3 signs you are self sabotaging




Let’s get stuck into self sabotage. Self sabotage are behaviours and thought patterns that hold you back and prevent you from doing what you want to do. Sounds familiar?

You may say things to yourself like ‘I’m no good at this’, or ‘why does this keep happening to me’, or even ‘I shall do it tomorrow’.


The 3 signs that you are in self sabotage mode:


1. Guilt

Feelings of guilt can send you into a downward spiral of self sabotage. Heard of the saying ‘you are your own worst enemy’? In fact it is the inner critical voice that is your worst enemy - not you. The inner critic will cast doubt on your own ability and undermine your desires and convince you to be paranoid and suspicious towards yourself. It will make you question, ‘I did something wrong’.

The guilt can invade every part of your life, your personal relationship with a partner, your family, friends and at work.


2. Putting Things Off

The good old gem of procrastination. Being stuck and stalled in the moment, it is like you have hit the pause button and it won’t come unstuck. You are not alone with this one. The motivation goes so you turn your attention to something else, you go and do the washing up, wash the car, take the dog for a walk, something, anything, just not the task to hand.

The good news is it can happen for no apparent reason.

The bad news is that it has an underlying cause.

This can be:

  • Overwhelm (the worry about something in the future that hasn’t yet happened)

  • Time management (you have a deadline - or not - and there is just too much pressure)

  • Doubting your abilities (the inner critic taking over your thoughts)


3. Negative Talk

This is the inner dialogue that is telling you stories that simply are not true. It is putting you down, making you feel rubbish, let alone questioning your abilities, what it is telling you is a big fat lie.

‘I can’t do anything right’

‘I’m so terrible at……’

‘Why can’t I do...…’

‘I’m useless at……’

Any of them sound familiar? Let me put it this way. Does it feel good telling yourself this story? How does it feel? This type of negative talk, does it actually get you anywhere, does it allow you to achieve anything?






What causes it?


  • Patterns learnt in childhood

We tend to internalise attitudes that were directed to us by parents or influential caregivers throughout our development. For example: you were seen as being a lazy kid so you grew up feeling ineffective and had the thoughts of ‘why bother’.

You may have the negative thought pattern that you observed from parents or caregivers that they had towards themselves, such as a bad body image and kept referring to themselves as fat and looking ugly. Those negative thought patterns would be unconsciously imprinted and repeated.


  • Fear of failure

To avoid failure can lead to avoidance in trying. If you don’t try you can’t fail - right?

What got you here won’t get you there.

The behaviours that worked for you in the past don’t help once your circumstances change.


How to stop ourselves from slipping into self sabotaging mode?


  • Awareness

We tend to avoid arriving to the conclusion that we are self sabotaging as we don’t walk around making the statement ‘I am in self sabotaging mode’!

It is uncomfortable looking at your own behaviour patterns; it helps to look at areas where things seem to go wrong, such as relationships or career.

By identifying the inner critical voice and notice when it seeps into our thought process we begin to recognise ways we act that we don’t like. For example, if we feel embarrassed about doing something or posting something, as a consequence we hold ourselves back, but we need to begin to push ourselves forward and become more open.


  • What is the trigger?

By noticing and defining what the trigger is will enable you to stop the self sabotage pattern in its tracks. The types of triggers you may experience are:

  • A subconscious reminder from past childhood

  • Boredom

  • Fear

  • Overwhelm

  • Self doubt

  • Things going too well (yes really!)


Talk about it


A problem shared is a problem halved - this is so true, especially when it comes to self sabotage. This is all part of the G.R.I.T process (growth, release, inspire, transformation) which I have developed. Self sabotage is about growth - by recognising when we are in the self sabotage mode we can do something about it and grow from it.


My challenge to you is to keep a note of how many times a day you talk negatively to yourself….go on give it a go!


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