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Do you Self-Sabotage?


Self-sabotage is a behaviour pattern that can keep us from achieving our goals and living the life we want. It’s a form of self-destructive behaviour that undermines our efforts and leads to feelings of frustration, disappointment, and even shame. However, be kind with yourself as it's important to understand that self-sabotage is simply an unconscious strategy that is designed to help us survive.


Self-sabotage can take many forms. It can be procrastination, self-doubt, negative self-talk, perfectionism, self-sabotaging relationships, and even self-sabotaging thoughts. Regardless of the form, self-sabotage can be detrimental to our personal and professional growth.


Often people try and control the habit or behaviour with sheer willpower and fail. That's because it's not about willing anything to change. You know that if you could have changed 'it', then you most certainly would have changed it a long, long time ago.


So, yes...be kind, but don't avoid looking at the harm it is doing. Self-sabotage is not something on the surface that you can simply dust off. The root is deep and requires profoundly insightful and loving tools to heal that part of yourself that is too afraid to shine.



If you're not sure about whether or not you are sabotaging yourself, here are a few things that might resonate.

  1. Procrastination: Do you find yourself constantly putting off tasks that you know you need to complete? This can be a form of self-sabotage as it prevents you from achieving your goals and can lead to feelings of guilt and shame.

  2. Negative Self-Talk: Do you constantly criticise yourself and focus on your flaws and shortcomings? This can be a form of self-sabotage as it can lower your self-esteem and prevent you from taking risks and trying new things.

  3. Fear of Failure: Do you avoid taking on new challenges because you’re afraid of failing? This can be a form of self-sabotage as it prevents you from growing and developing your skills and talents.

  4. Perfectionism: Do you set impossibly high standards for yourself and become overly critical when you fall short? This can be a form of self-sabotage as it can prevent you from feeling satisfied with your accomplishments and can lead to burnout.

  5. Self-Sabotaging Relationships: Do you find yourself attracting and/or staying in relationships that are toxic or unhealthy? This can be a form of self-sabotage as it can prevent you from forming healthy relationships that support your growth and well-being.

  6. Self-Handicapping: Self-handicapping is when you intentionally create obstacles or excuses that can be used to explain poor performance. For example, you might procrastinate on a project and then blame your lack of preparation for your poor performance. This is a form of self-sabotage because it allows you to avoid taking responsibility for your actions.

  7. Overthinking: Overthinking is when you obsess over every detail of a situation, leading to analysis paralysis and indecisiveness. This can be a form of self-sabotage because it can prevent you from taking action and making progress towards your goals.

  8. People Pleasing: People pleasing is when you prioritize the needs and desires of others over your own, often to the point of neglecting your own needs. This can be a form of self-sabotage because it can prevent you from pursuing your own goals and living a fulfilling life.

  9. Comparison: Comparing yourself to others can be a form of self-sabotage because it can lead to feelings of inadequacy and inferiority. When you focus on what others have achieved, it can be easy to lose sight of your own accomplishments and potential.

  10. Escapism: Escapism is when you use distraction or avoidance behaviors to avoid dealing with uncomfortable emotions or situations. This can be a form of self-sabotage because it prevents you from facing your challenges and taking action to overcome them.

If you feel that you are holding yourself back and you don't know what to do, the first step is ACCEPTANCE.


Sometimes people get very worried about accepting, they think that they will fall into a heap of lazy addictions and not do or achieve anything. More Fear.


This is not the kind of acceptance we are talking about. We don't mean RESIGNATION or GIVING UP....NO!


Acceptance is a powerful place to begin. When we accept something as it is, we can acknowledge what we know and begin to discover what we are not seeing.

Sometimes, for some it is a solitary work while for others, they seek out the support and guidance of professionals.



Meditation or spaces of self-reflection, silence and self-care are key to bringing clarity and insight to what lies underneath the behaviours and then bringing about some healing.


Caroline Ward is a facilitator, author, coach and international speaker. She runs 1 week immersive at the Yarra Valley Living Centre.


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