You’re familiar with vicious circles, right?
It’s a situation where the effects of a certain problem create a situation that is even worse than the one you started in. If left untouched, a vicious circle will completely spiral out of control, usually with disastrous consequences!
Nasty little buggers, they are!
In this blog post, I’m going to help you recognize and escape a particularly bad one, that millions of people are suffering from! I like to call this one the “Circle of Self-Loathing” because it can cause someone to lose all confidence in themself and lead to a lot of self hatred….
If you fall into this trap, it can drain all your productivity and self esteem!
So, let’s dive right in so that you can avoid this vicious circle.
Or watch the video if you prefer that over reading:
What is the “Circle of Self-Loathing?”
It looks something like this:
Besides my utter lack of graphical skills, the image above shows the Circle of Self-Loathing. Allow me to go through the entire circle so that you understand how it generally works for people and how this leads to a loss in confidence and more self-hatred.
- Feeling bad: During our lives, things happen to us, some of which can leave us in a negative space, both mentally as well as in our position in life. Think of having limiting beliefs, insecurities, being depressed and things like that.
- Not taking action: When we are in a state where we don’t feel good enough, feel depressed or have too much fear to take action, most of the time, we don’t.
- Self-Loathing: You know what to do, but you’re not doing this. This often leads to negative self talk, beating one’s self up and cause us to dislike (even hate) ourselves for our lack of activity to change the situation we’re in. And to close the circle, that self hate then makes us feel worse about ourselves.
And the circle continues, unfortunately…
The Mistakes People Make
Obviously, you want to break this circle, but how?
The huge mistake that most people make is that they try to start at the “Feeling bad” part. This is the idea that, “You know what? I don’t feel up to it now, I’ll do this next week when I’m feeling better.”. But of course, because of this circle, they are now feeling worse when this time comes!
Can you break through this way?
Yes, you can actually, BUT… trying to do this is a process that takes quite a bit of time and requires you to let go of the baggage and emotional trauma from your past. This free training shows you exactly HOW to do this and completely stop all self-sabotage!
The next mistake is this:
People try to compensate for the “Self-Loathing” part with self love.
Think of positive affirmations, self-coddling, prepping yourself up and such. By all means, use them! There is nothing wrong with techniques like that, but the issue here is that the reasons for why you feel terrible about yourself are still there, unaddressed.
Think about this:
If you tell yourself, you’re gonna do great and get to work, but at the same time are doing nothing, what do you think your mind will make of that? Exactly! The thoughts of “I’m a loser. I’m so useless. Why can’t I take action?” will prevail in this situation.
How to BREAK the Circle of Self-Loathing
This is the key part.
As you might have guessed, the fastest and easiest way to break the Circle of Self-Loathing is through taking action! Even if it’s going from zero to a little bit of action, those small steps will allow you to say “I am making progress!”. Which helps you be proud of yourself instead of disappointed!
It stops that voice inside from beating you up over doing nothing.
What you want to do here is make a clear connection between your actions and your goals.
If you do something and get an immediate reward your brain produces dopamine, the reward hormone. It motivates us and makes us feel good. The problem is that any worthwhile goal is going to take quite a bit of time to achieve and you will not see instant results from your efforts.
And so, your mind doesn’t make a strong connection between work and result.
And it demotivates you…
In order to make this work and to make the changes in your life permanent, you want to associate your goals with the activity you’re doing every single time. Going for a run? Remind yourself of the great shape you’ll be in because of this! Reading a book? Great! Connect that to the results you get from the knowledge!
And celebrate every single win, no matter how small!
This doesn’t necessarily mean you give yourself something physical as a reward (and I would actually be very careful with that!). But you do want to recognize your progress! Celebrate your wins to reinforce the behavior you want for yourself and your life!
The Psychology of Timing
If the time between an action or trigger and the reward or punishment, we automatically link the two together. If you ever touched a hot stove, you immediately make the connection that it hurts, and so you never do it again. Likewise, if any behavior is immediately followed by something positive, we want to be doing that thing again.
But that’s the issue…
For most of our goals, the results aren’t instant!
If you do the work now (for example going to the gym) but you only see the results a few weeks or months from now, your mind doesn’t automatically link the two! In other words, there is a disconnect between what you’re doing and the result you want.
You need to associate actions with outcomes!
That’s why it is so important to celebrate each and every win!
Additionally, you want to start thinking in terms of end results to reinforce this belief. You’re not just “going for a run”, you are “getting to your ideal weight”! By doing this, you stimulate the reward center of your brain, resulting in a spike of dopamine!
Simply put: The activity becomes addictive!
It is a conscious process at first but by doing this, you create a clear and instant connection (mentally) between action and reward! Your mind gets on board and it becomes easier and easier to keep on going with your new good habits!
What’s Going to Happen
When you do the things I’ve shared in this article, here’s what will happen:
Because you’re taking action, you have something to be proud of. And because you’re celebrating your wins, you feel good about doing the work! You’re starting to communicate with yourself more positively and diminish negative self talk. In turn, you’re rebuilding self esteem and confidence.
And it becomes a virtuous circle!
Because you’re now feeling better about yourself and your abilities, you have more confidence to tackle the obstacles with! With that confidence, doing the right things becomes easier and you take even more action. You get better results and you feel even better about yourself!
Want to put this process on steroids?
If you’re ready to achieve more in your life, but you’re suffering from self sabotage or have been stuck in the Circle of Self-Loathing, I’ve got a FREE training for you! Inside it, I go into the specific tactics, mindset and techniques (including exercises) that stop self sabotage completely!
Click here to get it for absolutely free!