Self Sabotage – Taming the Beast within

What is self sabotage? 

“Self Sabotage is when we say we want something & then go about making sure it doesn’t happen” – Alice Cornyn-Selby

You can probably relate to this very easily. When we actively or passively take steps to prevent ourselves from reaching our goals or worse do things that hold us back and undermine who we can potentially become through destructve patterns of behaviour, this is self sabotaging. It is often a result of unresolved traumas in childhood or emotionally repressed characteristics or wounds we haven’t healed and skills we haven’t yet learned. Often with men we come across the inability to communicate feelings and emotions causes men to withdraw into denial and destructive habits like drinking, pornography, gambling and affairs. 

This behaviour can affect nearly every aspect of our lives, be it a relationship, a career goal, fitness and emotional health and wellbeing. Unless sorted out chances are it will manifest itself at some point and hurt you and those you love.

Self sabotage repeats and can be incredibilty damaging to self esteem and maintaining self confidence. We know we are doing it yet we can’t stop and if unchecked can leaves us feeling stuck, depressed and angry within

There are many reasons why someone may choose self sabotaging behavior, but many stem from a lack of belief in oneself.

Psychology Today provides good insight into why and how we self-sabotage. Substance abuse, poor sugar and diet management, addictive tendancies or procrastination can all be ways in which we self-sabotage. We may also self-sabotage by not committing to relationships or being a poor friend which is opposite to what we actually want to achieve and get closer to people. This blog post will help us to identify the reasons why we make decisions and some steps to tackle self sabotage

Reasons for self sabotage

Self worth – when we do not believe in ourselves we cannot achieve our goals and we tell ourselves that we are not good enough to have what we want, then we play this out in reality. So talk yourself up, with confidence and self love.

“Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on.” – Maxwell Multz 

self sabotage drinking

We fear success – We may worry that we truly aren’t qualified or prepared for business start up for example, so we stay in a job we don’t enjoy for the safety of it. Our fear of success leads us to engage in behaviour that limits our success or enables our imposter syndrome. When we are getting close to achieving a goal we may start doing things take stop us from achieving the goal. Ed is a business coach and can help if you fear success in your career.

Control – Assuming negative outcomes ahead of time can often make us feel in control and thus we self sabotage the chance of a positive outcome to be not afraid of change that success or personal growth may bring to us

“Withholding love is a form of self-sabotage, as what we withhold from others we are withholding from ourselves” – Marianne Williamson

We blame– If you act like you may fail you will. When we think things like “I won’t get that new client anyways as they don’t like change” we displace our responsibility in achieving our goals. When we do fail, because we already told ourselves we would, the blame can be transferred elsewhere. We can justify procrastination or not preparing as we’ve already accepted that we won’t succeed.

We fear failure – This is the most overwhelming reason why we self sabotage. If we fear it we don’t trully give it our all. We sit in maybe and we don’t accelerate our dreams into execution. The fear reduces our impact and effectiveness to achieve and we can be comfortable we got the result right for the next time also. 

Execute. Execute. Execute.

Am I self-sabotaging?

  • Am I prioritizing instant gratification?
  • Do I have constant negative thoughts?
  • Do I not look after my physical and emotional health?
  • Am I always procrastinating?
  • Do I do things and regret them after with guilt?
  • Do I tell lies and cover up behaviours


Make a list of all the things that are preventing you from having what you want. Take time to evaluate why you want this and get real with your goals. Look at what is truly holding you back. Identify the small things, like moaning, time wasting, blaming and recfity them

If you are afraid of failure, consider listing all the ways you have succeeded in the past. Take a look at all the wonderful things you have already achieved. Try to remember what you overcame to get there and work on boosting your confidence. Try to remember that failure is ok too, and it will happen! We can’t always be perfect, and we won’t always get what we want. Accepting this shouldn’t limit our belief in ourselves but should instead guide us to understand that we should keep working on ourselves and open up to new opportunities.

If you don’t feel worthy it may be time to focus on self care. Stop focusing on what you think you do wrong and work on recognizing what you do right. Focus on giving yourself time to relax, eat well and get sleep. You need to feel good about yourself to move past your fears. Make yourself a priority. Prioritizing yourself will help you to boost your self-confidence and allow you to be better equipped to face you fear and move beyond self-sabotage.

When to get help?

How about listening to your Podcast here on the subject?

or consider speaking with a therapist or a life coach such as Ed

Keep up to date with our news and information
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
WordPress Popup Plugin