A photo of a book with a white woman on the cover with the words "yes you can" printed on it to represent the topic of the article - 13 Fantastic Ways To Stop Sabotaging Myself

13 Fantastic Ways To Stop Sabotaging Myself

Last week, I provided you with the information that showed you how you could be sabotaging yourself, whereas this week I’ll be showing you how you can stop sabotaging yourself. So as promised, this is the follow-up to ‘Why do I Sabotage Myself?‘ and contains tips, tricks, and life hacks on how to stop sabotaging yourself.


But First


Before we begin, I thought it might be an idea to get you to ask yourself a couple of questions. That way, the ways you keep sabotaging yourself will be fresh in your mind, and thus you’ll be able to identify which strategies might work best for you. Feel free to share your answers to these questions in the comment session below as well, as it might help someone else.


  1. If I want to carry on self-sabotaging, then what things will I keep doing? e.g. (keep using bad habits).
  2. What other reasons might I or someone else sabotage themselves? (e.g. fear of success).
  3. Why do I keep sabotaging myself?




How To Stop Sabotaging Yourself


The first two critical steps to take to stop you from sabotaging yourself are to understand what sabotaging yourself means and how to recognise your self-sabotaging habits and behaviours. If you’ve already read ‘Why do I Sabotage Myself?‘ then you’ve already taken the first two steps. If you haven’t read it yet, then click here to complete the first two steps before carrying on with how to stop sabotaging yourself.



One of the reasons we end up sabotaging ourselves is that we’re a people-pleaser. Being a people-pleaser will mean you put the needs of others before your own, which means the things you want to achieve or do won’t get done, thus you’re sabotaging yourself. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered on how you can overcome that too. Just check out my article: How To Stop Being A People-Pleaser.



Having low self-esteem, a low opinion of yourself, and doubt about yourself and your abilities, in general, will always hold you back in life. I know it holds me back. Often we feel like this because of the way we’ve been treated in the past, such as it being the result of abuse. For me, my self-esteem was destroyed by a childhood of constant racial abuse.


There are a number of ways you can work on your self-esteem. Counselling would be one method, but another method you could try using right now is positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are positive statements you repeat to yourself until you start to believe them. Like they say, fake it to you make it.


Pretty much any statement can be made positive by adding ‘I can’ at the start. For example, I can complete this task, I can learn a new skill, etc. other examples of positive affirmations are:


The tools I need to succeed are in my possession (DevelopGoodHabits.com)

My life has worth

I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful (HuffPost)

I have value

I love and approve of myself (Prolific Living)



Unfortunately, fear can get the better of us and thus result in us sabotaging ourselves. What people don’t seem to realise is that they’re actually strong and more resilient than they give themselves credit for. This is most likely partly to blame on self-esteem issues as well.


Yes, you might fail sometimes, but so what? There’s nothing wrong with failing, it’s what you do after you fail that’s the problem. But what’s worse than that is not trying at all. So acknowledge your fear, but then ignore it and pursue your objectives, goals, etc. anyway. Make fear your bitch.


Goals setting

To make your goals and tasks more attainable, so you don’t give up or lose motivation, you can break down what you want to do into smaller, more manageable chunks, and one of the best ways to do that is to use SMART Goals. For more information on what SMART Goals are and how you can use them, check out my article: SMART Goals: An Amazing Way To Achieve Your Aims.


Choice overload

When confronted with an overwhelming section of choices, you could try creating a list of criteria that needs to be met, and which you’d be willing to compromise on. This will help you eliminate a lot of your options.


For example, if you wanted to learn a skill, such as dancing, you could add location, costs, dance style, time, etc. to your list of criteria to help you pick a class to join.


The picture is split in two with the top image being of a white woman siting on the end of a wooden pier looking out across a lake at a mountain range, and the bottom image being of a message board on a pink fluffy blanket that says "You've Got This". The two images are separated by the article title - 13 Fantastic Ways To Stop Sabotaging Myself


Root cause

A lot of reasons why we end up sabotaging ourselves are due to our deep-seated issues from our past. However, it can also be something recent that we’re overlooking, such as the slow-building stress which could be leading you to burnout or an unresolved argument with your partner. Thus, looking for the root cause of why we’re sabotaging ourselves is a great way to overcome it.


There are a couple of methods that can be used to help you identify this: going to counselling, for deep-rooted issues; writing down your thoughts and feelings about past events; or keeping a journal to help identify causes in the present. To find out more about the benefits of journaling and how to do it, visit my article: Journaling: What Makes It The Self-Care Go To?.


If only…

Leave the “if only…” type of comments in the trash where they belong. Such thoughts are a weight around your neck, stopping you from reaching your true potential. Learn to accept what you can’t change, learn from your past when you can, and seek to improve your present and your future. Try to change your mindset, and challenge those thoughts that don’t help you better yourself, because you are worthy of more.





Comparisons don’t help anyone in regard to their mental wellbeing. I know I’ve always compared myself to this one friend I’ve known the longest, because they were everything I wasn’t, smarter, better looking, liked more, and white.


But if you want to stop sabotaging yourself, then stop comparing yourself to other people. Especially when it comes to your mental health, and I can’t stress enough, don’t deny getting yourself support for your mental health issues just because there are people somewhere on this earth who have it worse than you. You deserve all the support you can get for your mental health so you can live the best version of your life.



Create a healthy reward system for when you achieve the changes to your self-sabotaging ways to help reinforce those changes. You can also use these healthy rewards for when you achieve anything you want to achieve, to help you stay motivated and to reward your effort.


Delayed gratification

Most of our bad habits can be boiled down to wanting instant gratification or needing to instantly self-smooth. This need will obviously sabotage the things we want because the things we need to work towards won’t give us that gratification until some time later. What’s worse, until we reach that point, we might have to contend with the stress associated with trying.


Thus, it’s important to work on and overcome our bad habits if we want to live our best quality of life. A way you could do this, to help you get used to delayed gratification, is to combine SMART goals, by breaking down what you want into smaller achievable goals, and by giving yourself a healthy reward at each completed stage.


Being proactive

If, like me, you have a problem with procrastination, then you need to get a little proactive. Get a pen and paper, sit down, and start thinking about the things that are likely to cause you to procrastinate. Then, work out ways you could try to overcome what you’ve identified or ways you can avoid them.


For example, for me, music is a good way to get motivated to do something. So when I’m feeling like I’d rather do anything other than what I need to do, I blast the tunes, sing along (badly), dance like no one is watching, and get the energy flowing. Doing something like this will help you feel motivated to do what you need to do.


Again, you can also use SMART goals with overcoming procrastination by making the task smaller and easier to achieve, as well as giving you a deadline to work towards. My partner always needs a deadline to help with their procrastination, as they’re a last-minute kind of person.


Don’t forget the healthy rewards either, as they can help with this too. Giving yourself regular breaks so you don’t feel overwhelmed is also a plus.


Motivational playlist

The clues in the name for this one, but I’ll say it anyway. Create a playlist of tunes that help you feel energised and motivated to do the stuff you need to do, then play that bad boy whenever you need to. I have a number of different playlists I like to use. If you’re interested in checking out a sample of one of my playlists, you can do so by clicking here.




Time management

The better you manage your time, the less likely you are to procrastinate, and the less you procrastinate, the more you can get done. Again, using SMART goals can help with this, although a lot of the things we need to do might not need to be put through the SMART goals process. Nothing wrong with that, just whip out your phone and add the tasks to your phone’s calendar and set a series of reminders.


Also, as I said before, don’t overload yourself with tasks. Set aside time to also have some self-care breaks so you don’t burn out and so you can keep your motivation going.


As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, feel free to share your experiences of you sabotaging yourself and what tips and tricks I’ve missed or have helped you in the comments section below as well. If you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.


Lastly, if you’d like to support my blog, then you can make a donation of any size below as well. Until next time, Unwanted Life readers.





125 thoughts on “13 Fantastic Ways To Stop Sabotaging Myself

  1. These are such good solutions to self-sabotage and a good follow up from your last post. I totally agree that self sabotage has to initially be dealt with from the very core. I don’t think theres any point in setting goals if its the problems lie in a deep seeded issue with self confidence. I remember thinking positive affirmations were so stupid and way too hippie for me but I’ve since realised how beneficial they can be. I have a little journal where I try and write three a day and I think it really helps! Really good tips thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Great post and very good advice. Self-sabotaging has indeed many forms and not all of them are considered “bad” such procrastinating, that we all do from time to time. It helps to recognize behaviors that hold us back. That way we can reach our full potential.

  3. These are truly gems. I can actually relate because I have been trying to overcome self sabotage.

  4. This is well written. I was listening to Tony Robbins the other day on self-sabotaging. You should definitely take a listen 🙂

  5. If only comments are a big one. They definitely need to go in the trash.

    The motivational playlist is my big thing, I feel so much more energised and get more done if I can listen to music.

  6. I completely agree with you in all regards. The if only thoughts struck me in particular – it’s so easy to do but also so self-defeating.

  7. I don’t explicitly consider myself a ‘self-sabotager’, but as I read through this post, I could definitely see some things that I’ve done before or that I’m doing now! It’s a bit eye-opening for me and has really given me some things to think about. Thank you for sharing this!

  8. I love how you opened up with some deep questions! Fear and comparison are what get in my way most often, so I loved your tips for pushing past what hold us back. A playlist is my favorite way to loosen up and get into the mood of accomplishment, so I spent some time collecting up the music that makes me want to move. 🙂

  9. Very well written and great tips. I do need to work on my time management. It can be hard balancing the things you need to do, as there are only so many hours in a day. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Super helpful post! I am a self-sabotager, so I think the biggest thing for me to work on is to not be afraid. Not be afraid of caring what people thing or being myself. I think that leads to my low self-esteem and my people-pleasing. Thank you for sharing this!

  11. That was a great and informative post. I like that you followed up your last post with this one. The first one highlighted the problem and this one showed some solutions

  12. I love how you started with some hard questions! reading through your post, I definitely identify with some points and it made me realize that I need to be more aware of where these thoughts come to mind.
    Thank you! This is a very inspiring post!

  13. The message in this blog is very poignant. It made me reflect on my own thoughts and challenges I face mentally – I know I’ve certainly self sabotaged many times in the past. I’m trying to take steps to stop doing this in the future and your tips will definitely help me so thank you

  14. I recently came to the realization that I am participating in self-sabotaging behaviors & thoughts. It was a pretty big “holy crap” moment for me because I finally had a reason for why I felt so stuck in life & was never progressing in the way I wanted to. And, now that I know that I’m self-sabotaging, I can actively work on improving myself & ending these maladaptive behaviors. But, I still feel like I have a long way to go because I’ve been feeding it for so long & have this self-sabotage mindset so ingrained.

    • Like a lot of our behaviours that hold us back, they’ve been with us a long time and become an automated habit. But the first step to changing that is becoming aware that you’re doing it, then the next step is taking action. You’ve already completed the first step, so keep the momentum going ?? just remember that these things can take time to change, so don’t be too hard on yourself while you’re trying to make that change

  15. Great post! I recently had a long talk with myself on my own self-sabotaging behaviors and I’m working on learning from them. I know I have a ways to go but reading your post is an excellent reminder that it is achievable. x

  16. My worst thing in self sabotage is the people pleasing aspect. I really need to curb that and know that I cannot please everyone.

  17. Great post!! I especially love the sections about goal setting and comparisons because I struggle with both of those. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Great article. Fear, in particular, can be completely paralysing. Love your comment “acknowledge your fear, but then ignore it” – well said.

  19. This is such a great post. It really resonates with me. I am going to save it to go through each stage in more detail. Totally agree that the root cause of self-sabotaging is so important x


  20. It’s a great post! I’m not at all a people-pleaser sort of person, but certainly few senses of this post made me realize to look back again and alter some deeds! Thanks for sharing ?

  21. This is a very helpful post that everyone needs to read. I’ve stopped pleasing people for many years now but I need work in other areas. One thing at a time I guess.

  22. Hey, great points. I think my biggest problem is I am a people pleaser and I keep comparing myself. You are so right about time management and being proactive!

  23. Great article. Always good to be reminded of these tips to stop sabotaging myself and the goals im trying to achieve. Sometimes I compare my achievements with others’ but it only makes my feel worse. We should always strive to become better than we were yesterday since everyone’s at a different point in life. Thanks for sharing xx

    Laura | http://www.laurabongers.com

  24. Thanks for the advice. I am such a people pleaser. Probably because my parents both were so I didn’t fall far from the tree. I typically put my families needs and wants way before my own so it I sabotage myself and never get anything accomplished on my list.

    • It’s got to be hard to find time for your own needs when you have a family, but at the same time, it’s probably more important to make sure you do in order to have a happy and healthy family dynamic

  25. These are great tips! I’ll definitely be paying more attention to these tactics to stop sabotaging myself!

    • I can’t comment on your blog through WordPress reader as it says comments are off, when I viewed your site on two different browsers I couldn’t leave a comment because it told me I was a bot, and I don’t know who you are on Twitter to reach out to try and get the issues resolved so I can leave the comment. So I hope you get this comment

  26. Such an insightful post. I particularly resonate with self-esteem, as it plays a big role in self-sabotaging. I’ve began doing positive affirmations more regularly and definitely feel a shift in my energy. Love the post dear, thank you for sharing.

    Tx. // Tajinder Kaur

  27. Excellent , excellent article! Very practical and realistic strategies. Once you realize you are self sabotaging it is so difficult to know what to do next. This post is a great tool. Bookmarking for future reference 🙂

  28. I was a HUGE Self-Sabatoger. My biggest downfall, GIANT people-pleaser. The big turnaround – when I was diagnosed with PTSD. It was that turning point that I finally started to have some deeper understanding to some very deeply rooted issues that I started facing. It’s a very hard healing process and I have an amazing fiancé that will openly point out when I am not making myself a priority which for I am truly blessed. Getting out of the self sabatoging rut is a lot of hard work and your post gave some wonderful concrete steps to take. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    • Sorry to hear about you having PTSD, but I’m glad to hear the diagnosis has helped you understand your issues and how you can overcome them. Your partner also sounds amazing. Keep moving forward and making progress ?

  29. This spoke to me on such a deep level ??? I have self-sabotaged myself on countless occasions so this is so useful to read to help me get back on track to better mental health. The “people-pleaser” is me down to a T haha

  30. 1) If I want to carry on self-sabotaging, then what things will I keep doing? e.g. (keep using bad habits)
    — Keep wasting time on social media or “productive procrastination” where I do little things to stay busy but are not actually productive.
    2) What other reasons might I or someone else, sabotage themselves? (e.g. fear of success)
    — fear of failure, fear of looking stupid, fear really is a big one
    3) Why do I keep sabotaging myself?
    — see above. I have a bi internal voice that tells me not to try so as I don’t fail. I have to constantly remind myself that if I don’t try then I can win!

  31. Such good info! I really like the questions you present at the beginning for self reflection. Understanding why we self sabotage is really how we’ll be able to stop doing it. I usually run into trouble when I have too many choices. I get paralyzed at the thought of choosing the wrong choice and sabotage myself because of that. Thanks for sharing all of this!

  32. People pleasing behavior and “if only” thoughts are definitely a heavy load to carry. Great post!!

  33. Can’t believe how many ways we can do this! I have a couple of close friends who are very supportive and open I think that helps

  34. Another really specific and thoughtful post! Thank you for sharing such in-depth tips and your own personal experience. I definitely self-sabotage because I believe I am undeserving, it’s something I have to keep working to undo!

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