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.
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.
- If I want to carry on self-sabotaging, then what things will I keep doing? e.g. (keep using bad habits).
- What other reasons might I or someone else sabotage themselves? (e.g. fear of success).
- 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.
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.
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.
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?.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
This is so good my goodness
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!
Indeed, if you want to achieve your goals then you’ve also got to tackle your self-sabotaging behaviours
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.
Indeed, if you’re not aware a behaviour is harming your potential, then you won’t do anything to change it
These are truly gems. I can actually relate because I have been trying to overcome self sabotage.
Good look on your journal to overcome your self-sabotaging, I hope my tips help
This is well written. I was listening to Tony Robbins the other day on self-sabotaging. You should definitely take a listen 🙂
Who is Tony Robbins?
This would help 🙂
Good post and tips. Keep on the good work. I will always root for you.
Thank you ?
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.
Music is a great way to get the motivation flowing
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.
I had ‘what if…’ thoughts dominating my mind over events that happened a decade before. They’re annoyingly powerful comments
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!
I’m glad the post may have opened your eyes to behaviours that might be holding you back from your full potential
Getting to the root cause is so important. I don’t think you can really stop sabotaging yourself without figuring it out!
Indeed, anything else would just be a temporary fix to the real problem
I really needed to read this. I am usually a ‘pushover’ when it comes to other people, almost always wanting to please other people even when it makes me feel super uncomfortable. This post has been super helpful. Thanks!
xoxo Olivia | http://www.oliviaandbeauty.com
Sounds like you have issues with people-pleasing like I use to have. You should check out my posts on people-pleasing, anyone they might help ?
This are so helpful tips. I like the not- being-a-people-pleaser-part. I like it to work with affirmations as well.
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. 🙂
Music is a wonderful thing
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.
Thank you ? time management can be a pain. SMART goals can often help with that though
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!
I’m glad you found it helpful. Are you a blogger yourself?
Yes I am. I write travel, food, lifestyle posts. And I am a bit Disney obsessed so that pops up here and there ?
Your WordPress account does seem to link back to your blog. Can you share your link with me either here or social media, which events easier, and I’ll come check out your blog ?
This is a great post
Great post, so much useful tips. Thank you so much for sharing this.
Thanks for reading ?
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
Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed both of them ?
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!
I’m glad you liked it ?
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
I’m glad my tips might help you ?
Thank you for writing this! It’s crazy how some things we bring on ourselves from fear!
Indeed it is
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
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
I’m glad you found it useful. Good luck with your journey to change your unwanted behaviours
A much-needed article, thank you for writing this 🙂
Thanks for reading it
Fear of success is a big reason for self sabotage. I find that changing the negative talk in our minds helps to stop it from continuing.
That can certainly be a good method to use
Yes to all of this! I definitely like the idea of creating a motivational playlist. I’m going to create mine later today 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Much love always,
GABBY | http://www.gabbyabigaill.com
Music is the best way to get yourself motivated ?
These are such great tips thank you for sharing!
Amber – The Unpredicted Page
My worst thing in self sabotage is the people pleasing aspect. I really need to curb that and know that I cannot please everyone.
I’ve had huge issues in the past with people-pleasing, it can completely override who you really are
This post is so useful for me?
Thanks for sharing ?