Why You're Self-Sabotaging Your Progress

September 26, 2018


You have heard it all before. You are your own biggest obstacle. 


Yet most of us still allow our own thoughts and actions to be the rate limiting factor in our ongoing success and growth in all areas of our life. This constant self-sabotaging behavior shows up commonly when people join a gym and try to commit to being a healthier version of themselves. 


If you can relate, don't worry you are not alone and your cause is not lost! The first step is to be aware of the cues and reasons that many of us do this. Then it's all about using that self-understanding to create strategies to keep you on the train tracks. 


I believe there are 5 primary reasons we find ways to hold ourselves back and if you want the in-depth coaching version then watch the video above! 


For just a little taste of what the video entails read below for the cliff notes version of what's going on when we start working against our own growth and success. 


[1] Homeostasis

Homeostasis can be defined as the state of internal equilibrium maintained by living things. In laymens terms, our body and mind likes to maintain a safe "set point" at which we operate and getting outside of that can be a challenge. This can mean having to redefine even the way in which you have viewed yourself and what you are capable of for your entire life. No easy task. 


[2] Survival

Your physiology and psychology were designed for survival and pro-creation. Thankfully most of us have these needs met so your body and mind don't care too much about keeping you happy or helping you lose that last 10lbs. That's on you! This can be tough because it means our body naturally craves what's more comfortable, tastey, and easy.....all of which keep us trapped inside of the homeostatic comfort zone described above. 


[3] Your Inner Circle

People are like crabs in a bucket. I once heard a story about a fisherman who had an uncovered bucket full of crabs sitting next to him while he fished. The person walking by saw a crab trying to crawl out and alerted the fisherman to the impending escape, to which he replied, "just wait and see." 


Sure enough as soon as he was almost free, the other crabs pulled him back in. They wouldn't let another escape if they were stuck in the bucket. Are there people in your life keeping you stuck?


[4] Ego Has Led You Astray

In today's social media lifestyle it is easy to get caught up in envy of what other peoples lives "seem" like they are, but this is a recipe for disaster. A great example would be signing up for a bikini or bodybuilding competition because others are but deep down it doesn't really get you fired up. You would love to have the end product of posing on stage six pack and all, but there is a lot of sacrifice needed to get there and if your goals and motives aren't truly drive by YOU.....then you will likely find yourself on a path towards failure. 


Humans are driven by emotions so just make sure the goals you verbalize strike a chord with you on a deeper level and will be far easier to stay committed. 


[5] Iceberg Effect

You are solely focused on the surface level and higher level strategies and not addressing the deeper issues below the surface. The bulk of an iceberg sits under the water out of view and without it there would be nothing to build on top of. This would be comparable to being focused on nutrient timing and specific macro counts when you may have a bigger picture issue of just learning what it means to make healthier choices. No fault here as it's always fun to focus on the sexy stuff but lasting progress means addressing the base of the pyramid first. This might also mean some soul searching or working with a professional to address any bad psychological relationships you have with food or eating that might hold you back. 


All of this might not solve your challenges overnight but hopefully at least get you thinking more about how you are working against yourself and start to come up with ideas on how to move in a better direction. 


Best of luck!


-Joe Drake- 


Joe Drake is the Co-Captain of the ship at Gravity + Oxygen Fitness as well as self proclaimed Chief of Motivation. When he's not aspiring to Super Dad Status and working with clients at the G+O house you can find him outside with his pup and finding ways to sneak push ups in whenever possible. 


Connect with and follow him at @joe_drakefit on IG

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