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How To Win In Life: 7 Self-Defeating Behaviors To Drop


When it comes to our happiness and successes, attitude really is everything. Our thoughts, positive or negative, will inevitably always become our reality. So, why is it that even with this knowledge we still find it hard to muster the positive attitude we need to be our best selves? This is because a lot of us fall victim to self-defeating behavior.

Sometimes, even the most well-equipped and knowledgeable of us can struggle to hold onto the positive mindset we need to live our most brilliant lives.

Life Is A Game

No matter how self-aware, how present or mindful we may think we are, sometimes, there are bigger, self-defeating games at play. These games are the ones that we play unconsciously; they are the games we have unknowingly got into the habit of playing in our minds, blind to the undermining effect they are having on our health and happiness.

Self-defeatist mentalities, an ‘excuses’ mindset or even the classic ‘I’ll show them!’ thought processes; all of these are internal games we can become accidental players in from time to time.

But you have to ask yourself when I unknowingly partake in these games, do I come out as the winner or the loser? Do these games serve as a distraction or as a valuable tool in helping me to reach my goals?

For a win-win outcome, you need to learn to recognize when you’ve become a player in a game that you’ll never win.

Listed below are 7 self-defeating games people can fall victim to. Take a look at these most common thought patterns and ask yourself: which games have I been playing?


7 Self-Defeating Behaviors To Drop

1. ‘I’ll Show Them!’

In either our arrogance or spitefulness, we can all be guilty of falling into this hurtful mindset. When we start to think like this, we can challenge our own stubborn limits, determined to remain steadfast in our bitterness.

But when you hear yourself thinking like this, think about who you are really hurting. Is it the other person, or is it you? When you’re trying to hurt other people in this way, the only person getting hurt is yourself.

2. ‘I’ll Be Happy When…’

I’ll be happy when…I have that new job/car/slim body. Sound familiar?

The game of perfection is a dangerous one. Unattainable goals and drastic quests for perfection will only dent your confidence and leave you feeling drained. Learn to be happy on the journey and you’ll reach the final outcome all the happier, healthier and more positive because of it.

How To Win In Life: 7 Self-Defeating Behaviors To Drop3. ‘I Won’t Succeed So Why Bother?’

We might take on this defeatist attitude for all kinds of reasons. However, when we do we deprive ourselves of all kinds of positive experiences.

Can you think of the last time you were too afraid to try something or go somewhere, but when you did, it turned out to be one of the memorable moments of your life? Remember, ‘success begins with a fellow’s will’.

4. ‘I’m Right, You’re Wrong’

Giving into our stubborn side can sometimes be all too easy.

After all, nothing feels better than the satisfaction of knowing you’re right and they’re wrong… right?

Whilst the temptation to prove somebody wrong may sometimes be overwhelming, would you really be so keen if you knew you were hurting somebody in the process? Recognise when you’re acting the know-it-all and learn to be humble. Saying, ‘I think I understand where you are coming from…’ is a good start for compassionate, two-way conversation.

5. ‘I’m Not Good Enough’

Is there a continual loop of negative, self-dialogue playing in your head? If there is, and it’s usually when we find ourselves outside of our comfort zones, it’s time to change the record.

Learn to play a new, more positive game. It’s called self-confidence. The next time that little voice of doubt begins to creep in, repeat to yourself the following mantra: ‘I am safe. I am love. I am enough’.

6. ‘See If I Care…’

“You don’t want me anymore? See if I care”, “You don’t want to listen to what I have to say? See if I care”.

Have you ever heard yourself saying something along these lines, either aloud or internally? Most of us are probably familiar with this way of thinking. It’s a common self-defense mechanism we use, mistakenly believing it will protect us from the hurt others have caused us.

How To Win In Life: 7 Self-Defeating Behaviors To Drop

The problem with this is that no matter how good you think you are at hiding it; people will see that you care. However, an attitude like this will be confused by others for spite and stubbornness. So, be the adult; talk about your feelings honestly and you will save yourself a world of pain.

7. ‘It’s All Their Fault!’

When something goes wrong in our lives, whether it’s on a minute or momentous scale, our knee-jerk response is often to blame somebody else. After all, who enjoys looking at their own shortcomings or misdeeds?

But really, how is pointing the finger at others going to serve you or your happiness? The person you should really be pointing the finger at is yourself. Your life and its outcomes are all a direct result of you. So quit playing the blame game and become accountable for your own life.

Are your self-defeating mind games holding you back from the life you truly want? Learn to stop sabotaging your happiness and you’ll become the winner of the greatest game there is, life!

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Katherine Hurst
By Katherine Hurst
Katherine Hurst, is a Law of Attraction expert, best-selling author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on psychology, life design, structured thinking and emotional wellbeing.

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