Is it time to learn how to change self-sabotaging habits that are blocking you from success?
Many of us are struggling with this thing called self-sabotage. Especially entrepreneurs. You see, self-sabotage is a bit like constantly slipping on the same banana peel that we deliberately put there ourselves!
Crazy, right? But trust me; we’re all guilty of it.
Wondering how to kick self-sabotage to the curb and welcome success with open arms? Read on to discover how to get past those blocks so you can start winning.
What is Self-Sabotage? What Does it Mean to Self-Sabotage Yourself?
First off, what in the world is self-sabotage?
Simply put, self-sabotage is when we become our biggest obstacle, stopping ourselves from reaching our goals or unlocking our true potential.
It’s those moments of procrastination, self-doubt, negative thinking, and irrational decisions.
It can also be physical, like when we comfort eat or skip meals, fall into substance abuse, or, yup, you guessed it, procrastinate some more.
Sometimes, we don’t even realize we’re doing it.
But trust me, these self-defeating behaviors can seriously impact our lives.
And that’s why it’s so important to recognize the signs of self-sabotage and tackle them head-on.
Think about it.
How many times have we done things or avoided doing things that slow us down or stop us from hitting those life goals?
Take me, for instance; a decade ago, I was practically a master of art of self-sabotage.
Ever heard of Mr. Procrastination, Ms. Negative Self-Talk, Ms. Imposter Syndrome, or Mr. Anxiety?
They were my best friends, literally.
If you are building a business you have most likely struggled with one or a few of these issues at some point.
I certainly did. Until one fine day, I looked in the mirror and said, “Enough! You deserve better!”
Here’s the hard truth I learned: be kind to yourself.
Yes, you heard that right. We all stumble, we all fall, and guess what?
It’s totally okay.
Each trip is simply another chance to learn and do better next time.
Curious about how self-sabotage could be sneaking into your life?
Let’s break it down.
- Procrastination – like when you put off that report until the eleventh hour or sign up for the gym but never actually go? Ring any bells? That’s procrastination.
- Self-doubt – We’ve all been there, right? Wondering if we’re enough if we can actually pull it off.
- Fear of failure or success – The thing about standing on the edge of something great is that it can be pretty scary, whether we’re afraid we might fall or afraid we might actually fly.
- Perfectionism – Because if it’s not perfect, it’s not worth doing, right? Wrong. But more on that later.
- Overeating or undereating – Food is fuel, but sometimes we use it as a comfort blanket or a means of control.
So, how do we kick these self-sabotage habits to the curb?
We start here:
- Identify your triggers: Start keeping a journal. Note down what triggers you to self-sabotage. This helped me understand why I was doing what I was doing and might do the same for you.
- Practice mindfulness: Be aware of your thoughts, be aware of your actions. There’s something powerful about just noticing without judging.
- Create a plan: Spot a pattern you don’t like. Make a plan to bust it. If you’re a procrastinator, set concrete deadlines, and accountability is key.
- Seek support: Don’t do it alone. Talk to friends, family, or a virtual therapist like this one. It’s always easier when you have a cheerleading squad behind you.
- Be patient with yourself: Change takes time, and don’t rush it. As my grandma used to say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
Getting a grip on self-sabotage and putting these steps into action can set you on the path to your goals.
To help you with this, I have created a 7-day Glow Up Challenge that walks you through a self-improvement journey toward improving your mindset, motivation, good luck, and success. Join the virtual event, below:
Recognizing Self-Sabotaging Behaviors
To break free from the self-sabotage cycle and step into healthier habits, we first need to figure out what those self-sabotaging behaviors look like.
Let’s dive into a few big ones and see if you recognize any in your own life.
Ah, procrastination! We’ve all been there.
It’s like that time I had two weeks to complete a project and ended up pulling an all-nighter because I waited until the last minute.
I was stuck in the procrastination cycle, and maybe you’re there too.
Do you keep pushing tasks down your to-do list or delay starting something because you’re feeling a bit anxious or doubtful?
If that rings a bell, you might be a fellow procrastinator.
So keep an eye out for those triggers.
Then there’s perfectionism.
It sounds great in theory; who wouldn’t want things to be perfect, right?
But perfectionism can be a sneaky form of self-sabotage.
Have you ever found yourself constantly nitpicking or feeling like you just don’t measure up, no matter how hard you try?
I used to obsess over every little detail until I realized it was holding me back.
If that sounds familiar, you might be stuck in the perfectionism trap.
But, it’s about progress, not perfection.
Fear of Failure
Now let’s talk about the fear of failure.
If you have ever avoided a task or challenge because you’re worried about making a mistake or not meeting expectations?
This is for you.
I once turned down a great opportunity because I was scared I’d mess up.
Fear of failure can be a serious roadblock on your journey to success.
Remember, it’s okay to make mistakes.
They’re stepping stones, not stumbling blocks.
Fear of Success
And interestingly enough, sometimes we’re not scared of failing, we’re scared of succeeding.
Sounds crazy, right?
But fear of success can also lead to self-sabotage.
You may find yourself dodging opportunities or resisting progress because you’re worried about the responsibility that comes with success.
Instead, try to focus on the potential growth and fulfillment that comes with it.
You’re already taking big steps toward personal growth and success by identifying these common self-sabotaging behaviors and understanding why they happen.
Note: If you struggle with the fear of success and/or failure, you, my friend have abundance blocks. There is a good chance that you don’t feel worthy of success, which is totally not true! I would recommend that you watch this energy-clearing class, to learn how to clear your abundance blocks today. It’s free!
What Causes Self-Sabotaging Behavior?
You may be scratching your head, asking, “Why on earth am I acting like my worst enemy?”
Self-sabotage is has diverse origins, and peeling back these layers can be the key to tackling it head-on.
First things first, our childhoods can silently shape self-sabotaging tendencies.
Certain events or patterns from your early years could have laid down some stubborn habits.
For example, You grew up with a constant cloud of criticism.
It’s no surprise then that you might harbor self-doubt, a classic saboteur, tripping you up in your personal and professional life.
Then there’s the crucial factor of mental health.
Mood monsters like anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem can prod you towards behaviors that end up being self-defeating.
We’re talking about procrastination, self-criticism, or side-stepping challenges that could be stepping stones to growth.
Let’s not forget our elusive subconscious.
Sometimes, we act out in ways that seem out of character, leaving us going, “Huh? Why did I do that?”
Unknowingly, we might lean on certain harmless coping mechanisms that can stealthily block our way forward.
For instance, reaching for that tub of ice cream after a rough day might provide momentary solace but result in long-term health consequences.
In relationships, self-sabotage can take root from a fear of vulnerability or the dread of abandonment.
It’s as if we build walls, push away potential partners, or spark unnecessary fights to shield ourselves from emotional distress.
Or we might think we don’t deserve love and happiness, leading us to torpedo our relationships.
The specter of failure and, believe it or not, success can also fuel self-sabotaging behavior.
Afraid of falling flat on your face?
You might set yourself up for failure by not trying hard enough or quitting too soon.
All in all, self-sabotage can sprout from different factors, including your childhood experiences, mental health, relationship fears, and subconscious beliefs.
Pinpointing these root causes can be your first stride towards kicking these habits to the curb and welcoming a more satisfying and fulfilling life.
How to Change Self-Sabotaging Habits
Something that has really helped me overcome self-sabotage tendencies and replace them with healthy habits is the Mindvalley app.
It’s an online resource that provides hundreds of wellness and self-improvement masterclasses, guided meditations, and support.
Watch this free masterclass to learn all about Mindvalley, to see if it’s right for you.
Combatting Negative Self-Talk
Ever catch yourself having a conversation with, well… yourself?
We all do it, right?
But what if that little voice in your head isn’t exactly cheering you on? How do we combat negative self-talk?
First up, awareness is key.
Start to really listen to that internal chatter. What are you saying to yourself when you’re stressed, nervous, or facing a new challenge?
You might be surprised at how critical that voice can be. I know I was.
Here’s a trick: write down what that voice is saying.
Sounds silly, but it really helps.
Seeing those thoughts on paper makes it easier to challenge and, more importantly, change them.
Don’t just take my word for it; give it a try!
Next, flip the script. Instead of entertaining that negative chatter, try to redirect your thoughts toward something positive.
If your inner voice says, “You’re not good enough,” counter it with, “I am doing my best, and that’s enough.” Positive affirmations really can help to shift your mindset.
Also, take home a free copy of the “How To Motivate Yourself” guide:
Remember this: you have control over your thoughts, not vice versa. You’re in the driver’s seat.
Managing Your Inner Critic
Now, let’s chat about your inner critic because we’ve all got one.
You know, that little voice that loves to point out every flaw, every mistake, and every “could have, should have, would have.”
Your inner critic isn’t the boss of you.
Self-doubt is a natural part of being human; we all feel it sometimes, but the key is not to let that critic run the show.
So how do you manage your inner critic?
Start by acknowledging its presence.
Say, “I hear you, but I’m not buying what you’re selling today.” This helps you separate your true self from that negative voice.
It’s like putting a little distance between you and that harsh critic.
We all have our own inner critics, and we all deal with negative self-talk.
It’s not always easy, but by becoming more aware of our thoughts and focusing on the positive, we can make huge strides in overcoming self-sabotage.
Practicing mindfulness is a valuable coping mechanism for overcoming self-sabotage.
Becoming more in tune with your thoughts and emotions can help you cultivate nonjudgmental awareness.
Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga can assist you in centering your thoughts and staying present in the moment.
Focusing on things you are grateful for can lead to more positive thinking and less self-sabotage.
Start by keeping a gratitude journal to record what you’re thankful for daily.
This practice can shift your mindset from constant negativity and help you develop an outlook that fosters personal growth.
Do you know that warm, supportive friend who always knows just what to say when you’re feeling down?
The one who reminds you of your worth, even when you’ve stumbled?
Well, guess what? You can be that friend…to yourself.
When things go sideways, instead of beating yourself up, wrap yourself up in kindness.
You’d do it for your bestie, right?
So why not for yourself?
Yeah, I get it, it’s easier said than done, but trust me, it’s crucial.
Self-compassion doesn’t just feel good; it can really help you work against self-sabotage.
Next time you fumble, instead of kicking yourself, try lending a supportive hand, pat yourself on the back, and remind yourself, “Hey, I’m human, and humans mess up sometimes.”
A little kindness can help keep that motivation fire burning, even on rainy days.
Okay, let’s talk about the ‘F’ word.
No, not that one; get your mind out of the gutter!
I’m talking about ‘Failure’.
There’s this weird belief that failure is the enemy of success.
But in reality, it’s part of the journey to success. Instead of fearing it, try seeing failure as your own personal life coach.
It’s here to teach you, help you grow, and shape you into the resilient person you’re becoming.
Remember that time you fell off your bike as a kid? You probably skinned your knee, and maybe even cried a little (or a lot), but eventually, you got back on, right?
And now riding a bike is second nature.
Life’s just like that.
You fall, you learn, and you get back up.
Embracing failure isn’t just about being okay with messing up; it’s about using it as a stepping stone toward your success.
The moment you start seeing failure as an opportunity to learn and grow, you reduce the need to self-sabotage and foster a healthier, stronger mindset.
How to Break Destructive Habits
Overcoming All-or-Nothing Thinking
Let’s talk about Busting the Black-and-White Mindset
That little voice in your head that says it’s either perfection or failure, no middle ground?
Yeah, that’s the ‘all-or-nothing’ thinking at play.
This mindset can trap you in a cycle of self-sabotage like a hamster on a wheel.
But guess what?
You can hop off anytime you choose.
Start by embracing a more flexible mindset that allows for growth, learning, and the occasional hiccup.
Reframe your thoughts, and recognize there’s often a middle ground.
It’s not about “winning” or “losing,” it’s about “learning” and “growing.”
So instead of labeling yourself a failure, ask, “What can I learn from this?”
Swap “I’ll never reach my goal” with “What small step can I take towards my goal today?”
Facing your Fears
We all have fears. They’re the monsters hiding under our beds, the ghosts in our closets.
But just like in those old horror movies, the monsters aren’t as scary once you shine a light on them.
Fear can push you into self-sabotage mode, holding you back like a giant, invisible hand.
Here’s a challenge: face those fears head-on.
Jot down what you’re scared of, and why.
Challenge them, interrogate them.
You might find that your monster is more like a mouse.
Take action against your fears in small, manageable steps, and keep tabs on your progress.
Baby steps are still steps forward, remember?
The Art of Self-Care
If you want to stop self-sabotage in its tracks, self-care needs to be on your to-do list.
Caring for yourself isn’t selfish; it’s essential, just like watering a plant.
Self-care is all about balance.
Sure, it’s about eating your greens and getting enough sleep.
Still, it’s also about dancing in the kitchen while cooking dinner, indulging in your favorite book, or spending a lazy Sunday afternoon watching reruns of your favorite show.
Some self-care habits to consider:
- Ensure you’re getting enough Zzz’s.
- Nourish your body with well-balanced meals.
- Move your body in ways you enjoy.
- Take time out for activities that help you relax and recharge.
- Make time for the things you love, whether it’s a hobby, a good book, or just watching the sunset.
Drawing Your Personal ‘Do Not Cross’ Lines
Building healthy boundaries is like putting up fences in your mind’s garden.
They help you maintain a sunnier disposition and keep you on track toward your goals while warding off the weeds of self-sabotage.
Setting these boundaries doesn’t mean you’re shutting people out.
Far from it! It’s more like giving a map to others that says, “Here’s how far you can go without stepping on my tulips.”
So, how do you establish these invisible fences?
Here are a few pointers:
- Don’t shy away from communicating your limits.
- Being clear about what’s okay and what’s not is the key
- Respect goes both ways. Respect others’ boundaries just as you’d want them to respect yours.
- Make self-care a priority.
- It’s not just about spa days and bubble baths, although those are nice, too! It’s also about saying ‘no’ when you need to.
- Surround yourself with people who lift you up, not bring you down.
- And hey, remember to pat yourself on the back now and then. Every step you take towards overcoming self-sabotage is worth celebrating.
Getting out of self-destructive habits is a journey, not a sprint.
It will take time, self-reflection, and a few stumbles along the way.
But with each step, you’re getting closer to creating lasting change and reaching your dreams.
Having my Mindvalley app has helped me with all of this. It includes unlimited access to masterclasses, guided meditations, and support.
Watch this free masterclass to learn all about Mindvalley, to see if it’s worth it for your journey.
How to change self-sabotaging habits – Conclusion
So, let’s take a minute here… Think about what’s really keeping you stuck.
When we hit pause and take a deep dive into what’s holding us back, that’s when we can start breaking down those obstacles in our path.
The first step? It might be taking a walk down memory lane.
Question those beliefs about what you think you can and can’t do, and challenge those thoughts that are boxing you in.
Once you’ve got that map of your habits in front of you, that’s when the magic begins. It’s time to set the stage for a whole new you.
And hey, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you need to overhaul everything overnight. Nope, it’s the little shifts that really matter.
- So start by being kind to yourself.
- Make a commitment to stick with this journey of growth.
- And hey, why not declutter your mind while you’re at it? Think Marie Kondo, but for thoughts!
- Talk to a counselor at Better Help today.
Following these steps can create waves.
I’m talking about a serious ripple effect that boosts your ability to hit those goals and live a more fulfilling life.
Remember, everyone’s progress is unique, and patience with yourself is key in this journey.
Celebrate even the tiniest steps forward. They all add up to create meaningful, long-lasting change.
So, in a nutshell, reshaping those self-sabotage habits is crucial for a happier, more fulfilling life.
By recognizing your patterns, embracing self-improvement, and showing yourself some kindness, you’re setting the stage for change that sticks, leading you to the success you truly deserve.
Now it’s your turn.
What’s one small change you’re willing to make today to kickstart this journey? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Before you go, make sure you register your FREE seat for the Glow Up Challenge:
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