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How to Overcome Self-Sabotage

Overcoming self-sabotage can be challenging, but it's definitely possible with commitment and the right strategies. Here are some tools we have found to be extremely helpful in ending this habit. Identify your patterns: The first step is to become aware of your self-sabotaging behaviors. Notice when you start procrastinating, making excuses, or engaging in negative self-talk. Keep a journal to track these patterns and identify triggers.

  • Understand the root cause: Explore why you engage in self-sabotage. It could be fear of failure, fear of success, low self-esteem, perfectionism, or past experiences. Understanding the underlying reasons can help you address them more effectively.

  • Set realistic goals: Break down your larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks. Set realistic deadlines and milestones to track your progress. This will make your goals feel less overwhelming and more achievable, reducing the likelihood of self-sabotage.

  • Challenge negative thoughts: Practice self-awareness and challenge your negative thoughts and beliefs. Replace them with more positive and empowering affirmations. For example, instead of thinking "I'll never succeed," tell yourself "I am capable of overcoming challenges and achieving my goals."

  • Cultivate self-compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and compassion, especially when you make mistakes or face setbacks. Acknowledge that everyone experiences failures and setbacks on their journey towards success. Learn from them and use them as opportunities for growth.

  • Develop a support system: Surround yourself with supportive friends, family members, or mentors who believe in you and your goals. Share your aspirations with them and seek their encouragement and guidance when needed.

  • Create a positive environment: Surround yourself with positive influences that reinforce your goals and aspirations. This could include reading inspiring books, listening to motivational podcasts, or surrounding yourself with uplifting quotes and affirmations.

  • Practice self-care: Take care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Prioritize activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul, such as exercise, meditation, hobbies, or spending time with loved ones. When you feel good about yourself, you're less likely to self-sabotage.

  • Visualize success: Use visualization techniques to imagine yourself achieving your goals. Picture yourself overcoming obstacles, staying focused, and celebrating your accomplishments. Visualizing success can boost your confidence and motivation, making it easier to stay on track.

I know it can be challenging to start digging into the WHYS and the triggers and WHY the triggers ARE triggers. Here are some journaling prompts to help get you started. 

Self-sabotaging behaviors Journaling Prompts:

  • Reflect on past experiences: Think about instances in your life where you've self-sabotaged. What were the circumstances surrounding those situations? How did you feel before, during, and after engaging in self-sabotage?

  • Identify recurring patterns: Are there recurring themes or patterns in your self-sabotaging behavior? For example, do you tend to procrastinate when faced with challenging tasks? Do you avoid taking risks or trying new things?

  • Explore your beliefs: What beliefs do you hold about yourself, your abilities, and your worthiness of success? Are there any negative beliefs or self-limiting beliefs that may be contributing to your self-sabotage? Where do these beliefs come from?

  • Examine your fears: What are you afraid of? Are you afraid of failure, success, rejection, criticism, or something else? How do these fears manifest in your behavior? How do they hold you back from pursuing your goals?

  • Consider past influences: Reflect on your upbringing, childhood experiences, and significant life events. Are there any past experiences or traumas that may be influencing your self-sabotaging behavior? How have these experiences shaped your beliefs and behaviors?

  • Evaluate your self-esteem: How do you perceive yourself? Do you struggle with low self-esteem or feelings of inadequacy? How does your self-image impact your behavior and decision-making?

  • Assess your coping mechanisms: How do you typically cope with stress, pressure, or uncertainty? Are your coping mechanisms healthy and constructive, or do they contribute to self-sabotage? Are there healthier ways you could cope with challenges?

  • Consider external influences: Are there external factors or influences in your life that contribute to your self-sabotage? This could include relationships, job-related stress, financial pressures, or societal expectations.

  • Reflect on past successes: Think about times when you've overcome challenges or achieved success. What factors contributed to your success in those situations? How did you overcome any obstacles or self-sabotaging tendencies?

  • Imagine your ideal self: Envision the person you aspire to be and the goals you want to achieve. What steps can you take to align your behavior with your aspirations? How can you overcome self-sabotage and move closer to becoming your ideal self?

Use these journaling prompts as a starting point to delve deeper into the root causes of your self-sabotaging behavior. Be honest and compassionate with yourself as you explore these questions, and remember that self-awareness is the first step towards positive change.

  • Seek professional help if needed: If self-sabotage is deeply ingrained or significantly impacting your life, consider seeking support from a therapist or counselor. They can help you explore underlying issues, develop coping strategies, and work through challenges in a supportive environment.

Remember that overcoming self-sabotage is a journey, and it may take time and effort to break free from old habits and patterns. Be patient with yourself and stay committed to your goals. You have the power to create the life you desire.


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