How to Recognize Self-Sabotage

Find what self-sabotage is, how to recognize it, and, most importantly, how to stop it.

What is self-sabotage? How do you recognize it? And most importantly, how do you stop it?

Self-sabotage means doing self-destructive actions that mess up your life, stop you from achieving your goals, and determine you to keep repeating the same toxic patterns. You’ve probably heard before that you can become your worst enemy. Unfortunately, that happens very often.

Self-sabotage affects all areas of your life, from your career to intimate relationships. It harms you physically, mentally, and emotionally. What’s worse is that you might not even realize that your own actions are the ones that are hurting you. 

Therefore, let’s take a look at how can recognize self-sabotage:

You Try to Please Everyone

Being a nice person is awesome. Becoming a people-pleaser is a whole different story.

Trying to please everyone around you instead of focusing on what you want to do is a form of self-sabotage. This type of behavior is caused by fear of rejection and a need for validation. While trying to make others happy is usually a good thing, putting their needs ahead of your own is not.

Therefore, if you are constantly seeking the approval of others instead of focusing on your own desires, then it’s time to change this self-sabotaging behavior. Here’s what you should do:

  • Find the cause of this behavior: Do you fear rejection? Are you a perfectionist? Or do you have low self-esteem? Understanding what makes you seek approval is the first step toward change.
  • Set boundaries: Whether we are talking about personal or professional relationships, it’s important to let others know what your limits are and what you expect from them. Be specific about what you want and what you won’t tolerate. 
  • Learn to say ‘no’: Stop doing things you don’t want to do. That doesn’t mean that you should be rude. It is possible to say no in a friendly yet assertive manner.

If you’ve been trying to please others your whole life, changing this behavior won’t happen overnight. However, it is something you can definitely change in time. Start small and change the way you behave around others in time.

You Procrastinate a Lot

Do you find yourself postponing doing certain actions? Are you often wasting time with unimportant things?

Procrastination is one of the most common types of self-sabotage. It often occurs due to poor time-management skills, lack of motivation, anxiety, or inability to focus. Unfortunately, most of us do it. 

However, just because most people do it doesn’t mean that it’s not a habit you can get rid of. Let’s take a look at some tips that can help you stop procrastination:

  • Recognize the signs of procrastination: The first step towards solving a problem is acknowledging its existence. If you are putting off your tasks, waiting until the last minute to complete tasks, or wasting a lot of time on social media instead of getting things done, then you are probably a procrastinator.
  • Minimize distractions: When you are working on an important task, turn off the TV, put your phone on silent mode, and find a place where no one will disturb you. At first, you will be tempted to check your phone or do anything else that is not work-related. Don’t fall into this trap.
  • Create a to-do list: To stay organized, you need to determine what your priorities are. Create a list of the tasks you need to accomplish every day and identify which ones are the most important.
  • Think about the long-term benefits: We often procrastinate the tasks we don’t like. It’s perfectly normal. However, you should think about the long-term benefits of accomplishing that task. That will give you the motivation to start working on that task.

You Engage in Toxic Relationships

Do you find yourself dating people that are not right for you?

Your relationships say a lot about you. If you’re constantly engaging in toxic relationships that make you suffer, damage your self-esteem, and bring you down, then you might be the problem. Engaging in relationships that do you more harm than good is a form of self-sabotage. If you keep attracting partners who are abusive, emotionally unavailable, or manipulative, then you should try to determine what makes you feel attracted to these types of people. You might have commitment issues or low self-esteem, or you might be recreating abusive patterns from the past. Whatever the reason, you need to find the cause and break this cycle.

You Put Yourself Down

Negative self-talk is another common way of self-sabotage. It happens when your subconscious dialogue is filled with negative talk meant to discourage you or put you down. 

This practice can do you a lot of harm. It can lead to depression, anxiety, and increased stress levels. Therefore, you need to pay attention to your inner dialogue and change the way you talk to yourself. Words have power, and if you are constantly criticizing yourself, you are becoming your worst enemy. Treat yourself with love and kindness instead, and see how changing your inner dialogue helps you become a better version of yourself.

It’s Time to Stop Self-Sabotage

If you’re doing one or more of the things mentioned above, then it’s time for a change. You are responsible for how your life goes, so you need to start putting yourself first and working on developing good habits.

To help you, I have prepared a 10-day challenge for you. It will help you transform your self-talk and train your subconscious thoughts. Join the challenge today!

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