How to avoid self-sabotage

Written by on 12/12/2021

On my personal journey as a Professional Life Coach, I like reading curious and inspiring stories to share with people I meet. Some days ago, I just bumped into a story that made me think a lot. Here it is:

Message on a company door

One day at a company, when all the employees of the office reached, they found a slip posted on the door. With a message written inside of it:

Yesterday a person died, who was hindering your progress in the company. A funeral has been organized in the seminar hall to pay tribute to him. Everyone is expected to be present at the tribute meeting tomorrow at 10 am.

At first, everyone was saddened to read the news of the death of one of their colleagues but after some time, this curiosity started arising in all of them. After all, who was it who was hindering their progress? The next day, the employees started coming to the seminar hall. People kept on coming and as the crowd of people was increasing, movement in the seminar hall was also increasing.

The only thing running through everyone’s mind was — Who was it who wanted to restrain my progress in the company? In a way, it’s good that he died!

When the tribute meeting started, one by one all curious employees started approaching the coffin. As soon as a person looked inside, his face would be stunned, as if they were in shock.

A mirror was kept inside the coffin. Whoever looks into it, will see his personality in him and there was a note written posted on that mirror. It was written something that shook everyone’s soul:

There is only one person who is hindering your progress and that is you. You are the person who can create a revolution in your life, the one who can influence your happiness, your understanding, and your success.

You are the only person who can help yourself.

Your life doesn’t change when your boss changes, your friends change, or your partner changes.

Your life changes when you “yourself” changes.

When you cross the limits of your own beliefs, when you understand that you and only you are responsible for your life, then your life changes. The most important relationship you have with someone is your own.

Remember this, the next time you sabotage yourself with limiting beliefs and behaviours (or when you decide to contact a Professional Life Coach!).

Indeed, self-sabotage is precisely the set of actions that you implement, more or less consciously, that hinder the achievement of your goals. Many people want to make a change in their life, be it personal, social or professional. This is a full-fledged goal. If this causes you difficulties, you should start trying to identify the pitfalls that prevent you from making that change, starting with yourself.

To have a clearer idea, here are some forms of self-sabotage:

  • Worrying about what might happen
  • Being afraid of failure
  • Complaining about what you cannot change
  • Always being available for others
  • Having delusions of perfectionism
  • Continuously criticizing and judging yourself and others
  • Procrastinating
  • Constantly comparing your own life to that of others

Self-sabotage acts unconsciously. The moment it happens you don’t realize that you are giving up on your goal. You think you are doing your best when, in fact, you distance yourself from what you want to achieve by constantly making excuses.

What causes self-sabotage?

The most common causes of self-sabotage are essentially the following:

  1. Fear of judgment. It often happens to worry and give too much weight to the judgment of others saying that, the vast majority of people do not care about the things you do, how you dress or how you behave.
  2. You think you don’t deserve it. Self-sabotage somehow relates to low self-esteem. This causes you to prepare for failure because you intimately believe that you do not deserve happiness and success.
  3. Be a perfectionist. Fear of making mistakes can lead to procrastination or not acting at all because of the pursuit of “perfection”. The problem is that you will never be perfect enough to act. Better to make a mistake that, if well understood, can help you improve, rather than stubbornly in reaching an imaginary perfection.
  4. You have bad habits. Sometimes, you are preparing for failure, not because of elaborate self-sabotage strategies, but only because you have adopted a series of negative habits that affect you deeply.
  5. You want to be in control. The need to have everything under control can lead you to make choices that you later regret. You can’t control everything. On the other hand, being flexible helps you deal with unpredictable situations that come your way all the time.

How to overcome self-sabotage

My personal experience as a Professional Life Coach taught me that the first step in fighting self-sabotage is to get to know each other well. It is an effective way to identify your limiting beliefs and to begin working to inhibit and eliminate them. Here’s how to do it:

  • Find out what your limiting beliefs are. When you eliminate negative beliefs from your mind you can begin to feel more confident about achieving your goals. Of particular importance is that these are achievable and motivating.
  • Be patient. Patient people usually achieve their goals because they know they have to go step by step, overcoming milestones and enjoying every moment. If you fall into a hurry, you not only risk not reaching your goal but also experience deep frustration.
  • Keep track of your self-sabotage. Become aware of your thoughts and identify the ones that trigger your self-sabotage. By doing so, every time a self-sabotaging thought slings into your brain, you will know how to deal with it and effectively defuse it.
  • Nothing is easy, but everything becomes possible. It is essential to be aware that there are very few easy paths. Hence, you need to prepare yourself for all kinds of adversities. This way, you will be ready to tackle any obstacles with a positive and proactive attitude.

At this point, do you think you will be able to overcome self-sabotage? By following the strategies outlined above, with patience, perseverance and a decisive step, it is unlikely that you are faced with obstacles so big that you stray from your goals. In any case, the support of a Professional Life Coach can make the difference in these cases, facilitating the acquisition of greater self-awareness.

Do you want to know more?

Feel free to reach out and contact me or set a FREE discovery call.

Your progress is in your hand. Remember.


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