Perhaps you feel like everything is going badly? Are there things you want but they just aren’t happening for you?  Are you depressed about your current lifestyle?

I find that often the people who believe they are struggling the most, are the people who aren’t on their own team. Things will be tougher, more elusive, and more aggravating if you aren’t convinced you even deserve them.

Those who say life is knocking them down and giving them a tough time are usually the first to beat themselves up. Be on your own side. – Rasheed Ogunlaru

Do you find yourself frequently not finishing things? Having arguments with a lot of different people? Changing relationships or careers frequently even though they were going well? Are you noticing yourself excessively justifying your behaviour to others?

Some signs & styles of self sabotage:

  • Finishing a great educational course prior to completion
  • Ending a healthy, loving relationship
  • Using anger to deal with situations – often leading to dramatic consequences.
  • Over-sleeping rather than doing planned exercise or work

Reasons for self-sabotaging:

  • Failure feels safe & familiar. Even if this is subconscious – it might require less anxiety and effort to be disappointed rather than try for something outstanding.
  • Lack of confidence. You may believe you don’t deserve to be fulfilled or happy.
  • Addictions. Such as food, anger, drugs etc.
  • Control. You may maintain an unconscious belief that things will inevitably fall apart eventually so you maintain control by sabotaging it prior to it happening out of your control. (This is common in relationships)
  • Boredom. Some people find they crave a constant thrill. Bungy jumping isn’t practical every day but intense arguments might be.

If you find yourself saying ‘what the hell was I thinking’ or ‘why do I keep doing this’, it might be time to give your unconscious mind a rest (it hasn’t been doing a great job so far).

Take some conscious, pro-active steps to changing how you go about your life:

  • Be aware of what you are saying and thinking. Stop the justifications (to yourself and others) and just observe what you are doing and saying. Be completely honest with yourself. Are you acting out of habit, fear, need for control, boredom or need for attention?
  • Don’t strive for perfection. There is NO such thing. We are all perfectly imperfect. If you are sabotaging situations that don’t look as though they are going perfectly, you may well be missing out on wonderful opportunities.
  • Be kind to yourself. If you have been self-sabotaging for a long time, you aren’t going to suddenly make a decision to stop and everything changes immediately. It is a process. Praise yourself for all the small, positive steps you make. If you repeat a negative pattern, just acknowledge it, recognise how you can do it differently next time and move on. You don’t want to self sabotage your efforts to stop self sabotaging!
  • Visualise what you REALLY want. ANYTHING. This takes time also. If you have spent years subconsciously believing you don’t deserve success or joy you will struggle to visualise yourself living an exciting and balanced life. Visualisation really does work though. What we think – we create and they way we think transcends into how we act. If you are feeling self-pity you will project that in your actions, facial expressions and words and you will inevitably draw more negativity to yourself. Dream, smile and enjoy….. in time you will attract more and more of what you want.
  • Consider how your self-sabotaging actions affect others. Don’t approach this from a guilty ‘Oh man, I’ve ruined everyone’s life’ perspective. Just look at if from an objective perspective before you make future decisions. When you think outside of your own desires, you can often gain a better insight.
  • Be open to positives and negatives. Positives are obviously exciting and provide great opportunities. Negative occurrences can also provide us opportunities. They might lead us on a new path or help us gain strength.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • I self sabotage all the time, it’s second nature to me. Tips on avoiding this are greatly welcomed


  • Interesting article with some great tips.


  • An interesting article,some good tips!


  • OMG I feel like this article was written about me.


  • Great article. It’s so easy to slip into a poor me mind set which is just setting yourself up for failure. Great tips for getting out of that mindset


  • Life is a rollercoaster, you just got to ride it. There will be good and bad times.


  • thanks for sharing. Often these things are overlooked. we don’t see them until it’s too late.


  • Thanks for the great article. I definitely do some of this mainly due to lack of confidence and worrying too much about what others think. It’s held me back from some goals I’ve really wanted to achieve.


  • I don’t believe I self sabotage as a rule. Sure there may be the odd time that I do, but not generally. My sister is so negative and I believe an absolute self sabotager. Everything is too hard, she is a ‘gunner’ – I’m going to do this, going to do that, but never does. This relates to upgrading a car, changing jobs, holidays. She is against other people working hard, having things, etc. It’s so exhausting that I have to reduce the time I spend with her. How do you tell someone close to you to stop self sabotaging. I believe in positive thinking and putting good things out into the universe to get them back.


  • Thanks for the article – self sabotage is something to be very much aware of everyday! It can be hard work to push forward and tackle self sabotage, but in the end, it is so worth it and the end results are amazing.


  • I used to be this way but woke up to myself by forsing myself to think positive thoughts, getting out of bed even if I did not want to and going for long walks to clear my mind and going to yoga classes to better my health and meet people… now I am a totally different person

    • Yoga and walking are brilliant for clarity and focus.


  • Some good points here !


  • We live in a society that programmed us to be always looking for flaws instead of all the right things we achieved. It’s time to change that and be a happy person.


  • Fascinating points. I wouldn’t have thought of some of these as being self-sabotage, but they definitely make sense. Thank you for sharing.


  • Have been in this place before – now when I feel myself thinking like this, I quickly do something else or think of something else.


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