“Don’t let others ruin your day. Ruin your own damn day!”
I came across this humorous statement recently, and it got me thinking.
Self-sabotage is one of those pesky, insidious realities many of us face. We can convince ourselves we’re so put-together. We have a great relationship, career, family, home, and financial portrait. We have the bases covered. We’re good. We know who we are and what we want in life.
Humpty-Dumpty is about to have a great big fall, in three, two…
Most of us are typically unaware of our self-sabotage until after the fact. It’s usually after a marriage crumbles, or a job is lost; we lose a house, a car, or anything that represents stability—financial, or otherwise. We are somehow, in some way, devastated. And at that devastating center is the realization that we had a hand in bringing it on ourselves. We broke our own hearts.
The three “Whys” behind us ruining our own damn day:
1. “This is perfect.”
There is no better starting point than completely unrealistic expectations, right?
Yes, in life, you and I fixate on something or someone and christen them as “perfect.” For all-time, in all circumstances, without fail. We give that something or someone a job they were never meant to possess: the key to perfecting our own imperfection.
The problematic issue, in the first place, is perfection itself. There is no such thing. If we place faith in its existence, we are already setting ourselves up for assured failure. We ruin our own damn day via this self-sabotage method.
2. “This is so good (I think I’ll wreck it).”
When we believe in the perfection of the designated person/object of our affection, we attach a “good” label to it. This can be troublesome in a couple of ways.
First, what if the thing we call “good” is not?
What if it’s harmful? Dangerous? Not right for us?
But here we are, thoroughly decided it’s perfect; it’s good, and there’s no other, more complicated, more realistic explanation to it than that.
So, that’s a fun prelude to the future ruining of our day.
And regardless of the object of our desire’s actual status, there’s a second, more alarming aspect to our self-sabotage. We can view that specific something or someone as being perfect and good, so much so, that we, inherently, are unworthy of it. We begin to think we are entirely worthless. We don’t deserve it. So, we have no other choice other than to ruin it for ourselves.
We ruin our own damn day—again.
3. “Nothing else will ever come my way again.”
Cheery outlook, isn’t it?
Yes, while we’re all preoccupied with these impossible, unrealistic standards and expectations about our lives’ issues, we also add this bleak perspective to our self-sabotaging mindsets.
We panic. We apply the be-all and end-all importance to our designated idol. No other buses are coming our way, taking us to our destinations. Better hop on this thing, then, for all its worth!
A big part of what fuels this self-sabotage tactic involves the oppressive, black-and-white, all-or-nothing way of thinking. If we entertain that method of assessing something, it usually won’t be too long before we cross into the “or else” nature of this faulty belief.
Indeed, we can wrongly determine that absolutely nothing and no one else can come close to our own perfect and chosen “idol.” We stand in judgment of anything else coming close. We are judge, jury, and executioner—we pulverize and kill.
We ruin our own damn day, yet again.
Yet, it’s still not a hopeless, despair-filled death sentence.
Yes, it looks grim, this human tendency to destroy ourselves and our lives. But, if we are aware of these propensities to do so, to ruin our own stuff, we can, hopefully, make another choice. We can choose something different. We need to take responsibility for ourselves, including our decisions, conscious or unconscious, to self-sabotage.
Now that we are aware, what will we do? What will we do with our days?