How to Stop “Self Sabotaging Behaviors”

 How to Stop “Self Sabotaging Behaviors”


Do you know how to stop self sabotaging behaviors from affecting your life? Nobody loves acknowledging self sabotage, yet we all undermine our own lives at times Everyone has taken actions that have put them at odds with a goal they are working toward. When we’re conscious of self sabotaging behaviors, that’s okay.


Life might seem impossible when not conscious of our self-destructive behaviors. This article will teach you how to spot harmful habits and quit self-defeating behavior. You will benefit significantly by focusing on what can be controlled rather than making the needed changes.

What is Self-Sabotage?

To intentionally harm, impede, or hinder anything that doesn’t function as intended is called sabotage. Even while we seldom ever purposefully stand in our way, we occasionally take actions or say words that accomplish just that. Others might even think it was intentional.

Self-destructive actions can harm our success in our personal and professional lives and our mental health. People who self-sabotage themselves do (or don’t do) things that obstruct their achievement or keep them from achieving their objectives. Both consciously and unintentionally might take place.

The first step in changing these tendencies is becoming aware of self-sabotage. A mismatch between values and conduct will result in self-sabotage. We may act in a way that prevents us from achieving our goals.

Cognitive dissonance, the psychological pain brought on by internal conflicts, is another factor connected with self-destructive actions. We experience an imbalance when we force ourselves to act in a manner that is inconsistent with our ideas and ideals. We frequently alter our behavior to restore this equilibrium unconsciously.

Recognizing Self-Sabotage

The development of self-awareness is one of the most critical steps in detecting self-destructive behavior. Self-awareness, or introspection, is essential to identifying harmful behavioral patterns and improving one’s capacity to break them immediately. Self-sabotage has several distinct recurring ways.

Frame your scenario using the following phrase to assist you in starting recognizing self-sabotage:

“I want to accomplish (objective), yet I continue to act this way.”

“I want to acquire a passport, yet I keep missing the appointment.” 

Now that you’ve recognized the behavior and the way you keep blocking it, you can start searching for new contexts in which it can emerge. You could discover, for instance, that you frequently forget doctor’s appointments or never schedule appointments for passports. You’ll start to recognize your habits once you ask yourself these questions (which might arise in more than one area of your life).

Types of Self Sabotaging Behaviors

There are more ways of self sabotaging ourselves, and the more we are aware of them, then it will be easier to reduce the effect they have. 


Although aiming for perfection can seem like a good idea, doing so frequently hinders productivity. Perfectionists often struggle to begin tasks; if they do, their fixation on the intricacies prevents them from finishing them.

Additionally, all-or-nothing thinking is a trait of perfectionists. They have the propensity to be very hard on themselves and talk themselves out of possibilities before they ever begin.

Running on Empty

To do more, neglecting your needs personally is foolish and subtle self-sabotage. Have you ever heard the proverbial tale of the golden egg-laying goose? The owner chopped apart the goose to obtain all the eggs since they were sick of just receiving one a day (that didn’t work out well).


Setting limits might be challenging for people with difficulty being moderate. A night out with many drinks or a lack of moderation in other aspects of their lives is a self sabotaging behavior. This conduct may be people-pleasing (which leads them to accept too many requests). 

Other, more subtle methods of “overdoing it” include staying up late watching TV or working out at the gym until you’re exhausted. Overcommitting frequently hides a hidden fear of achievement, although it might appear to be a strong will to succeed.


Everyone occasionally procrastinates, especially when faced with a task they don’t enjoy. However, procrastinating might be a sign of low self-confidence. When you put off doing anything, you deprive yourself of the opportunity and resources you need to complete it well.

Perfectionism and procrastination frequently coexist. If a person believes they can’t do a task precisely, perfectionists often put off starting the activity.

Self-Sabotaging Symptoms

Self-sabotage can have very subtle symptoms. Here are some typical methods of self-sabotage that people use both at work and elsewhere:

  • Refusing to seek assistance,
  • Micromanaging or controlling conduct,
  • Starting disputes or arguments with family, friends, or coworkers,
  • Setting unrealistic or excessively high standards for yourself, 
  • Avoiding or excluding people,
  • Severe self-criticism and negative self-talk,
  • Making apologies or shifting the blame,
  • Compromising your morals and ambitions,
  • Substance addiction, excessive spending, or other types of “overdoing it”
  • Always looking for acceptance,
  • Unwillingness to advocate for oneself.

Regarding the future or reaching our objectives, we could feel pessimistic. We can believe that something is amiss and that we cannot just succeed. Self-sabotage may take over our daily life when we’re unaware of our negative thought patterns and how they influence our actions.


Be kind to yourself as you become familiar with the many forms of self-sabotage (and how they manifest). Remember that making too many changes at once is a classic self-defeating behavior. Collaboration with a mental health therapist or coach can be highly beneficial. It can help you learn how to quit self-sabotaging and move on by offering accountability and support.

An essential part of avoiding self-sabotage is tracking and evaluating behavior. People prone to self-defeating habits might become aware of when they are stressed and record the cause of that stress and their reactions. They may examine if that decision is based on any false or harmful ideas, and if so, train themselves to react in a different, healthier way by, for example, talking to others about their feelings, working out, or picking up a new interest.

Pick a success-limiting behavior, such as procrastination, low self-esteem, or bad financial decisions. Make a strategy for alternative activities after determining the factors that cause that behavior. For instance, if negativity is an issue at work, set a goal to say one encouraging thing every day. To make little steps toward your objective, embrace improvements instead of eliminating them.

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