Health and Wellness

Do You Self Sabotage? Signs Of Self Sabotaging Behaviour

Self Sabotaging Behaviour

Many of us self sabotage and don’t even realize it. What are the signs of self sabotaging behaviour?

My story is simple- I wanted success, happiness, and to be more social, but part of me found comfort in not progressing. Staying the same, was familiar and easy so that’s where I stayed. I had no idea these were signs of self sabotaging behaviour.

I used to make up excuses to not chase my passions, set big goals and go after what I REALLY wanted. It was more comfortable this way. But I didn’t realize, this was actually sabotaging my happiness. And once I stepped out of my comfort zone, I changed my life!

Self Sabotage: The Signs Of Self Sabotaging Behaviour

So, I would work really hard at bettering my life… for a few weeks. But when things got uncomfortable and uneasy, I would immediately revert back to old, self sabotaging Steph. It was like she was always right there, waiting for me to come crawling back. And she would welcome me with open arms and a tub of ice cream.

I felt defeated. But at the same time I was just so glad to be back in the comfort zone of not trying too hard anymore. I was afraid of that ‘failure’ again, so it would always take a while to break back out and try again. It was a vicious cycle.

I was never failing. I was self sabotaging. I never really even allowed myself to give it my all, because I would back down and run when things got uncomfortable. Self sabotaging is a mental trap. A bad habit, and just like any bad habit, it can be broken but will be a little uncomfortable.

Self Sabotage: Break out of your comfort zone!

Now, you’re wondering how to stop self sabotaging?

I realized that I was holding myself back from my own best life, because I was comfortable with my easy and familiar life. Maybe I wasn’t fully ready for change. But I am so glad I finally stepped up!

There’s a lot of truth to the quote, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” We get in our own way far more than life, other people, or bad luck sabotage our success. We really are our own worst enemy. You’d be amazed by how much easier your life would be if you weren’t constantly sabotaging your success.

It boggles the mind why we stand in our own way, but we do. Understanding that fact is half the battle to overcoming it.

Signs Of Self Sabotaging Behaviour

  • Constantly self critical
  • Overindulgent
  • Picking arguments
  • Procrastination
  • FEAR
  • Staying comfortable

We all have times when we criticize ourselves, procrastinate and overindulge, but if you self sabotage, you do these things so much that they are holding you back! If you choose comfort over progress, that is a sure-fire sign you self sabotage.

How To Stop Self Sabotaging Behaviour

  1. Let go of the past. Mistakes from the past don’t mean that you’re doomed to failure in the future. The past should be used as educational material, not as a predictor of the future. Leave your past in the past and create the future you desire.
  2. See the big picture. Allow yourself to imagine how great your life will be once you get out there. Envision your home, your job, your family.
  3. Avoid talking to yourself unless you’re going to say something nice. You spend too much time saying negative things to yourself. Eventually, you begin to believe them. Such negative input gives you an incorrect opinion of yourself and your capabilities. Ensure that your self-talk is supportive and positive.
  4. Notice your habits that sabotage your success. Think about what you want to be successful at and notice your habits that stand in your way. For example, if you want to lose weight, but you eat a bag of chips every time you’re stressed, that habit is sabotaging your success.
    • Make a list of all the habits that sabotage your success. Write down all the ways in which those habits inhibit your success. What is the cost of each of those habits? Being aware of the damage these habits cause can make it easier to change them.
  5. Define your fear. All self-sabotage is rooted in fear. What exactly are you afraid of? Are you afraid of embarrassing yourself? Are you afraid of finding out that you’re not capable? Are you afraid of success? Are you afraid of how people will view you?
  6. Understand the basic fear that is causing you to sabotage yourself. Unless you can either get over that fear or remove it, you’ll continue to get in your own way.
  7. Set small goals. Big goals can be scary, especially to someone who self sabotages. Set small SMART goals, that are easily attainable, realistic and timely. Make a plan of action to follow through with your goals. You will feel empowered and stronger once you start making progress!

Self Sabotage: Understanding Why

  1. Know your ceiling. Notice how far you can go before you begin sabotaging yourself. For example, perhaps you’re stuck at a particular income level. What income level do you get stuck at? If you’re trying to lose weight, at what point do you begin sabotaging yourself? We all have a ceiling for each part of our lives. Understand yours and seek to understand why.
  2. Identify and change your beliefs. What are the beliefs that stand in your way? For example, do you believe that you’re naturally a chubby person that can never get below a certain weight? Do you believe that you can never be a successful writer because you failed high school English?
  3. Look at all of your beliefs related to the part of your life you want to be more successful in. Which of those beliefs are getting in your way?
  4. Notice the people that get in your way. Sometimes, we allow people into our lives that don’t really want the best for us. You’ll find that few people are truly interested in seeing you live up to your full potential.
  5. Avoid believing that it’s acceptable to allow someone to get in your way. If they choose to be an obstacle, consider removing them from your life.

Wrapping Up: Self Sabotaging Behaviour

The good news is that it’s easier to control yourself than it is to control others or circumstances outside of yourself. Since you are the source of your challenges, you also have the power to eliminate them.

If you’re realizing how much you’re holding yourself back, that’s the first step in taking back control. You know it’s time to step out of the comfort zone, let go of fear and accept that you deserve more and are more than capable of making it happen!

Download your free self sabotage workbook to help you below:

Steph Social

Steph is a spiritual writer from Canada. She is a former journalist and magazine writer, who later went on to study the spiritual side of life. She shares her knowledge of manifesting and the law of attraction to help others change their lives through affirmations, self care, journaling, meditation and intentional living! Also- an INFJ, Reflector and empath so you'll find a lot of personality type stuff here too:)


  1. Best line : Avoid talking to yourself unless you’re going to say something nice.

  2. Ann Sparkes says:

    If you were a creative, sensitive child you may have felt unacceptable, ridiculed or jealousy from a sibling. You may transfer your fear of rejection to similar situations in your life

  3. True , self-sabotage is rooted in fear.

  4. […] you self sabotage your own happiness? many of us do this without even realizing it. Here are some easy, free ways to cheer up when […]

  5. Hlombe says:

    Insightful, Thank you. I can’t seem to open the worksheet, I would have loved to use it.

    1. Thank you 🙏 And let me figure out the worksheet issue.

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