Skip to content

Self Sabotage : Why We Do It & How To Stop

Are you your own worst enemy? Do you repeat the same patterns of behaviour over and over again which prevent you from achieving your goals? Do you set off well but let fear and doubt creep in to derail your progress? These self-sabotage cycles are common in many of us and prevent us from reaching our true potential.

What is Self-Sabotage?

Self-sabotage is any behaviour, thought or emotion that prevents you achieving your goals. It manifests itself in conflict between our conscious desires and our unconscious fears or beliefs. It is our mind’s way of protecting us against disappointment by not letting us stray from our comfort zone.

Sometimes self-sabotaging behaviour is obvious but hard for us to stop without help – think about comfort eating, self-harm and addiction. Other times it’s more subtle and may take the form of procrastination, limiting beliefs or risk aversion.

Why We Do It

As well as being a coping strategy, self-sabotage is also linked to low self-worth, esteem or confidence. It can also be caused by an inability to manage our emotions and fears.

Self Sabotage in Relationships

Self sabotage in relationships is quite a common behaviour pattern. It can take many forms. Generally, a previously happy relationship takes a sudden turn due to one person’s change in behaviour. When met with a situation which makes them feel vulnerable, panicky or threatened, they start to pull away or act out.

This could be jealousy from a previous betrayal, or perhaps things start to become more serious and a person’s insecurities kick in. Self sabotage in these cases can take the form of cheating, lying and recklessness or something more subtle such as just becoming distant or reducing communication (behaviours often seen in emotionally unavailable people).

Often, self sabotaging behaviour in relationships stems from a history or unsecure attachments or an unconscious fear of rejection or vulnerability. By releasing these blocks you can stop this behaviour and enjoy successful relationships again.

Self Sabotage at Work

Have you ever been on the cusp of something big at work? Perhaps a new role, a challenging new client or a big deal. But then, you suddenly miss deadlines, falter with indecision or fail to call people back? You might tell yourself it just wasn’t meant to be, but could it have been self sabotage?

Many of us struggle to deal with success. We aren’t sure how to relate to our new role or we subconsciously have a fear of failure or experience imposter syndrome.

Overcome Self-Sabotage

There are a few things you can do to overcome self-sabotage:

  • Figure out what you really want and whether it’s attainable – are you thinking too big or too small? Set realistic but ambitious goals.
  • Ask what’s driving the behaviour. Look at the evidence and try and discover what triggers your voice of doubt.
  • Don’t measure your success by other people. Accept that life doesn’t always go smoothly but that each person’s approach is valid. Realise that perfection doesn’t exist.
  • Deal with setbacks calmly and logically and learn from your mistakes. Ask more useful questions of yourself. Treat change and failure as an experiment and learning experience.
  • Get support from others and look at yourself through their eyes.
  • Replace negative behaviour with positive. Practice positive thoughts.

Coaching and Hypnotherapy Treatment

Although the above tips are useful it’s likely that to fully eliminate self-sabotage you will need some help.

A life coaching relationship gives you a structured way to plan, take action and achieve your goals. Another person’s rational perspective protects you from being overly influenced by limiting beliefs, helps you learn from your mistakes and provides a rational outlook on your situation.

If your self-sabotage takes the form of destructive physical behaviour or stems from low self-esteem, anxiety or confidence my advanced hypnotherapy treatments can address these issues and provide freedom from these behaviours.

For more information on how I can help you with self-sabotage please get in touch. I can offer face to face sessions from my London hypnotherapy clinic, or online hypnotherapy sessions.

Further Reading

Generalised Anxiety Disorder Treatment

How to Build Self Confidence

FAQ – Your Hypnotherapy Session

Mistakes that make you unpopular at work

What Helps with Identity Insecurity

My techniques guarantee that you remain in control at every session. These techniques, developed over 25 years, are so effective that many issues can be addressed in as little as three sessions and my location in the very heart of London means you can book sessions to work around work.

self sabotage in relationships and at work
Back To Top