Self Sabotage

How to Stop Self Sabotage

How to Stop Self Sabotage


Many individuals ask how to stop self sabotage while simultaneously setting themselves up for failure. 

Avoiding individual needs chronically over years and decades is the most common way that individuals continue to self sabotage.


Why Do People Self Sabotage?

  • It’s too hard to do something new
  • Toxicity is familiar
  • Looking for instant gratification
  • Lack of fulfillment in other areas of life
  • They feel guilty or uncomfortable with being perceived differently

Taking attachment theory and imago therapy into account, individuals are often seeking the love of a caretaker, and thus have natural attraction to people that embody these traits. If a parent was aloof, or one was incredibly clingy, an individual may end up dating someone very similarly. 

If you want your relationships to be rewarding instead of triggering, it is important to notice the attachment patterns that you are attracted to so you stop self sabotaging relationships. 

Similarly, for individuals who are bothered by this fact – of being attracted to what is familiar – it isn’t enough to just talk about noticing the pattern. The ability to identify something is not the same as changing a pattern.

Self Sabotage

A Self-Sabotage Behavior People Don’t Notice

Warning: Individuals do not learn how to stop self sabotage by discussing self sabotage. They learn when they are heard in a way that is compassionate and understanding. When others hear themselves in a mirrored way, and then they decide they want to take action.

If someone says “You know, people abandon me… it’s just what always happens,” the mirrored response is “so I think I hear you saying that you feel more often than you have been comfortable with in your life, others have not been there when you had a need for connection.” 

When someone can hear themselves in what you reflect back, sometimes they are then able to open up new ways of thinking about the situation and then be able to alter the way in which they approach situations where they perceive they’re abandoned. 

Please be mindful of people that say they are “sabotaging,” because telling others what you are doing does not mean you are holding yourself accountable. 

Best Advice on How To Stop Self Sabotage

Notice your own self sabotage behaviors. 

Use a critical eye when observing the behaviors that you often find yourself doing. Instead of focusing on others, see what is happening in your decision making. 

For example, if you are saying yes to things when you really want to say no, just because you “feel bad” or “guilty,” you are going to continue to self sabotage. 

If you continue to do what you have done, your needs will continue to not be met. 

Say YES to yourself, and sit with the discomfort of putting up new boundaries. 

Being able to manage your time is one of the most important ways in which you can stop self-sabotaging. 

Sometimes, people sabotage in a way that hurts themselves (without even trying). They don’t necessarily know a new or different way to be healthier, and that is where psychotherapy may help.

Examples include yet aren’t limited to:

  • drinking wine to deal with stress
  • smoking cigarettes because of anxiety
  • binge eating when feeling uncomfortable
  • using non-prescribed drugs to take the edge off
  • using shopping as a way to cope with feelings

Similarly, if an individual has trauma that causes them to sabotage connections or relationships due to fear, this is something that has to be worked through in individual therapy. 

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