The Self-Saboteur


Do you ever feel like you get in your own way, tripping over invisible hurdles just as you’re about to reach your goals?

Self-sabotage is a common yet often misunderstood behaviour that can prevent us from achieving our true potential. Let’s look at what self-sabotage is, why we do it, and most importantly, how we can break free from this cycle and reclaim our path to success.

What is Self-Sabotage?

Self-sabotage is when we engage in behaviours or thoughts that hold us back from reaching our goals. It can manifest in various ways. Procrastination, negative self-talk, overcommitting, or even engaging in unhealthy habits are just a few. These actions, usually unconscious, undermine our efforts and create obstacles that derail our progress.

Why Do We Self-Sabotage?

Understanding why we self-sabotage is crucial to overcoming it. Here are a few common reasons:

  1. Fear of Failure: The fear of failing is so overwhelming that you unconsciously sabotage your efforts to avoid potential disappointment. Who wants to feel like a pile of fail? Best not risk it eh?
  2. Fear of Success: Success brings change, and change can be scary. The fear of the unknown can cause you to hold yourself back.
  3. Low Self-Esteem: If you don’t believe you really deserve success or happiness, you might sabotage your efforts to achieve it. If you hold negative beliefs about yourself then you may behave in ways to confirm those beliefs are true.
  4. Perfectionism: Setting unrealistic standards can lead to procrastination and avoidance because you fear you won’t meet those high expectations.
  5. Fear of being seen: for many, the idea of being noticed is actually terrifying. If you have have spent years staying under the radar (its safe there right?) then why would you achieve all you can if it means you'll get noticed?

What helps?

  1. Recognise the Patterns: The first step is awareness. Pay attention to your thoughts, behaviours, and emotions. Identify situations where you might be undermining your own efforts. (eg you notice youself eating a tub of ice-cream when you had decided to lose some weight)

  2. Challenge Negative Thoughts: Challenge the negative self-talk. When you catch yourself thinking, “I can’t do this,” challenge it with, “Can I really know thats true?" and "I am capable and prepared for this.”

  3. Set Realistic Goals: Break down your goals into smaller, manageable steps. Celebrate each milestone to build momentum and confidence. Having big long-term goals is great, AND its super important you have a bite sized plan to get there.

  4. Practice Self-Compassion: Treat yourself as you would a best friend. Have your own back. Acknowledge your efforts and forgive yourself for setbacks. Its all part of the journey

  5. Seek Support: Working with a coach or therapist can really help you to identify where these unhelpful "strategies" came from. Then you can uproot them and install more helpful ones! Having the accountibility and encouragement from a coach can make all the difference in making the change.

  6. Develop Healthy Habits: Establish routines that support your goals. Prioritize self-care, such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep.

  7. Visualize Success: Spend time visualising your success. Imagine how it will feel to achieve your goals and let that positive imagery motivate you.

  8. Take Action: The antidote to self-sabotage is action. Even small steps can build momentum and reduce the power of fear and doubt.

Breaking free from self-sabotage is a journey of self-awareness, compassion, and perseverance. By recognizing the patterns that hold you back and implementing strategies to overcome them, you can reclaim your path to being the best you! Remember, you are capable, deserving, and ready to achieve your dreams. So, take that first step, break the cycle, and watch your potential unfold.