Why We Self-Sabotage and How to Stop Doing it

Have you ever started a project and been so gung ho about it and yet somehow it never saw the light of day because you talked yourself out of doing it or came up with 100 different excuses not to mention you somehow forgot about that other thing you had to do.


Self-Sabotage is tricky because the way it shows up can change day by day.


Self-Sabotage, at its core, is what happens when we have any limiting beliefs that are INCONGRUENT with our goals. When we believe something out of alignment with the vision that we have for our life our brain follows the belief, not the vision. Because our beliefs dictate the thoughts and ideas we have on a moment by moment basis. We experience these thoughts through the nervous system as emotions

These emotions motivate a specific action (or inaction) and our actions (or lack thereof) ultimately produce our results.


When we look at our actions or behaviors, it’s easy to SEE when we are acting in a way that is incongruent with the results we want.


We can see when we’re not fully showing up. We know if we’re not doing the things we should be doing. We can (most of the time) tell when we’re working against ourselves and

that is what we then call  Self-Sabotage, but it’s just a symptom.


The source of the Self-Sabotage is not the action itself –– it is the belief behind it.

Because our beliefs motivate our thoughts, motivate our feelings, motivate our actions to motivate our results. Your results always originate with your beliefs. So lets discuss the 5 ways we can stop self-sabotage.


5 Ways To Stop Self-Sabotage


1. Identify The Causes

Usually, the causes of  self-sabotage are rooted in our feelings of self-esteem. Deep down you don’t feel worth it to be successful. You are filled with feelings of incapacity, even when you are trying to achieve high goals for yourself. Sometimes people use to self-sabotage as a way of controlling their destiny.


To stop sabotaging yourself it is important to identify the reasons for your behavior. Maybe you prefer to fail than to face unknown circumstances. Once you know the causes you can prevent these unhealthy ways of dealing with fear and make the changes to stop reacting adversely to situations.

2. Stop Overthinking

If your mind is constantly thinking about “what ifs” and “shoulds” you are endlessly deliberating when making a decision and when you make a decision you are questioning the decision; you are trying to read minds, predict the future, read into the smallest details, etc.


People who overthink consistently run commentaries in their heads, criticizing and thinking about what they said and did. They are terrified of the future.


Overthinking is destructive and mentally draining. It will keep you stuck in one place, afraid of taking action. This lack of action and fear will make you more susceptible to depression and anxiety.


Recognize when your brain is overthinking and redirect your attention to something else that requires focus.

3. Be Kind To Yourself

If you are always caught in self-sabotaging behaviors, it might be difficult for you to be kind to yourself. If you are constantly telling yourself you are “not good enough” or “not smart”, it might be hard to look at yourself in a positive light.


When you can’t see yourself as the wonderful person that you are it affects how the world sees you as well as your self-worth and confidence. If you can find ways to be kind to yourself you might be able to end self-sabotage.


As I told you before many of us prefer to self-sabotage because we don’t believe that we are “good enough”. In our minds, we think that others deserve success more than we do.


When you are kind to yourself and treat your body and mind with love and respect you can overcome fear and walk confidently towards your dream life.

4. Identify The Self-Sabotaging Behavior

To move forward you need to identify your self-sabotaging behavior. To do it you must become aware of your daily choices, decisions actions, and consequences.


Write down a list of the self-sabotaging behaviors you tend to do. Once you identify your behavior, you should also need to pinpoint specific triggers that may be causing these behaviors to manifest in your life.


For instance, these triggers could include people, objects, specific times, events, locations, etc. If it is possible, remove these triggers from your life so you can take better control of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. The key is to help you weaken the beliefs that control your self-sabotaging behavior.

5. Take Action

Once you recognize that you are sabotaging yourself is time to think about what strategies you will use to stop this behavior. Some strategies you can use to start to include:


  • Use project to-do lists. Make sure to write down every step involved in a particular project. This will help you take control of want you need to do every day.
  • Keep unimportant tasks to the bare minimum especially if you are a perfectionist.
  • Be creative and change things up.
  • Pretend you are helping someone finish a task and write the instructions you’d give someone else.


There are many strategies you can use but make sure to choose the one that will help you feel stable and confident.

Bottom Line

Though everyone’s self-sabotaging may differ, the above tools can help you discover what yours looks like and how to stop these negative behavior.


Follow these tips and you will be able to find new opportunities, increase your self-confidence, and improve your relationships. Remember what Lorri Faye so wisely said:


“Quiet that voice of doubt inside of you

You are good enough

You do deserve good things

You are smart enough

You are worthy of love and respect

You are amazing just the way you are.”

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