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Self sabotage comes in many forms.

It could be sneaking off to have a large fries when you’re on a weight-loss program; procrastinating on completing an important project at work; or staying out late without calling your partner and setting off yet another argument.

While there's no great cause for concern if you engage in self-sabotaging behavior once in a while — we all do — but, when they become habits, the results can be very costly. You'll find yourself caught in a vicious cycle of never achieving your goals, battling new and more complex problems, and feeling frustrated or hopeless.

One of the leading causes of self sabotage is overreacting to stress, or what some psychologists refer to as emotional dysregulation. Basically, it means that you react to negative emotions, such as anger or frustration, with destructive behaviors. They also point out that the way in which you respond to a particular emotion influences the lifespan of that emotion.

Causes of Self Sabotage

  • Anxiety
  • Avoidance
  • Catastrophizing — always assuming the "worst-case scenario"
  • Fixating on bad experiences from your past
  • Misery addiction — a complex process by which you use certain behaviors to cope with crises including fear of rejection or failure, abandonment or disappointment
  • Negative self talk
  • Poor conflict-resolution skills
  • Poor problem-solving skills

Solutions for Self Sabotage

If you're serious about overcoming chronic or ongoing self sabotage, consider Los Angeles counseling or therapy. Chances are that even you are baffled by your behavior, so trying to cope with it on your own will most likely not be effective.

An important first step in getting help for self sabotage is to commit to having the life you want to have. No more excuses, no more depressing negative self talk such as "I was just dreaming anyway" or "good things don't happen to people like me" — instead, understand that you have other choices and resources to help you get where you want to be.

Also, avoid trying to make big, sweeping changes. Ever watched one of those self-help infomercials with people achieving incredible feats and ended up feeling like you were ready to finally tackle all your problems and move mountains? You've probably also realized that those feelings of invincibility are short-lived and do not formulate meaningful, long-term changes in your attitude or behavior.

The reason for this fleeting sense of empowerment is that each person's path to self sabotage — and the way they engage in it — is different. The only effective way to deal with it is to tackle the emotional causes and behaviors that specifically apply to you — one step at a time.

Through working one-on-one with a counselor, whether in person or through telephone counseling, you'll learn how to prioritize the steps of your recovery and how to be patient enough to master it before moving on to other steps.

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The Center for Personal Development and Psychotherapy specializes in telephone and face-to-face counseling, treating individuals and couples seeking to improve their relationships. Counseling with Dr. Stollman is designed to help patients in dealing with a wide range of psychological issues. Whether you're looking for Los Angeles marriage counseling or someone to talk to about your depression, Dr. Stollman can help.

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Sessions can be scheduled for either one or two hours in length. Two hour sessions provide adequate time to explore issues without interruption.

Dr. Gary also does telephone coaching for those who prefer to participate from the privacy of their own home and he offers a free 15-minute phone consultation to all first-time callers.

Call Today To Set Up A Consultation With Dr. Gary

(800) 474-1445

(800) 474-1445

Phone Sessions Available From Noon To Midnight and 24-Hour Answer Service Also Available.

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