We tend to associate “self-destruction” with pretty severe actions: self-injury, drug or alcohol abuse, binge eating, chronic avoidance, and much more. However, a much milder range of self-destructive behavior exists, and even those behaviors create a very difficult cycle to break out of.

For example, you might have a habit of criticizing yourself, even after victories, because part of you wants to keep achieving more. Or maybe you tend to leave tasks to the last minute, although doing so will almost certainly stress you out to a major degree later on.

There’s a good reason why this happens: It provides relief, even if it makes it more difficult to have a fulfilling life. But, how can self-criticism and procrastination provide relief? It seems counterintuitive.

In the case of self-criticism, we may not be ready to accept that we’re good enough. It might be more comforting to know there’s work to be done, or we simply don’t know how to handle positive emotions about ourselves. In the case of procrastination, distractions give us clear relief from working. So, what’s your fear of working?

Processing these feelings might help you out, but you don’t have to do it alone. Become an AFEUSA member and get coaching from The Messinger Institute, where you can learn even more about “Inner Game” to become the fearless, innovative, and inspirational entrepreneur you’re destined to be.

Article by Charles Jackson, President of AFEUSA

Charles Jackson AFE Board