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Stand Firm, Grow or Fly Free with Balanced Negative and Positive Core Beliefs

Repetitive Self Defeating Behaviours

Many aspects of Repetitive Self  Defeating Behaviours are similar to and and overlap with Addictive cycles.  

With RSDP one or more emotionally younger systems seem to be stuck doing the repetition even though it isn’t working.  The result each time is seriously negative or unsatisfactory.


Normally if this was happening your emotionally younger systems would work this out fairly quickly and another opposite inner self would take over. We learn by our mistakes and the more times we make the same mistake the sooner we learn to avoid making that mistake (or avoid letting that inner self drive the bus) again.


This doesn’t seem to be  happening with RSDP. The ‘learn by your mistakes’ system has been shut down. The repeated behaviour pattern is more like an automatic response, a habit or an addiction. It is not the result of rational thinking or a conscious choice. The self-aware grown -up part has gone missing.

The self-defeating behaviour happens again and again

As a result, doing the same things, saying the same things, getting into the same situations, the same pattern is repeated over many years and usually gets worse. Examples:


Getting into the same kind of unstable relationship again and again with the same kinds of unsuitable partners

Repeated patterns of addictive behaviour (drinking, gambling etc) followed by sobriety followed by a return to the addictive behaviour.

Handing over control of one’s finances again and again to untrustworthy people

Repeatedly allowing people who do not respect you to control your life, your career your finances or your time

Repeatedly avoiding reality that really needs to be faced

Repeatedly getting into debt or investing in projects that fail

Regularly finding yourself in a state of powerlessness, feeling or saying “I can’t do anything about it”

Finding yourself back in the “I am the victim” position again and again.

Moving house or changing jobs again and again but each move ends up being less comfortable than those before.

Ignoring advice or warnings from family members or close friends that if you keep on doing ....... (something  self-defeating, inappropriate or dysfunctional)  ...... you will lose their friendship or they will end the relationship

(NOTE:  If you are doing something functional like standing up for your rights or setting good boundaries those are not self-defeating behaviours. Keep on doing them even if people threaten you with the loss of their ‘friendship’. They are not true friends.)

Repeatedly losing or misplacing the same kind of object, a wallet, mobile/cell phone, credit cards, purse or important papers

Repeatedly starting new relationships, each time hoping that this one will work, then focusing too much on the other person’s faults and failings (the reasons why this one isn’t going to work)

Giving in too easily. Placing your power, your rights or your freedom or your lifestyle in other people’s hands again and again

Regularly pretending to agree with other people or do what they want you to do, when this means  totally blocking your own wishes or seriously rejecting your own good judgement, just to keep the peace or to make them want to like you.

Regularly making promises to do something really positive that would benefit you and other people but just as regularly failing to carry through with your promise

Any behaviour that could be described as “repeatedly shooting yourself in the same foot” or self-sabotaging. Whatever you keep doing over and over again means more of the same familiar pain, grief, shame, guilt, fear, loss, sadness, failure or similar negative outcomes

The same pattern is often repeated in different situations or with different people.

Repeated patterns can be totally unique for each of us who suffer from RSDP so this is by no means a complete list.

For more information on Repetitive Self Defeating Behaviours and what to do about them, go to - http://www.voice-dialogue-inner-self-awareness.com/rsdp2.html

This issue is also covered in detail in my e-Book Growing Awareness  series  

Other Important Aspects in the Growing Awareness Process:

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