Everybody knows the obvious types of self-sabotage. Procrastination, laziness, drinking, smoking, doing drugs, eating too much, not exercising, gambling, perfectionism, cowardice, extravagance, etc.
While these self-sabotaging behaviors aren’t always easy to stop, they’re easy to spot. Everyone is more or less aware that it’s bad to be lazy, eat too much, or overspend, and so on. An awareness of self-sabotaging behaviors makes it likelier to correct them.
A more dangerous type of self-sabotage is unconscious self-sabotage where you unwittingly inflict great harm upon yourself by habits or behaviors that you believe to be harmless or even good.
Since this type of self-sabotage often goes unnoticed, your life keeps sucking in ways that you can’t quite put a finger on. Spot them, correct them, and the quality of your life will skyrocket.
Here are the top 5 ways you are unsuspectingly sabotaging yourself:
In modern societies, men are treated as sacrificial animals to die in wars, provide for others, and do all the heavy lifting selflessly so that other members of society can live comfortably.
The hapless modern man is indoctrinated from his early childhood on to be selfless:
- He’s indoctrinated at school to be a good citizen who’s ready to die for his country,
- He learns early at school (mostly from his female teachers) how to please women,
- He’s taught to selflessly put other people on pedestals merely for existing, without any requirement whatsoever of them to earn their pedestalized status,
- He’s taught to prioritize the “greater good” over his own well-being,
- He’s taught, in Ayn Rand’s words, “not how to live his life, but how to sacrifice it”,
- He’s brought up to subconsciously believe that anyone who is not him is automatically more important than him (unless that “anyone” is another man.)
This indoctrination has been very successful. Modern men, especially Western men, have selflessly allowed themselves to be used and exploited.
Many of them still do, even though men ended up getting spit on the face in return for their selflessness.
A recent study conducted among “15–29-year-old Canadian male interview participants” proves how successful this “selflessness” indoctrination has been and men are determined to continue being selfless, despite it doing them more harm than good.
According to the study, young Canadian men regard “selflessness” as the top masculine quality when in reality selflessness isn’t even a masculine quality, let alone being the “top masculine quality.”
Considering that Canada is a prominent bastion for the war against men, it’s obvious that ranking selflessness as the top masculine quality is not a product of rational thought. It’s a product of indoctrination. These young men aren’t thinking “we must be selfless and care about the people and institutions who make it a point to spit on our faces at every opportunity”. They genuinely believe they’re being better men by being selfless.
If these young men weren’t brainwashed with the indoctrination of selflessness, they would notice that all institutions in power; the mainstream media, academia, the government, and non-governmental organizations are men-hating cesspools that indiscriminately blame men for all the troubles in society. Men’s selflessness is not only not rewarded, but it’s also punished. After all, no one respects someone they can exploit.
A man who’s proud of his selflessness is no different than a donkey proud of the load it carries. When you take a realistic look at the state of modern society, men are the least likely group of people to afford selflessness. If a man doesn’t selfishly invest in himself to become completely self-reliant, he’s out of luck. No one cares about a man. No one will rush to his help in case he happens to fall down. There’s no one else he can rely on other than himself. He’s completely on his own. If he’s weak, he’s done. No safety net whatsoever exists for him.
What will others do if you fail to fend for yourself because you’ve allowed yourself to selflessly get weaker? I’ll tell you what will happen. They’ll despise you even more for being a weak man and you’ll be allowed to perish. That’s what’s going to happen and that’s what already keeps happening to every man who selflessly allows others to exploit him and eventually ends up failing to fend for himself.
When you have literally no one else to rely on, doesn’t it make more sense to selfishly invest in yourself instead of selflessly putting others who don’t care about you on pedestals?
Invest in yourself. Never neglect your fitness, health, business, or self-improvement just to accommodate others. Selfishly guard your most important asset: Time. Take utmost care of your own needs first before you even think of taking care of the needs of others.
Selflessness isn’t a virtue but a vice. It’s self-sabotage.
It’s your duty not only to yourself but also to your loved ones to be unapologetically selfish. You become your best self by selfishly focusing on yourself, not by selflessly neglecting yourself in favor of others.
-But Lane, isn’t it wrong to be selfish?
No. People think selfishness is wrong because they confuse it with hedonistic solipsism. Solipsists feel entitled to receiving value without offering value in return. That’s what turns people off, not selfishness. On another note, it’s solipsists who demand you to be selfless. They want to extract value out of you without having to offer any value in return.
Except for children who have no other choice than to be solipsists, adults operate on a value exchange basis. Solipsists are a burden on others while selfishness is the only way to end up becoming a self-reliant person capable of offering value.
-But Lane, I really want to help others.
You can’t help others without selfishly helping yourself first.
Self-immolation isn’t a prerequisite to helping others. Quite the opposite. You can not only be selfish and still help others but it’s also the best way to do it. Selflessness weakens a man, greatly diminishing his ability to help others. Look at the average man in any modern society who is indoctrinated to be selfless. He barely can help himself let alone helping others.
If you want to give money to the poor, you must first make money. If you want to offer value so that you receive value in return, you must first build yourself up to be a person of value.
Last but not least, helping your loved ones is not a matter of selflessness. It’s a matter of integrity. When you help your loved ones, you’re not being selfless. You’re honoring your personal values. You can help your loved ones the most when you selfishly invest in yourself to build yourself up to become resourceful.
Righteousness is the innate human desire to be proven right. We all love to be proven right and hate to be proven wrong.
Unfortunately, righteousness provides a fertile soil for self-sabotage especially when your beliefs contradict reality and set you up for failure.
Righteousness is so strong an urge that people would rather suffer, lose money, stay poor, or remain dependant or addicted than be proven wrong.
See, while there’s nothing wrong on the surface with being right, righteousness demands you to deny that you’ve been wrong all along, even despite the presence of ample evidence flying in the face of your convictions.
Once you make up your mind, confirmation bias kicks in and you’ll selectively ignore contrary evidence and only see or hear things that support your already established bias which leads to self-sabotage in a rich variety of ways.
Here are some examples of how righteousness leads to self-sabotage:
- A person with a victim mentality will self-sabotage as the vision of a successful self is a direct insult to their beliefs. Righteousness is so strong an urge that people would rather be right and remain a victim than strive to become self-reliant and emerge a victor,
- Righteousness can prevent you from abandoning a business or an investment plan that’s clearly not working which costs you both money, and years of your time that you’ll never get back,
- If you believe yourself to be unattractive, just a few rejections are enough to confirm your beliefs and you’ll stop meeting new members of the opposite sex when in reality rejections also happen all the time to even the most attractive people,
- Righteousness is the reason why people follow information sources that already agree with them, setting themselves up for horrendous mistakes due to being ill-informed about the life-altering decisions they make,
- If you believe money is the source of all evil or all rich people are immoral, you’ll self-sabotage to not get rich,
- Pessimists unconsciously self-sabotage because they’ll subconsciously be eager to be proven right for their pessimistic predictions. Pessimism becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy for it breeds inaction, if not direct self-sabotage. If you do nothing to make your life better then your life will automatically get worse. If you assume failure, you’ll be subconsciously rooting for yourself to fail so that you’re proven right. Pessimists are complicit in their own ruin.
- When most people ask for advice, they don’t actually seek advice but a confirmation of their already established beliefs. As a result, they ignore good advice and run with the bad advice they already agree with, which inevitably invites ruin. (In his excellent book Unscripted, MJ DeMarco calls these people “askholes”, which he defines as “someone who asks for advice and doesn’t take it.”)
An infinite number of examples can be produced but you get the point.
Being right is good but the problem is that we’re all wrong about the majority of our convictions.
If this sounds preposterous, consider a subject that you are an expert on. Aren’t all the non-experts wrong about their assumptions on your subject of expertise?
If you aren’t already an expert on any subject, you can safely assume that all your views about it are wrong. Since mastery takes years to achieve, you can master only a few subjects in your entire lifetime, if that. So, you’ll inevitably be wrong about millions of other things.
Resist the urge to be proven right. Assume you’re wrong. Seek to be proven wrong at least as much as you seek to be proven right. Be rational rather than emotional. Be cold and distant. Be skeptical. Don’t ego-invest in any idea.
When you understand that everybody is wrong about a lot of things, you can keep an open mind and don’t take it personally when you’re proven wrong.
Pessimism is perhaps the hardest type of righteousness to fight against. Pessimism is attractive to many people because pessimists can pass themselves off as realists and they don’t even have to lift a finger in order to be proven right.
A pessimist’s life is guaranteed to get worse due to mere inaction because even maintenance requires a base level of effort, let alone improving one’s life which requires disciplined, consistent action.
The antidote to pessimism is not unfounded optimism but rational optimism. The only way to be a rational optimist is to put in the disciplined effort to make your life better. If you’re disciplined, you’ll instinctively know your life is going to get better so you’ll inevitably become an optimist without even realizing. Optimism is a byproduct of discipline, which automatically defeats pessimism as well.
3. Fear Of Ostracization
Human nature was formed when we were hunter-gatherers living in tribes. Humans lived in sparsely populated areas with many predatory animals around.
In such a world, ostracization from the tribe usually meant death in the wildlife for the lack of protection from the tribe rendered you easy prey to wild animals or competing tribes.
As a result, we developed a psychology of deep-seated, immense fear of ostracization. While we no longer live in tribes and ostracization is no longer a life threat, we still fear it and go great lengths to avoid it, which opens a can of worms that most people aren’t even aware of.
The most common way we self-sabotage due to the fear of ostracization is conformism.
We follow the herd even if the behavior of the herd is obviously stupid. We instinctively believe there’s safety in numbers, but rarely think about the numerous times in history when humans herd-walked into their own ruin. For example, in late history, Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany are good examples of how millions of people sabotaged themselves to sleepwalk into their own ruin in a mental state of collective madness.
Recently, there has been a pandemic going on where you can observe millions of people engaging in potentially self-sabotaging behaviors in the name of the safety of following the herd.
We observe people subjecting themselves to potentially dangerous medical experiments not only because other people are doing the same but also because of the fear of ostracization by getting labeled as “anti-science.”
We observe people self-sabotaging (and sabotaging their kids as well) on social media just to gain the social approval of other crazy people.
The fear of ostracization blunts our decision-making capabilities. The logical brain shuts down and we default to the safety of agreeing with the approved narrative put out by the powers that be, rather than making sufficiently-informed, rational decisions.
Last but not the least, fear of ostracization causes many people to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions. When responsibility is waived, the consequences might be waived as well in the short run, but refusing to take responsibility is a surefire way to self-sabotage in the long run.
Be vigilant at times when you find yourself acting not because of your sufficiently informed rational decisions but because of the fear of ostracization.
Ask yourself: “Would I really do this if I didn’t care about the approval of others?”
We are no longer living in tribes and ostracization no longer means death in the jungle. If you risk ostracization for acting rationally and taking full responsibility of your life then so be it. No big deal.
If you’re ostracized from a particular community for refusing to conform to their insanity, you were never meant to benefit from belonging to that community in the first place. There are many ways to meet like-minded people and join better communities.
The best way to meet better people is to become a better person yourself. Never stop educating yourself. Never stop improving. Always be rational.
Education, self-improvement, and rationality might be boring, repetitive, and toilsome which is why most people avoid them but you don’t want to be miserable like most people anyway.
4. Following The News
Following the news is such an acceptable and normalized activity that almost no one questions its value.
Those who refuse to follow the news (including yours truly) are believed to be making a mistake. By not following the news, we’re supposedly ill-informed and missing out on valuable information about the dangers of the world. But is it really so?
I published an article in May 2019 entitled How Following The News Sets You Up For Failure In Life, warning about the dangers of following the news.
I had no idea at the time that a pandemic would break out in a few months which would prove all the points I made in the article.
The first danger I warned my readers about following the news was that it renders you a coward living in fear, which is exactly what happened during this whole pandemic debacle.
My reasoning was that the news outlets blow the dangers out of proportion to attract attention because fear is a strong emotion people find impossible to resist. Pumping fear into the population is an age-old tactic of newspapers and news channels to increase readership and viewership.
Look at how people who frantically followed the news during the pandemic stopped living their lives and relinquished their hard-earned freedoms to people in positions of power and you’ll understand why I advise against it.
Talk about sabotaging yourself to the point of stopping to live your life while losing your freedoms in the process. The current toll is that many people lost close to 2 years of their lives which they’ll never get back, lost many freedoms which will take years of effort to earn back, and nobody even knows when the madness will end.
Another danger I warned my readers about was that the news is a form of propaganda. The moneyed people who own the news outlets set the narrative that benefits them and try to convince people of their narrative rather than inform them.
You self-sabotage by subjecting yourself to their propaganda while losing the vital ability to think for yourself. An inability to think for yourself is perilous.
Thinking is what separates humans from animals. You can’t let others do the thinking for you or you risk being a group-thinking sheep that follows the herd which is exactly what happened to billions of people who frantically followed mainstream news outlets during the pandemic. They’ve walked into their own ruin along with millions of others who bought the official narrative. The only antidote to this grave error is to think for yourself.
Last but not the least, following the news wastes your time. Time is your most precious asset. Once you waste it, there’s no getting it back. Once you run out of time you die. You have no business wasting your precious time on the low-value activity of following the news.
Stop following the news, especially the mainstream media. Seek unbiased sources of information that are relevant to your life.
Since most news stories are completely irrelevant to your life, separating the wheat from the chaff and only following relevant sources of factual, unbiased information will greatly reduce the time you spend over getting informed.
-But Lane, what if I miss out on an important piece of fresh information?
If it’s that important, you’ll hear it soon enough because people will rush to tell you.
Conventional wisdom extols modesty as a virtue. Ambition and obsession are not only discouraged but are also shamed. In other words, conventional wisdom nudges you toward mediocrity.
Moreover, the ruling classes have always found it expedient to encourage the population to be modest because they don’t want people to get ambitious and threaten their elite status.
For example, during the Middle Ages, the medieval church (which was the reigning institution of the time) declared poverty as a virtue. They didn’t want the plebs to want to be rich lest they claim a share of the income which made possible the opulent lifestyle that members of the clergy had been enjoying.
Today, it’s not much different. You’re indoctrinated by the ruling classes and encouraged by conventional wisdom from early ages on to pursue a proven path for mediocrity: “Go to school-get good grades-find a job-get married-have kids-live miserably until you retire at an old age when you can finally enjoy a semblance of freedom.”
Not only that but you’ve been also brainwashed to believe that you don’t matter as an individual and you are expendable for the benefit of society, your country, or “the greater good” in general.
Your fellow humans are also voluntarily complicit in the scheme because they hate to see one of their own rise to the top. They too encourage you to be modest and never aim high because your potential victories are nothing more than reminders to them of their lowly, miserable loser status.
To add further insult to the injury, modern society, especially Western society, openly hates men to the point of not even bothering to hide their hatred of you. The obvious question that “why would a man self-sacrifice for the “greater good” of a society that openly hates him?” remains unanswered.
There’s not one unit in the entire modern society that encourages a man to strive to actualize his highest potential. Quite the opposite. They do their best to prevent you from discovering your strengths and striving to realize your potential.
Thankfully, you don’t need anyone’s permission to become great. In fact, if you ask for permission, you’ve already lost.
No great man in history asked society or the ruling classes “can I have your permission before I become great?” You’re on your own.
Ambition and obsession are indispensable parts of success. Be irreverent and unapologetically ambitious. Be obsessed with actualizing your highest potential. Aim high. You have greatness in you but you must dig it out by rationality, discipline, desire, ambition, perseverance, irreverence, and obsession.
Becoming great is within your capacity. Don’t let other people convince you otherwise. A great future is awaiting you but only if you’re strong enough to make it happen. The fire is already there, burning or waiting for you to rekindle it.
You’ll believe you’re destined for greatness, keep being disciplined, day in day out, and you’ll emerge a great man.
Be sure to read:
- How to Be a Superior Man, Chapter 1: What Makes a Man a Superior Man
- 5 Instilled-In Limiting Beliefs That Will Keep You Down In the 2020s And Onwards
- How To Stop Caring What Others Think Of You
- 21 Ways to Stop Being an Effeminate Modern Man and Be More Masculine
- How To Spot A Self-Entitled Individual: 15 Signs Of A Sense Of Entitlement