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Self-Sabotage – “You Are Your Own Worst Enemy”

"Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn't happen." Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby

Succinctly, self-sabotage is any action that gets in the way of achieving your goals. You could call it putting obstacles in your own way or self-defeating behaviour; it’s as though you are making sure that something doesn’t happen. There are lots of ways that we self-sabotage including procrastination, stress eating, or self-medication with alcohol or drugs. Many people may not even know that they are doing it. In the latest blog from Becoming Aware, we look at what it is, signs that you are self-sabotaging, why you do it and ways of overcoming it.

Signs Of Self-Sabotage

· Not being motivated, or feeling as though you can’t be bothered when you are about to do something important

· You don’t consider yourself good enough to achieve your goal

· Negativity – you always seem to have something negative to say

· Overindulgence – anything done to excess to mask unpleasant feelings

· Feeling worthless and inadequate – questioning the purpose of life

· Procrastination – delaying or postponing things, or waiting until the problem gets worse before you deal with it 

· Uttering the phrase, “Why do I do this to my self?”

There appears to be an inner voice that casts doubts on our abilities and undermines our desires filling our minds with critical self-analysis, which leads to us being suspicious of not only ourselves but also of those around us. Ultimately these self-sabotaging thoughts hold us back and steer us away from our goals. You want something, but somehow you never accomplish it.

Why Do We Self-Sabotage?

· Self-worth – you don’t deserve to be successful or happy

· Fear of success – unable to imagine what this will look like

· Imposter syndrome – you’ll be caught out as a fraud if you are successful

· Scapegoat - taking personal blame for our failures

· Familiarity – you are used to failure

· Not wanting to get out of your comfort zone and sticking with what you know

· Fear of failure

· Worrying about what other people think or being judged

There are many reasons why you may self-sabotage and it affects everything that you do including personal goals, projects at work and relationships. In the latter you may fear closeness and intimacy or rejection. Fearing success can lead you to set yourself up to fail, so that you don’t fall flat on your face if you don’t succeed.

How To Stop Self- Sabotage

Unfortunately there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to self-sabotage and the solution will differ depending on the area of self-sabotage.

· Take responsibility

· Identify the root causes

· Don’t think of your mistakes, concentrate on things you got right

· Work on your self-discipline

· Get more organised – manage your time better

· Practice self-awareness and mindfulness

· Surround yourself with open and honest people

· Get sufficient rest so your think more clearly

· Remind yourself that you are good enough

· Break tasks up, and do them one step at a time so that they are more manageable

· Seek professional help

You must personally take control of your actions, which means taking responsibility for your life, speaking up, expressing how you feel, facing your fears, starting to say ’no’ and being proactive. If you can understand why something is happening, it might help you deal with it more easily and it may be worth looking at your past to identify a connection.


Self-sabotage can certainly make your life unhappy. It may be the case that your feelings of inadequacy are so firmly instilled that you do need professional help and there is nothing wrong in that. In fact, there’s strength in realising that you actually do need help.

What To Do Next

If you feel self-sabotaging behaviour is stopping you from achieving your goals, contact Karen at Becoming Aware on 07766 427966 for a free without obligation chat or email

Karen is a qualified and experienced Emotional Healing & Wellbeing Practitioner and has helped many people break their self-sabotaging mindset.

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