the life that we want.
#4 – We kill time on social media.
If I was in charge of the world, social media wouldn’t exist.
I know, it’s a great thing for so many reasons.
We can stay connected to our friends, buy things we need, expose ourselves to thoughts different from our own, learn the definition of ‘finifugal’ and when will we have the best beach weather.
But it is also so horrible for so many reasons. It gives us FOMO, it forces us to compare our lives to other people and makes us feel less than. It tells us to buy things we don’t need. It leads us to places that its algorithm wants us to go.
AND, it’s all a HUGE waste of time. HUGE.
I believe that wasting time on social media is one of the worst things we do that sabotages our life and relationships.
Not only do we lie on our beds, or on our coaches, for hours, not getting up and walking around or interacting with other people or applying for that job or calling our moms, but we are also being bombarded 24/7 with the idea that we need more, we are less than, that the world is falling apart, that being old is bad and we should just curl up in a closet and die.
I truly can’t think of one thing that sabotages our lives more than social media. And I know that it’s not going anywhere but I am hoping that someday we all realize the effect it is having on our lives and take steps to change that.
#5 – We live with toxicity.
I am guessing that, if you are reading this article, you aren’t so satisfied with the state of your life.
That you wish that you could be happier, that you could accomplish more, that you could find the love and happiness that you want.
And good for you – we all want that.
Let me ask you, is there someone in your life, perhaps sitting next to you on the couch, who is bringing toxicity into your life?
Someone who cuts you down for who you are and the choices you make. Someone who says they love you but then treats you with contempt and disdain. Someone who is keeping you from living the life that you want. Someone who you wish would just love you like you love them.
And, do you know, deep down, that these things are not okay, but are you not able to walk away?
Living with toxicity is one of those things we do that sabotage our lives and relationships.
When we are constantly exposed to a toxic person, much like a toxic chemical, we get sick. We lose confidence, we alienate ourselves from others, we take abuse that makes us question what love is, we get depressed and anxious and paralyzed.
It is so important that, if we want the life and the relationships that we dream about, we let go of the toxicity in our lives.
Maybe it’s a lover, a friend, a parent, a sibling, a work colleague or just that barista who is so rude every day.
Whoever it is, if someone is poisoning your wellbeing with their toxicity, it’s time for them to go.
So, there you go – 5 small things that we do every day that sabotages our lives and relationships.
So often it seems like the bigger things – a break up, an illness, a lay-off, a death – are things throw us off track, and sometimes they can be, but it’s the little things, the thousand little cuts, that really take us down.
It’s the judging ourselves for all of the things that we can’t do, or the blaming of others for them. It’s the living in the past and living with toxicity as it slowly eats us alive. It’s the letting social media use up our time and our energy and our wellbeing, keeping us on the couch and not out in the world.
So how about you? Can you recognize that you are just a person in the world, doing the best that you can, and that so is the next person? Can you not look to the past but to the future and let go of the toxicity around you? Can you get a lock box for your phone, put it in there and get out for a walk with a friend?
You can do all of those things, I know you can, and get the life you want!