8 Ways You Sabotage Yourself

Sometimes it can feel that either the Universe or other people are out to get you. Interestingly, the greatest enemy you’ll ever face is staring back at you in the mirror. Self sabotage… It knows all your tricks and how to push your buttons. You sabotage yourself in ways you’ve never imagined.

Consider these ways you might be keeping yourself from the successful life you deserve:

1. Your self-beliefs are unhelpful.

You get what you expect. If you believe deep down that you are unworthy, unloveable or a bad person, then it’s easy to let other’s treat you as if you are these things. In fact, you may even self sabotage by seeking out people who will treat you badly. You may be willing to get into relationships with others that aren’t worthy of you. You may stay at a job you don’t like. You might tolerate friends that are anything but.

What would it be like to treat yourself like someone else you cared deeply for?

2. You’re overly concerned with the opinions of others.

It is hard to find the courage to do your thing without concern for what others will think. But ultimately, when you find yourself thirty years from now, looking back on your life, the only person that will truly judge how well you lived your life is you.

3. Self sabotage can be a lack of assertiveness.

You can be “nice” and self sabotage. You can be “nice” and still be assertive. Be willing to let others know what you think, want, and need. You’ll be more likely to achieve what you want and to get respect from others. Surprise yourself today. Say no to something you don’t want to do. Ask for something you do want. Try it out. Be brave.

4. You think too much about the short-term and too little about the long-term.

Potato chips now versus a bikini in summer. A caramel latte every day versus a family holiday next year. A huge argument now rather than making a date to chat about issues.  Practising delayed gratification can bring incredible rewards. Learning how to let go of the influence of your emotions in the present moment, and learning to focus on achieving longer term goals can bring success.  There are no real shortcuts. You often have to give up something today to get something better in the future.

5. You say the same old things, without taking action.

Will tomorrow be different? It’s easy to feel motivated for a moment and swear to yourself that things will be different, starting tomorrow.
How many times have you thought things such as… You’re going to stick to your diet, go to the gym every day, start saving 10% of your paycheck, or meditate for 30 minutes each day? Thinking in itself doesn’t lead to change.

Unless you take action, your thoughts are likely to stay the same. The older you are, the more likely this is to be true, simply because of ingrained patterns of thinking. Start small and build from there. Do something different today. Motivation comes from action, not thoughts. Don’t just sit there! Do something. You can’t have a lightbulb moment unless you turn on the switch.

6. You listen to your heart when you should listen to your head, and vice-versa.

There’s a time for each. Figuring out which is best is a personal journey. When it comes to dealing with day-to-day decisions, your intellect is usually the best choice. Far-reaching decisions are often best left to the heart.  For example, choosing a career or a partner might be best left to the heart. Deciding whether to spend $100 at a garage sale versus paying your electric bill on time should be made with your head. Always making decisions with your heart, or always using your head can be self sabotaging.

7. You fail to commit.

Without commitment, you’re just wishing, hoping, and wasting your time. Once you commit to something, take action. You can commit right now to making change. Start small. Take the first step today.

8. You give fear too much power in your decision-making process.

We are inclined to avoid fear in the short-term rather than override that fear with intellect. Unless your life or finances are in danger, fear should be left out of the picture.

Self-sabotage is frustrating, and often challenging to notice. We all sabotage ourselves in a variety of ways. The biggest obstacle to your success is yourself. Notice how you get in your own way and begin changing those habits. Mastering yourself is the biggest step to mastering life.

You can use these tricks around self sabotage to help you effectively make change. If these tips aren’t enough, consider talking to one of our team for additional help with adult anxiety or mood issues – or join us for some group or one-on-one performance and executive coaching.


Article by Dr Amanda Mullin, Doctor Of Clinical Psychology.

Dr Amanda Mullin is the Director of Mindworx Psychology, an award winning Clinical Psychology and Executive Coaching Practice based in Sydney, Australia. With a family of her own, Dr Amanda understands the challenges faced by today’s families searching for positive mental health. Her big hairy, audacious goal is to change lives for the better.

Join Dr Amanda and her team and improve your mental health. Ready for change? Let us show you how. Call us on 8355 3635


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Dr Amanda Mullin, Founder of Mindworx Psychology & Doctor of Clinical Psychology

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