3 Common Self-Defeating Behaviors That May Require Professional Help To Overcome

Virtually everyone has at least one self-defeating character trait. These are the traits that work against a person and keeps them from reaching goals, having meaningful relationships, or are damaging to self-esteem.

These behaviors are repetitive in nature, and while most of the time people recognize them, sometimes they aren't so easily recognized. Here are three examples of self-defeating behavior that may be adversely affecting your quality of life.

1. Obstinacy

Some people have an extremely difficult time admitting they are wrong about something. This may affect their interpersonal relationships because it's difficult to deal with someone who thinks they are always right.

But some people are so stubborn that they can't even admit to themselves when they are wrong and will continue down the wrong path just because they so desperately need to be right, even if it is a self-sabotaging behavior.

2. Procrastination

You know you should be doing one thing, but instead of doing it, you do anything but the one thing you know you should be doing. Procrastination can be particularly maddening. Most people recognize when they are procrastinating. They know this behavior is keeping them from their goals and from reaching their full potential, yet they continue to procrastinate.

Some people procrastinate because they are stressed. Some people procrastinate because they are afraid of failure. If they don't start, they can't fail. Of course, this doesn't really make logical sense, which is why procrastination is a self-defeating behavior.

Conversely, some people are afraid of success. If they reach one level, they'll be expected to maintain it and continue towards the next goal. This often comes with more responsibility. Procrastination is sure to prevent this promotion. Figuring out the exact cause of procrastination often requires self-defeating therapy.

3. Perfectionism

Most people want the things they do to be done well. But if you are obsessed with perfection, you could be sabotaging your efforts. Some people will simply choose not to do something if they feel they will not be able to do it perfectly.

Others will do the task but destroy it when it isn't up to their standards. Think of the small child who crumples up their drawing in frustration because it wasn't perfect or the way they pictured it in their mind. People can expect perfection just from themselves, but they often expect it from those around them as well. As perfection is rarely obtainable, perfectionists are often frustrated and their relationships may be difficult.

For more information about self-defeating therapy, contact a therapist like Stanley Kramer Psychotherapy.