How to Heal: Self-Sabotage

5 Common Ways You Self-Sabotage (and How to Stop)

How to Heal: Self-Sabotage

Reflection in landscape 

 Self-sabotage means to deliberately damage, block or impair something so that it doesn’t work out for you.

It’s a dangerous pattern that can lead to difficulties in life and takes some serious inner-healing to stop.  

Sometimes we don’t recognise when we are self-sabotaging so it’s important that we become aware of our own habits.

Often the reason we self-sabotage is through the fear of failure so we must identify our fears and develop self-awareness.

Recognising the patterns of self-destructive behaviour can help us to identify when we are on the path to self-sabotage. 

Here are 5 Common Ways we Self-Sabotage  


Nothing in life is perfect. When we start to nit-pick our project or self, we find that we will never reach happiness.

Strive for your best but recognise that the tiny details may not always be flawless. Perfection doesn’t exist!


2.No Self-Control

If you struggle with moderation, you may also find difficulty setting the boundaries that keep you aligned to your values and beliefs.

Stop taking on more than you can work with and learn when to say no!


3. Refusing Help

It’s okay to need help sometimes. We can’t do everything alone and there is no shame in getting some assistance before things pile up.

Try to get comfortable with asking for help and recognise when you can’t do it all.



Recognise your strengths and fill gaps in knowledge with training if you need to.

Leaning into imposter syndrome can stop us from achieving the things that we are perfectly capable of.

Try to counteract self-criticism with realistic expectations and practice self-love.


5. Seeking Approval 

If you are doing something for the approval of others rather than from your own will, you are bound to fail because you have no inner-drive.

Try to create goals for yourself that align with who and where you want to be.



Do you recognise any of these behaviours showing up in your own life?

It’s time to not only recognise them but to stop them in their tracks.

Healing Self-Sabotage

To stop self-sabotage, it’s important to develop self-awareness and create goals that are achievable.

Once you have recognised the initial self-sabotaging behaviour, think about where it has come from.

Do you feel you aren’t good enough? Or are you scared to fail? 

Once you have figured out the things that are blocking you, you can start to avoid self-destructive behaviour.

Often, it is rooted in anxiety so addressing the cause of this could help you to progress past it. 

Once you have recognised these patterns and the root cause behind them, action a plan to break them.

How can we do that?

Think about therapy, counselling, talking to a friend or even just journaling your thoughts. 

Set yourself some personal rules for when you recognise these patterns coming up.

For example, if you notice that you have too much on your plate, write down the things you need to get done and prioritise them. 

It’s helpful to include how long you think each task will take and check if you can even fit it into your day.

Don’t take on any more projects until there is some space.

 Next, it’s time to practice mindfulness. Self-sabotaging is a coping mechanism that is built to deal with previous traumas.

It will be a difficult journey to change these behaviours and it calls for some self-care.

Listen to mental health podcasts, try out some meditation or begin breathwork to help shift these feelings. 

 Finally, make sure you reach out!

Tell a family member or friend about the feelings you are having and see if there are any groups in your area that work with mental health.

If you think you would benefit from some counselling to un-pick your behaviours, contact us to find out more about the services we provide or speak to your GP.


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