I never thought I could do it. I never thought I would do it. Sabotage myself. I wouldn’t sabotage my best friend or even my worst enemy, right? But here I am, self-sabotaging. This can block me from realizing God’s purpose for my life.
When I read about self-sabotage in Katie Brazelton’s book Praying for Purpose, I had to research the topic a bit to understand it. One definition I found was this:
To sabotage oneself or one’s own plans.
Really. I never would have guessed. Here’s an explanation that’s more fun:
[tweetthis display_mode=”box”]“Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn’t happen.” ~ Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby[/tweetthis]
Katie defines it like this:
Self-sabotage means that you consciously or subconsciously obstruct your own productivity in order to underhandedly defeat a worthwhile endeavor. Praying for Purpose for Women (p. 69)
There are several ways we can deliberately put obstacles in our own paths. Some forms of self-sabotage are:
• Unconscious need to be in control
• Bad habits such as excessive drinking, smoking, not getting enough sleep or uncontrolled anger
• Dwelling on too many options (decision paralysis)
Oh, procrastination, you are not my friend! Why do I embrace you so, inviting you into my life? I have given you a place of honor, when I should be kicking you to the road!
I think there are numerous reasons for my procrastination. At times, I tend toward perfectionism. I don’t want to put my “less than” out there, so I don’t do anything at all. Perhaps I am just being lazy. Worthwhile projects take a lot of work.
My “What’s the use?” defeatist attitude is what I use most to rationalize my procrastination. It goes something like this:
“Oh, what’s the use? Why bother? What will it matter, anyway?”
So I drag my feet. Why start something, when I can’t see the point of doing it? Why begin, when I can’t see the big picture? I am full of questions when I can’t see beyond my nose.
“Why, how, when?”
But mostly “Why?”
Lord, have you called me to write? I’m just not feeling like there’s a book inside me. With my full time job, I can’t see how I can find time to send queries for magazine publication. Why am I writing? Why, Lord? I just don’t see where this is heading. Maybe, I’ll just put off writing for a few days (weeks, months), until it become crystal clear for me.
“Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much.” Job 38:2, 4 (NLT)
I’ve been a questioner almost since the day I plopped out of my mama’s womb. I may even have looked up at the doc and Mama and asked this:
“Ok, I’m here. What’s the plan now?”
As a child, I followed my Daddy around, asking him gazillions of questions. I was especially vocal when he told me to do something, and I just couldn’t grasp his reasoning.
“Why, Daddy, why?”
“Because I said so!”
What I should have realized by now is this: if God has asked me to do something, I’m positive He’s got a pretty darn good reason for wanting me to do it. At times, I think I can hear Him “tsk-tsking” me and saying “Because I said so, Ellen!”
Well, that’s a good enough reason for me!
To help me defeat my procrastination proclivities, I’ve begun doing this:
First, I pray over my priorities. I ask the Lord to direct me toward His most important things for me. Then, I make a plan. The sweet ladies at iBloom say this: Make a plan and stick to it – even on the hard days. They also have a great article on self-sabotage. You can find it here.
How about you? Do you self-sabotage? If so, how? What have you done to overcome it? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear!
Grace be with you,