Self-sabotage is any action that blocks someone’s success. While many people are aware of their self-sabotaging habits, for others, it can be entirely unconscious behaviour.
Self-sabotage can take on many forms.
Below we discuss some of the more common forms and Guy shares his advice on how to overcome self-sabotaging habits to improve mental health and achieve personal and professional success.
Creating detailed plans for something but never getting around to the job is procrastination in its most simple form.
While procrastination means you won’t ever fail, it also means you’ll put off a good outcome because you unconsciously fear disappointing others or not getting the results you want.
Guy’s tip: Firstly, identify this is what you’re doing. Next, start small. Break the task down into smaller chunks to reduce overwhelm. Focussing on one sub-task at a time will make the bigger picture appear more manageable and help you feel better about taking small but certain steps.
And, once you get started, who knows what can happen! Exciting right?!
2) Blaming others
Whether it’s friends, family, your boss or the government, blaming others for anything happening in your life is a classic move of self-sabotage.
Guy’s tip: Whatever is going on in your life right now, take a step back, look inward and observe the control you have over that situation.
The second you stop blaming others for what’s going on in your life, the second you’ll be able to take significant steps forward.
3) Creating issues in relationships
If you notice yourself picking fights, distrusting and creating unnecessary distance in relationships, this is likely to be a form of self-sabotage.
This behaviour is subconsciously encouraging someone to leave you so when they do, you can tell yourself – and others – that you were right and that they were always going to leave you.
Guys tip: While we can offer several ways to deal with this, our first suggestion is to go deep and look at what’s causing you to push others away.
Mediation, breathwork and coaching can all help you uncover the reason for sabotaging relationships and help you identify the areas that need work.
4) Avoiding problem-solving
If you keep giving up when life gets hard or fail to problem solve, this avoidance will mean that you’ll never succeed at anything.
Unfortunately, if you continue to avoid problems or difficult scenarios, this then becomes a habit. When something is in your path that you can achieve, you’ll automatically quit without giving it a go.
Guy’s tip: Try to uncover the reason for giving up at roadblocks and break tasks down into bite-size pieces to avoid overwhelm.
5) People pleasing
People pleasing involves putting the needs of others usually before yourself.
By the time you’ve made sure everyone around you is OK, there is usually very little time or energy left to meet your own needs. People pleasing can stem from a fear of rejection or abandonment, or a deep-rooted need to fit in.
Guy’s tip: Learn to live with discomfort. Once you realise that you can’t be everyone’s cup of tea or that it’s OK to put yourself first, you’ll notice doors open up for you and life will change for the better.
Perfectionism leads people to spend too much time on minor details rather than making significant progress in their lives.
Guy’s tip: Don’t get too attached to the first version of anything. View mistakes as an opportunity to learn and come back bigger and better the next time.
Self-sabotage is when we unknowingly prevent ourselves from progressing towards our goals. But the good news is that our own actions make us the biggest barrier to our achievements. And how powerful is that?!
The best way to overcome self-sabotage is to build awareness and commit to taking small steps. If you notice any of these habits in your own life, head to our website to find out how Live in Flow can help.