Wikipedia defines sabotage as:
“A deliberate action aimed at weakening another entity through subversion, obstruction, disruption, or destruction. In a workplace setting, sabotage is the conscious withdrawal of efficiency generally directed at causing some change in workplace conditions. One who engages in sabotage is a saboteur. As a rule, saboteurs try to conceal their identities because of the consequences of their actions.”
It is derived from the French sabot (a wooden shoe or clog) via its derivative saboter (to knock with the foot, or work carelessly).
Simply put self-sabotage is tripping yourself up - getting in your own way. For the most part self-sabotage is done subconsciously.
Why is this relevant to your quest for the dream body/ increased bench press/ more muscular or toned physique? Its highly relevant because once you have figured out your goals and a blueprint for achieving those goals (nutrition plan, training schedule, lifestyle modifications) self-sabotage is the only thing that can really stop you. In the poetic lyrics of Radiohead:
“You do it to yourself, you do
and that's what really hurts
Is that you do it to yourself
Just you and no one else
you do it to yourself
you do it to yourself “
So what exactly are the kinds of behaviours that lead to self- sabotage? I am going to outline a few examples but there are many. Humankind’s ability to be self- destructive is legendary and you can probably draw up your own personal list at the end of this.
1. Leaving junk foods in your house.
My motto is “if you don’t buy it you can’t try it!!” Avoid sabotaging your eat clean efforts by only stocking healthy nutritious foods in your house. That tub of Ben and Jerry’s will literally talk you into eating it!
2. Deciding to go it alone regarding training and nutrition advice.
This might seem like a good idea and very cost effective but you are actually sabotaging your efforts immediately. Unless you have been studying nutrition and exercise science for decades knowing what works for you is extremely hit and miss to say the least. According to Brian Tracey “for every 1 dollar you invest in yourself it will return 30 dollars to your bottom line” that’s 30:1 or 3000 % return on your investment. Simply put your journey to your dream body with professional coaching is 3000% closer than the winging it yourself method.
3. Skimping on your investment.
Whatever your budget you should seek out the best possible advice or training you can afford. The cheapest will not necessarily work out to be the bargain in the long run. Charles Poliquin told this true story in one of his seminars. One of his pro athlete clients was looking to make the grade for a very prestigious team with a multi- million dollar contract at stake. Working with Poliquin he got his contract and made it to the big time. For a subsequent season the same athlete hired a cheaper less experienced coach. His performance suffered so severely he lost his contract. Lesson –don’t be cheap. Get the best you can afford. It will pay in the long run.
“World-class achievers hire world-class personal coaches, advisors and mentors”
4. Be on time for your workouts.
Psychotherapists know from clinical experience that clients who arrive late consistently are avoiding “their stuff”. They are looking for a way to sabotage their therapy. Some people will subconsciously derail themselves by constantly showing up late or maybe even picking an argument with their trainer or therapist or sponsor to avoid doing the work on themselves. This also very conveniently gives the individual in question a beautiful opportunity to abdicate responsibility for the demise of the partnership. It’s the same way that people sabotage great relationships and drive great partners away.
5. Find conscious ways to work on your self-esteem.
Basically all self -sabotage boils down to poor self-esteem. If you love and value yourself enough you invest in yourself, you are honest with yourself, you own up and take responsibility when you mess something up and it’s your own fault, you recognise your own weaknesses and make preparations to prevent these weaknesses from sabotaging your progress. People with high self -esteem tend to focus on lifting with excellent form. People with low self -esteem lift with their egos ( heavy weight and terrible form.)
The process of self-sabotage keeps you in alignment with how you see yourself. This is why fat people may still see themselves as fat even after they have lost all of the weight and many sabotage their way back to their original or even larger size. Working on your self-esteem may come in the form of private therapy or affirmations or simply a commitment to exercising and nourishing your body with good foods. Whatever way you slice it the higher your self- esteem the less the incidents of self-sabotage will plague your quest for your dream body! At the end of the day the only thing standing in your way is YOU!