Self Sabotage

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wallflower

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Self Sabotage
« on: December 21, 2015, 04:57:48 PM »
I'm just realizing how much I self-sabotage. I have been working on healing for a long time now and part of what helps me is painting. I notice now that I will almost complete a painting and stop. I look at it for days and feel like I can never finish it, all the while telling myself I'll never be any good at it.

Is this a part of learned helplessness? Any pointers for more reading in this area?

I think I've gained in some areas of healing but this one seems to be almost getting stronger. I feel like I'm giving up more as the days pass. Probably has a lot to do with living with my elderly narcissistic father and being stuck here with no end in sight. .  . .but I am working on a plan to get away more often.

Thank you

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tired

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Re: Self Sabotage
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2015, 08:41:12 PM »
Sometimes for me it's because I have no sense of what is good enough on tasks like that.  Or any task really.  When I go out of the house and see what the rest of world is doing I can more accurately evaluate myself.  It might not convince that part of me that criticizes but it will convince the adult part of my mind. 

I bought a dollhouse, a very cheap diy kit with thin wood and paint, and I've been playing with that.  Because it's simple and I lowered my expectations for it.  I worked on it as if I were a child, not really worrying about it, then at some point a client came over and liked it and we started talking about dollhouse miniatures as an adult hobby and she said you should make these for kids as gifts etc.  After that I started working on it as an adult and the quality got a little better. 

I think I feel like a useless child. My mother used to say, when I was an adult with my own home, "you are so cute, playing house, pretending to do housework".  It was like she was addressing a toddler playing with mommy's pots and pans. 


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wallflower

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Re: Self Sabotage
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2015, 10:28:02 PM »
Oh WOW, tired! My mother said that same thing to me about my house! She made the comment to my son, that I was "playing house." That was such an invalidating thing to say...as if my whole existence, house, and very being were not "real." I loved that house, too, but never a word of credit for it did I ever get.

I knew a lady who made a giant dollhouse and kept it in her basement. When she had to go to a nursing home, they put it in the art museum. It was amazing and she had all sorts of cool carpenter's tools. I think whatever you enjoy doing is worth doing...consciously I know that.

Yesterday I started working on a painting tutorial I found on Youtube. (Yes, something that looked easy and I thought I could do!) The teacher is an excellent artist from Russia, but he was using his fingers to do a lot of the painting. I loved it, although I'm still having trouble finishing it since I had to make mine somewhat different.

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pam

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Re: Self Sabotage
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2016, 10:39:53 PM »
Hi Wallflower,

I paint too! I watched IDK how many youtube videos in 2015 to learn more. (I depend on youtube for a lot of things!)

I also have a problem sometimes finishing a painting. I get to a certain point in it, I like it, but have this huge psychological hump to get over before I can finish it. It makes a painting take days or weeks to do that only really took at most 8 hrs of painting time. IDK if this is the same reason for you, but, I start liking it so much that I have to stop because I'm afraid of "ruining" it. I constantly have to tell myself "it doesn't matter," "who cares," "it's ok to make mistakes." just so I can finish it. It's weird because I feel at the time like my life depends on getting it right and not making mistakes. Like the closer I come to accomplishing something, the more pressure there is.

Or maybe it could be self-defeating that you somehow lose steam and don't finsh? IDK. It seems like it's a way of avoiding success, you know? 

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tired

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Re: Self Sabotage
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2016, 12:56:08 AM »
Yeah I avoid success. Success feels uncomfortable.

Life is not about being comfortable

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GarlicMaster

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Re: Self Sabotage
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2016, 02:14:38 AM »
I'm exactly the same. For me, I think it's a combination of learned helplessness, toxic shame, and a very harsh inner critic.

For years I avoided pushing myself outside of my comfort zone because I figured there was no point (that I was bound to fail so why even bother trying.) Another thing that affects me is that any form of perceived "failure" (no matter how big or small it is) is very triggering for me and is guaranteed to send me straight into an EF, and as a result of this I guess I start avoiding doing things that could potentially trigger me. My partner has commented that whenever I make a mistake or I struggle with tasks, I always interpret it in a very back and white way (i.e. "everything is ruined", or, "I'm a complete failure", etc). Just trying to be more aware of this has helped me a little, when I feel myself blowing things out of proportion like that I try and centre myself. It is really hard though and I stumble with this stuff all the time.

I've been teaching myself how to cook recently and at first I found it REALLY hard to stick to anything for long enough to actually get anywhere but I kept sticking at it until, finally, I did manage to make some significant progress! Of course, for a while my inner critic tried to downplay my achievements but I've been trying really hard not to invalidate myself like that, and, I think it is helping. It also helps having a very supportive partner who is always there to help calm me down and talk me through things when I do start beating myself up. His encouragement and belief in me has been a life line.



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anon72

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Re: Self Sabotage
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2016, 10:05:32 AM »
I can also relate, particularly with respect to videos that I edit, spend way too long obsessing over those final details to make it perfect (harsh inner critic telling me it is not good enough etc.).  My aim is to basically try and edit videos in a much shorter timeframe from now on - so that I don't get so worried about making mistakes or trying to make a perfect video (whatever that is - as it is only a hobbie ;).

Just a quick question about learned helplessness, as I have only just realized that I definitely have this going on (as well as toxic shame and a harsh inner critic).  Which I am working on slowly but surely with CBT and mindfulness.    Are there any resources that you have found here which can help with getting over learned helplessness??  Or is it something that has been extensively discussed on this forum anywhere, as I can't seem to find it?  Thanks in advance.

Cheers,
Anon72