Self-sabotage is uniquely human behavior.  Many of us sabotage ourselves when we decide we want something by doing everything to ensure we do not get it.  Sound familiar?  Although self-sabotage is a subconscious behavior, we can learn to manage it.

There are many reasons that you might sabotage yourself.  It is a widespread behavior rooted in fear of the unknown.  If you have immersed yourself in mediocrity, the idea of greatness may be frightening.  The first question you should ask yourself is are satisfied with your life.

Self-sabotaging behavior can look like procrastination, developing imposter syndrome, or adopting self-destructive behaviors.  To prevent these behaviors, we must find out why you are self-sabotaging.

Find out why you may self-sabotage:

  • Control.  You might self-sabotage because you need to be in control of your circumstances.  The easiest and most certain way to stay in control is to maintain your comfort zone.  Because if you step out of it and put your everything into achieving something great, you risk becoming vulnerable.  Your fear gets the best of you, and you self-sabotage.
  • Low self-esteem.  Do you feel unworthy of greatness?  You may have decided that happiness is beyond your reach.  Although this is a self-limiting belief, you can create a self-fulfilling prophecy by continuing to believe this untruth.
  • Distraction from painful memories.  You undermine your efforts by creating a life that is chaotic and unpredictable.  You feel the need to remain in a constant state of turmoil to distract yourself from painful memories or alleviate the loneliness in your life.

If you see yourself in any of these descriptions, it is okay because, in this post, I will share three ways that you can recognize and successfully manage self-sabotaging behavior.

Consider this process for defeating your self-sabotage:

  1. Observe your behavior.  First off, you must begin to observe yourself.  You can effectively do this by creating a self-sabotage journal.  Make a journal entry every time you realize that you have sabotaged yourself.  Describe the setting, circumstances, and result.  Avoid over-analyzing. Most often, a person’s true intentions are most evident in their actions rather than their words. Strive to be an impersonal observer in your journal. Eventually, you will gain a better understanding of your motives in certain situations.
  2. Envision success.  Keep in mind that success is neither black nor white.  Cultivate the habit of envisioning what success means to you and remember how it feels to achieve it.  If you do this consistently, you may find that you anticipate changes over time.
  3. Begin to see success as an integral part of your future but realize there will still be challenges.  For example, just like everyone else, you will still have to pay taxes and have relationship issues.
  4. Let go of the notion of perfection.  As you visualize success, are you still thinking that success equals perfection?  If so, it is time to realize that no one is perfect.
  • Your subconscious will not allow you to achieve success if you associate success with the impossible task of being perfect.
  • Think of your subconscious as a computer.  It does not know how to execute “do the impossible.”
  • If you associate success with fear, your subconscious will fight you the entire way.  Why?  Because its primary function is to protect you from perceived threats.

To eliminate this, let yourself anticipate success with excitement.  This will help you stop sending your subconscious the message, “Whatever you do, do not let me be successful!”  I think you would agree that it is time to put this type of thinking in the past. 

Instead, it is time to embrace the life you deserve by picturing yourself as successful and using one or all three of these coping strategies to help yourself snap out and get back on the right track.   Stop talking yourself out of success.  Instead, take it one day at a time, and cherish each moment of the journey.

With Peace and Love,


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