Problem Gambling Awareness Month: Self-Sabotage Can Be a Root To Our Problem Gambling. Guest Post on How To Stop.


I want to talk about a bad habit and behavior of self-sabotage. I know the meaning of it very intimately. For those who don’t? Here is what it means. Self-Sabotage: The dictionary definition of sabotage is “an act or process tending to hamper or hurt” or “deliberate subversion.” Mine started way before I became a gambling addict. I also feel it became worse during my addiction like added fuel to fire. In early recovery and through therapy, I was able to look back throughout my life and examine many of my past relationships where I had self-sabotaged them in many ways.

I feel that when we ‘self-sabotage’ things in our lives, it is tied to not having self-esteem or self-worth within ourselves. Like we are not “worthy” of love or people treating us well. It came from being raised with parents who didn’t understand children crave unconditional love and their validation when we do good. And I am NOT blaming my parents that they were this way, no, it may have been how they were raised and raised in way different times than what we live in today.




I would sabotage relationships, many with men, women, co-workers, anyone. I can not count how many times I would be dating a really nice guy, when things started to become serious and he would treat me like a ‘queen,’ I would for some reason feel I wasn’t worthy or special enough so,  I would just break up with them, or cause a fight or just ignore them and move on. Where this was coming from at the time I did not know. This became even worse when I was addicted to gambling and finally learning it was part of the “Brains Dopamine Pleasure & Reward System.”

But fast forward in life and I continued this strange self-sabotage behavior. When I became addicted to gambling and in the worst of it, strangely the feelings of what I was doing to myself, my husband, friends, and family felt oddly normal to me. I think it was because I figured, “well, since I feel not worthy of goodness in my life it didn’t matter if I hurt others with my addicted gambling.” That was my sick and the diseased thinking at the time. Sadly, I was getting back at those who had caused me pain or hurt me. I was just hurting myself and everyone around me with both my gambling and self-sabatoge.

I came across a website that had a good explamation and article about this subject that helped me understand more of why I was doing it. SO I want to share it with you. I know I am not the only person who has had this problem and the post explains some of how we can stop self-sabatoge. It helped me and I hope it may help others.


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OVERCOMING SELF-SABOTAGE

by Adam Sicinski

WHAT IS SELF-SABOTAGE?

Self-sabotage is any behavior, thought, emotion or action that holds you back from getting what you want consciously. Moreover, it is the conflict that exists between conscious desires and unconscious wants that manifests in self-sabotage patterns. It not only prevents you from reaching your goal, but also becomes a safety mechanism that protects you against disappointment. In other words, your brain is protecting you from getting hurt by doing what it thinks is best, which is keeping you within your comfort zone.

Self-sabotage tends to linger in our lives because of a lack of self-esteem, self-worth, self-confidence, and self-belief. Likewise, we suffer from self-sabotage patterns because we are unable to manage our emotions effectively. We tend to react to events, circumstances and people in ways that hinder our progress and prevent us from reaching our goals and objectives.

Self-sabotage is also used as a method of coping with difficult situations or high expectations of ourselves or others that we unconsciously feel we are not capable of reaching. No matter what our reasons for self-sabotage it is clear that if we don’t do something about it, that we will continue to live a life full of regrets and unfulfilled expectations.

Eliminating Self-Sabotage Process

There is a simple yet very effective process that we can follow to help us eliminate self-sabotage from our lives. The process is composed of four steps that will help you to take conscious control of the behaviors that are currently directing your decisions and actions. Learn to get out of your own way!




1. Identify Self-Sabotage Behavior

First we must identify the behavior that is preventing us from moving forward. To do this, we must become consciously aware of our daily decisions and actions and the resulting consequences. Once identified, it’s important to pinpoint specific triggers that may be causing this behavior to come through to the surface. These triggers could include people, objects, specific times, events, locations, etc. Next, we must ask ourselves whether we can avoid these triggers altogether?

By simply removing these triggers from our lives we will be better prepared to take conscious control of our thoughts, feelings and actions. However, there is yet another factor that we must take into consideration, which is the limiting beliefs we have associated with each particular self-sabotage pattern. The key is to identify these limiting beliefs, then work on transforming them into positive empowering beliefs that work for us rather than against us. One of the simplest ways to do this is the question the validity of your belief. 

Ask yourself:

What is it that I believe in this situation?

What is it that I believe about myself and my own abilities?

How did my belief about this trigger this self-sabotage pattern?

How is this belief ridiculous and impractical?

What would others say about this belief?

What is another more helpful perspective I could take of this situation?


These questions are a good starting point and will get you focused in the right direction.


2. Recreate Self-Sabotage Pattern from Beginning

Having completed step #1, you can now consciously recreate the self-sabotage pattern by outlining all the triggers and the associating behaviors that manifest as a result of these triggers. It’s important that you are clear how this behavior manifests in your life before moving onto the next step.

3. Identify Healthy Replacement Behavior

In order to eliminate an old pattern of behavior we often must replace it with a new pattern of behavior that’s more practical and helpful. This is important because often we simply can’t avoid certain triggers such as people, objects or circumstances that cause us to react in limiting ways. As such, we must take time to identify a new, different and appropriate way of responding that will help us to achieve our goals and objectives. 

Ask yourself:

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How could I respond in a more appropriate and proactive manner that would help me get what I want?

How is this a better way to respond?

What are some reasons for making this change?

What could be the long-term benefits of transforming how I respond in this situation?

What are the key advantages of this new behavior?



4. Practice New Behavior Until Habit is Formed

Once you have identified your new behavior, you must now take the time to practice implementing it as often as possible over the next four weeks until a habit is formed. First begin by running your response to the situation in your imagination, seeing every detail, and feeling the positive energy churning through your body as you overcome this self-sabotage pattern.

Now that your imagination has been primed, you are now ready to put yourself in situations that will naturally trigger your old patterns of behavior, however this time, you are primed with a new response mechanism that you will continue to practice over the next four weeks until a new habit is finally formed. NOW GO READ THE REST OF THIS AMAZING ARTICLE ON… Again, I hope you will go read this full article http://blog.iqmatrix.com/overcome-self-sabotage as it has many tips and advice on taking control over self-sabatoge in your life and in your recovery journey!

10 Self Care Tips for 2019 – The Red & Black

Double Feature Spotlight ~ Lets Talk Gambling & Mental Health

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends & Visitors,

I thought I would share a few special people with you today. It has been a while since I have shared about how things have gone with my mental health since starting at a new behavioral center here in Arizona. I also want to introduce a couple of friends that are awesome when it comes to writing and sharing about these topics that touch my life, and the lives of many.

My first is a new Guest Author, Paisley Hansen who has shared a wonderful article she wrote with me about living with mental health, but feeling self-conscious which we know can come from stigma around mental/emotional illness. So lets read how to stay in the positive and leave stigma behind!

Over Coming Self-Consciousness
By: Paisley Hansen

Self-awareness can be a healthy tool. With it, you have an idea how to behave and present yourself. However, when you become obsessed or anxious about how other people perceive you, then it becomes self-consciousness. Not everyone is taking notice of you. In fact, most people give half as much attention you give yourself. Unhealthy self-consciousness feels like everybody is scrutinizing you as if the spotlight is on you. Your attention goes to your body, clothes, face and voice — basically anything you think people would take notice and dislike.

You need to overcome unhealthy self-consciousness to fully express yourself. You need to stop worrying too much about how other people perceive you. Some people are naturally shy; they don’t like to be the center of attention but they enjoy life and can socialize normally. You are self-conscious when you objectify yourself and hijack your ability to perform complex and even simple actions. There are several studies that show the correlation of low self-esteem and drug abuse. No one has to end up in drug rehab centers. How do you overcome self-consciousness naturally?
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Ditch Your Negative Thoughts

Your self-esteem is the summary of your personal worth. Confident people can accept criticisms and rejection because deep inside they have a good self-esteem. You are self-conscious because they fear that other people will agree with the negative thoughts you think of yourself. Be aware of how you feel when you’re in situations that trigger your self-consciousness. Take note of your inner self-talk that accompanies the feeling. When you start feeling embarrassed and tense, tell yourself “stop!” Don’t let the negative thoughts grow bigger.

Shift Your Attention

Self-consciousness is a selfish feeling. All you think about is how you appear. You will feel less self-conscious when you shift your attention away from your appearance and actions. When you’re talking to other people, listen closely to what they’re saying. Think of a response. When you’re walking, observe your environment and other people. Relax and imbue a sense of humor to your life. Use your imagination to perhaps think that people around you are colored pink to shift your attention to them. It is when you over think that you end up acting poorly.

Practice Self-Affirmation Techniques

Self-conscious people have negative self-affirmations. They believe the negative thoughts about themselves and expect other people to affirm them. Write at least ten positive self-affirmations and repeat them to yourself in front of the mirror before leaving the house and before sleeping. Whenever you’re feeling self-conscious in the middle of the day, stop what you’re doing and breathe deeply for five seconds and then repeat your positive affirmations to yourself. You can search online for positive affirmation to boost self-confidence and banish self-consciousness or you can formulate your own affirmations.

Accept Yourself

If you want to be perfect, you’re being too harsh on yourself. Accept that you cannot please anyone, but don’t let healthy self-acceptance hinder you from improving yourself. There is a fine line between trying to win other people’s approval and making you a better person. If you don’t accept yourself, nobody will do it for you. Those who spiral down to drug addiction often suffer low self-esteem because they can’t accept themselves. They found comfort in drugs and soon need drug rehab therapies to be independent from substance abuse.

Watch         Your         Body         Language

Your mind influences your body language and vice versa. When you’re feeling self-conscious, your body language will show it. Avoid crossing your arms, fidgeting with your nails and playing with your hair. Maintain a welcoming body language when you want people to approach you  . . . .
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These are all good idea’s to help you gain and keep your self-confidence at a high level. Let’s face it, there are people in the world who just don’t have an open mind when it comes to those who maybe a “little different” than others. I just learned to ignore that. LOL. My next share is a good friend of mine from LinkedIn. His name is Brian Norwood, and he has done me a wonderful favor by reading my book.

And if that wasn’t enough? He also shared his thoughts on a wonderful blog/website he writes for called; Journal For Life” ~ People Helping People.  Brian N. of Journal For Life ~ Article   So I thought I would share a little of what he wrote and shared there about my book. I think most all of us who live life recovery have some form of journal or diary we write in. Brian happened to read an earlier blog post of mine about,  “Why I Write.” And my book became a book thanks to my many journals I have written in over the years in recovery. So here is what Brian shared.

About Brian N. of Journal For Life

Brian N.

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I am a retired instructor. My career includes teaching in all areas of personal development and emotional management.
I love living life in harmony with the natural universe.
I am a devoted husband and proud father to two beautiful daughters.
My personal pleasures include fly fishing, riding horses, and motorcycles. I hope to soon be dabbling in watercolour paints. I am an advisorContact Brian N.


It Won’t Happen To Me ~ By: Brian N.

I was probably nine years of age when my dad and I stopped at a small country fair.  It was all very exciting, with rides whirling, people jostling this way and that, and with mysterious tents all lined in a row.

My dad positioned me off to the side and told me to wait there.  So there I was, just gawking at everything, when suddenly the tallest man I had ever seen appeared almost right in front of me.

He was at least 7 feet tall and was wearing the biggest top hat I had ever seen.  He wore long striped trousers with a bright red jacket.  He walked up two wooden steps, then stood atop a small wooden platform at the entrance to a tent.

He was mesmerizing to look at, and his voice boomed out over the crowd with a musical rhythm.

“Step right up… Ladies and Gentlemen and change your fortune.”

“For only the cost of one thin dime… One tenth of a dollar… The smallest coin of any real monetary value … you can change your life forever.”

“You Sir, you Madam, try your luck…  All you need to do to be a winner is drop your little silver coin in this slot.” he said pointing to some kind of machine I hadn’t noticed before next to the entrance from which he had appeared.

“All you do is pull the lever and watch your good fortune change before your eyes, and remember the taxman will never know what you put in your pocket.”

I remember an odd-looking man in a straw hat walk up to the machine.  I couldn’t see him put in anything, but he pulled the lever, and nothing seemed to happen.  Then the big man bellowed: “It doesn’t work every time… Put in another dime, Sir.”

The customer inserted another coin and pulled the lever.  Suddenly bells rang out, people shouted and the man had to use his straw hat to catch-all the spilling coins. “Inside Ladies and Gentleman; Step inside and try your luck.” bellowed the pitch man and I watched a whole stream of men walk into that tent.

When we were back in our car my I told my dad we could get rich for just a dime.  That was the first time my dad told me about gambling.

“They keep a special machine outside the tent” he explained.  “It is rigged to pay out one of every three times you pull the handle, so it looks like you are going to win.  The machines in the tents are weighted different, they’ll keep all your money son, every last dime.”

Catherine Townsend-Lyon

So perhaps you can understand why I am so enthralled by the title of Catherine’s book, “Addicted to Dimes.”

Today I wish to introduce you to her personal story about suffering through a Gambling Addiction.  With courage and conviction, she strips bare her soul to reveal her pain, her climb back and gives testimony how journaling helped her make the journey.

GAMBLING IN AMERICA

For the most part the 40 Billion dollar a year industry seems harmless enough.  It is estimated 85% of all Americans try a little gambling in their life time.  No problem, unless you become one of the 6 to 8 million Americans struggling with a gambling addiction every year.  Every compulsive gambler cost the economy an average of $16,000 per year.

Gambling usually takes its victims down hard and fast;  Much faster than say alcohol.  As the gambling victim starts to lose heavy, they double up their bets in a desperate effort to win it back, instead they lose it all.

Fifty percent of those suffering will commit crimes to feed their addiction.  Almost 90% will suffer from or develop other addictions such as alcohol, or drug abuse.

Gambling is an equal opportunity disease;  It cares not about your race, education, sex, income or age.  Many people caught in the clutches of uncontrollable gambling, had prior to their addiction, lived normal productive, even inspiring lives envied by others.

After reading Catherine’s personal story I wouldn’t bet my hard-earned money that the gambling compulsion couldn’t get a hold of you or me.  Or that it won’t sneak in the back door via a loved one and destroy your family.

If it can happen to this lady then it can happen to you.

Product Details

Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat) $5.99 to  buyKindle Edition

Happy Reading!