You could be your own worst enemy! A recent study in the Harvard Business Review found that most people respond to stressful situations by unconsciously sabotaging themselves. Everyone knows someone who does it – the co-worker who whines about not getting a promotion when he’s always late for work. Or the woman who complains she’s not getting enough attention from her husband. Even though she’s constantly nagging him. So here’s how to turn your life around. This comes from Good Housekeeping magazine.

  • First, you could be sabotaging yourself by living in denial. Living in denial makes you more likely to reject the truth, instead of accepting it and working toward change. For example, you don’t understand why you’re not losing weight. But you don’t exercise and unconsciously down a family size bag of chips during American Idol - telling yourself “Well, I didn’t eat dinner.” The solution? Give yourself a reality check by monitoring your own behavior. If your problem is weight, write down what you eat, including snacks. If your problem is debt, write down how much you spend. You won’t be in denial when you see it in black and white.  
  • The next way people sabotage themselves is jealousy. Being jealous sets you up for failure because the emotion distracts you from solving the real problem. In other words, instead of focusing on what’s really wrong, you blame someone else for what’s wrong in your life. The fix? Pay attention to what you envy, and let it motivate you to take action. For example, if you’re jealous that your friend got a promotion, let it motivate you to work harder at your own job.
  • And the last way you could be sabotaging yourself: Procrastination. Studies show that procrastinators are less healthy and make less money than those who tackle problems straight on. That’s because procrastinators put off seeing doctors for health ailments, or are late finishing work for the boss. The solution? Take one step at a time. If you’re procrastinating because you’re overwhelmed, try breaking down each task into smaller parts and focusing on them one at a time.

Bottom line: Don’t sabotage yourself! Wake up to what’s really going on in your life and take action. Because the only person who can change your life is YOU.