Manager's Tips and Tools

by Manager Development Services

Identifying “Self-defeating” Behaviors (part 8 of 12)

Self-defeating beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors create anesthetizing habit patterns that keep us stuck in the past and prevent us from living life on an integrated conscious level. We end up living life on auto-pilot and are prevented from responding to our most precious moments in life–the here and now.

We must reclaim power over our lives and stop allowing outside people, situations, and influences to have control over our lives.  Life must become a series of new moments and not a stagnate reflection of our past.  As children, we may be victims; but as adults – we are volunteers.

15)  Envy

Coveting others’ possessions instills meanness.  You have something I want, but I can’t afford it or I’m not talented enough to acquire it.  Every time I see this thing you have, I feel like a failure.  Because you make me feel like a failure, I will develop resentment toward you.  This thing you have will become a burden and obsession for me.  I will begin to gossip about or criticize you or even insult you.  I will find myself attacking that which is good in you.  Because this thing you have makes me feel “less than,” because you make me feel “less than,” I hope you will lose it or suffer.

Often the other person will never know how I feel, because to admit it out loud would mean I’d have to look at my pettiness and admit my sense of failure.  I won’t even admit this to myself.  As long as I can blame him for my negative feeling, I can feel justified in behavior.

16)  Defiance of Authority

Fear that others are out to get over on him, drives a paranoid believe for this person that he always has to prove something.  Since he feels others are “out to get him,” he will begin to see enemies everywhere.  Because he lives in fear of appearing weak, he will defy anyone he perceives to have any authority over him.  He will have a continuous stream of excuses, argue even when he knows he is wrong, and use victimhood and rage to manipulate others.  His behavior can range from passive/aggressive to hostile.  Because he considers himself a victim, he is unable to accept responsibility for his behavior and feels justified in it.

The harder he is pushed, the weaker he feels.  The weaker he feels, the stronger the need to prove something.  The stronger the need to prove something, the more justified he feels in his aggression.  The stronger his aggression, the more he blames others.  This individual will even refuse to follow directions even when he knows it is best for him.

17)  Fear

Fear, like all our emotions, is necessary.  We need our emotions.  When used in a healthy way, they help us to survive and allow us to cope.  Fear alerts me that there is danger present and warns me to get out of harm’s way.  Without fear, we would be at the mercy of everything dangerous.

But when we use fear in an unhealthy way, when we allow fear to overrun and control us, that’s when we become the deer stuck in the headlights until the semi splatters us all over the road.  Self-defeating fear is fear that cripples us by seeing danger in places when there is no evidence of danger.  Fear of the unknown prevents us from trying anything new or different.  Fear of failure will keep us from exploring challenges – from testing our limits – from even trying.  Fear of non-acceptance prevents us from asserting ourselves – from standing up for our right to exist.  Fear of change keeps us from growing, from experiencing new things.  We become stuck in a life of mediocrity.

Fear of being alone keeps us from identifying or understanding ourselves.  We look to others to define us and look to them as sources of approval or disapproval.  Again, we will jump through hoops to be accepted.  Fear of facing self prevents us from recognizing our character defects, and thus, the opportunity to change them.  We continue committing the same self-defeating behaviors and blaming others.  We become stuck in destructive behavioral patterns.  Fear of happiness and success keeps us sabotaging opportunities.

– excerpt from “Becoming Master of Your Own Destiny”


July 14, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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