There are several times in our life when we perform counterproductive actions knowing that we’ll have to face the repercussions later in life.

The expression “you are your own worst enemy” is true for self destructive people.

There are a lot of different types of such behavior which may be fruitful or productive only for a short while, after that, they will ultimately be harmful.

First, let us illustrate the definition of self destructive behavior.

Self-Destructive Characteristics and Mentality

A person may have a single self destructive habit or even have multiple self destructive habits.

In some cases, for example gambling, procrastination and isolation, the person may not be fully aware of the undeniable consequences.

Self destructive behavior represents that a person is not satisfied with their own fundamental relationship with life.

Another viewpoint is that this is a coping mechanism, a person’s way of dealing with negative emotions such as depression, fear, anxiety, anger or hopelessness.

Let us look at some self destructive behaviors.

  1. General Addiction: A condition involving use of a substance with strong cravings and is unable to stop or limit the activity despite the harmful health consequences.
  2. Gambling: The activity of playing a game of chance for money or other high stakes.
  3. Food Addiction: This is a disease which causes loss of control over the ability to stop eating certain types of foods.
  4. Excessive Self Harm or Mutilation: The act of deliberately harming the surface of your own body not meant as a suicide attempt. It is an unhealthy way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger and frustration.
  5. Shoplifting: An irresistible impulse to steal, stemming from emotional disturbance rather than economic need.

How to Overcome Self Destructive Behavior

Is it possible to stop indulging in self destructive behavior such as overeating, gambling or shoplifting? Not only is it possible, it has been done by many people.

First and foremost, your vision will help your transformation. You have to feel the need to change yourself. Once you feel the need to change, it is time to recognize and identify each characteristic that needs to be changed.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and try to change everything in one go. Work on one habit or behavior at a time, once you have conquered any single bad habit, everything will seem easier from there onwards.

  • Pick one specific habit to change. Start essay writing the long-term disadvantages of continuing to pursue this habit. This is what you are getting yourself into IF you continue to do what you are doing.
  • List all the immediate advantages if you discontinue this destructive habit as of now. List the short-term benefits that you will obtain immediately and also the long-term benefits which you will acquire in the course of time by refraining from this destructive habit. These will be your long-term goals.
  • Put these lists in a place where you can see them every day. This will be your motivation to succeed every single day.
  • You need to replace your friends and acquaintances that used to encourage you to continue self destructive behavior. If you continue to enjoy their company they will again motivate you to go down that same road of self destruction.

Initially set small goals.

At this point in time you need to continue to reinforce, support and motivate the behavior changes you have already made. It’s still too soon and temptations will always remain.

Once you have reached a benchmark of 10 days, now you are at the point where temptation is not as strong as it once was. You will still need support from friends and family members during this time. At this point in time commitment matters think of all the benefits of this new change in your life.

Another tool to help you control self destructive behaviour is to write down all the conditions and consequences which persuade you to continue self destructive behaviour. Once you have identified the events, it will be easier for you to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. Share this information with your friends and family to make the whole situation clear to them as well.