Stop Self-Sabotaging Behavior & Create The Life You Desire

by Tess

Creative Commons License photo credit: DK727

For various reasons you may feel worthless, unwanted and unloved, lack self confidence or engage in obsessive negative thinking, anxiety, dout and fear you will engage in self sabotaging behaviors that will cause you to fail in leading a healthy and productive life.

Examples of self sabotaging behaviors are inapropriate anger, missing the deadline for your college application, arriving late for a interview, having an affair, over eating, drinking too much, driving too fast, failure to take care of yourself, procrastination, too much TV or too many computer games.

1. Believe In Yourself. You have the power to change your life. One of the most important things you can do is to accept yourself just as you are. You will be with you for the rest of your life. Learn to nuture yourself. You are worthy of a good live. You are deserving of your goals, your dreams and wonderful relationships. You have talents and gifts to offer those around you.

2. Identify What Holds You Back. It’s important to know you are in your own way when you self-sabotage. It’s like banging your head against the wall and not realizing it hurts! Lack of trust, low self esteem, perfectionism, lack of self worth, shame, not feeling good enough or smart enough some of the reasons you continue to hurt yourself.

It’s important to figure out what causes you to get in  your own way. Talk about it with someone, hire a coach, journal your feelings, thoughts and emotions or join a support group. Educate yourself on what’s causing the behavior and the actions you need to take to change the behavior.

3. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others. This is one of the biggest causes of human suffering. It’s a form of self abuse. You are unique. It doesn’t matter who has a better car, home, or job. What matters is you appreciate yourself and what you have. Value your own unique qualities. When you catch yourself judging others or yourself. Stop. Change your thoughts. Move on. You are worthy of enjoying life. Comparison to others is a waste of time.

4. Face Your Fears and Move On. If you are afraid to invite someone out on a date because they might turn you down it’s self-sabotage.  It’s OK to be afraid but ask anyway. I tell my clients, “There are over six billion people in the world, if someone says “no”ask someone else! If you don’t ask for a raise because you’re afraid your boss will say “no” ask anyway. If you are turned down ask what actions you need to take in order to get a raise in the future.

5. Don’t Be Afraid To Fail.
Let’s say you decide to run a marathon and set a pace of 3 hours.  During the race you trip on your shoestring, fall and end up limping to the finish line a half hour later than your goal. You may have failed to make your goal however it doesn’t mean you are a failure. People who self-sabotage internalize failure. Instead of focusing on the fact they finished the race they only see what went wrong. Failure is part of succeeding.

6. Take Action.  Procrastination causes anxiety, doubt, stress, dread, depression and more. The answer to procrastination is to take action. Begin with the most difficult task. If it’s a phone call you need to make, do it. If it’s a job or chore you’ve been putting off get started.  Beginning is half the battle. It can lead to creativity, productivity and being in the flow. Taking action is always rewarding.

Make your list of action steps. Without action you will fail.  Set yourself up for success. Live your life on purpose. My husband is a tax coach. It never ceases to amaze me how many people wait until the last minute to do their taxes. It costs more to get an extension. Yet we all now that April 15 is the deadline.

7. Get Outside Your Comfort Zone. Look for ways to stretch yourself and grow. Choose to do at least one uncomfortable thing everyday. Look for ways to take calculated risks. When you fear new things reflect back on other times you were afraid but took the action necessary and things worked out well. Challenge yourself and have fun with it.

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    { 2 comments… read them below or add one }

    KT April 18, 2011 at 1:58 am

    Thank you very much for this post, 2, 6 & 7 were spot on for me. These really clicked, so much so that I paused half way through reading and wrote to my father who I haven’t spoken to for 6 months. After a fight we both were too proud to contact the other. Number 6 – phone call you need to make inspired me to make contact right now, and I feel so relieved. So thank you! Blessings to you :-)


    Deli November 30, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Great article. What I would like to know is, as someone who suffers from chronic self sabotage (just to give an example, I leave my college assignments to the last minute and get a bad grade even though I’m capable of doing really well. I recently left a great well paid job that I got and now I’m broke and jobless. I constantly show my boyfriend distrust, even though I know deep down he is not a cheater).
    I suppose my question is, what if you don’t feel strong enough to put these changes into place? I love the idea of it and have tried many times, but in the end I do something to ruin things, like go back to old bad habits.
    Any help much appreciated!


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