8 Ways to Stop Sabotaging Yourself

Katy Morin

Last year, in January I decided to start my coaching business. After a few failed attempts to get clients, I completely stopped trying.

I was possessed by the impostor syndrome. I thought: ‘Who am I to give advice to other people?’ ‘What if I cannot help them?’ ‘I’m not ready’ ‘I am not good enough’.

I decided to focus on other things instead of starting to build my coaching business. It took me one year to overcome these thoughts and feelings and stop sabotaging myself.

We all sabotage ourselves from time to time. Some wait until they’re close to success, while others sabotage themselves before they even take the first step. The causes are the same regardless of when it occurs.

The world is tough enough without taking on the role of the greatest obstacle you face in life. You’re also the toughest opponent to beat.

Hardly anyone addresses this issue in their own life. You’ll have a huge advantage over everyone you know if you can put an end to this behavior. There’s not much else in your way if you can get out of your own way.

Avoid self-sabotage and enjoy more success with these strategies:

  1. Think about your goals and visualize positive outcomes. Imagine everything turning out well. It’s only when you start predicting the worst that you’ll have issues. This doesn’t mean to ignore the potential pitfalls, but it’s important to avoid overwhelming yourself with worries. If you can think about achieving your goal and only have positive feelings, you won’t sabotage yourself. I made a list of positive affirmations that I read every morning to remember what my desired outcome is.

  2. Handle the worst. Consider the possible issues that may come up in the future and determine how you will handle them. This is a one-time exercise. Doing this every day will sabotage your efforts. Being prepared helped me manage my anxiety.

  3. Avoid making decisions when you’re stressed. Quitting just before attaining your goals usually happens when you’re emotionally distressed. Decisions made in this mental state often focus on releasing that emotional stress, instead of considering the future ramifications. Avoid big decisions until you’ve had a chance to calm down.

  4. Avoid starting “tomorrow.” There’s always another tomorrow. It’s a moving target that’s always conveniently out of reach. Once you’ve set a goal, start doing something today. How many times have you “tomorrow-ed” yourself? The same thing can be said about starting on Monday or the first of the month. Even when I think I am not ready to do something I try to do it anyway.

  5. Keep your mental chatter positive. Some experts say that we have up to 50,000 thoughts each day. Most of them aren’t particularly supportive or encouraging. You can change that! Each night, I try to list at least 3 positive things that happened that day.

  6. Notice how you sabotage yourself. Do you suddenly quit? Do you procrastinate? What do you do to sabotage yourself? Knowing your tendencies will help you to recognize when your efforts are going off the rails. If you can see it coming, you can do something about it. I know that I tend to procrastinate when there is something that I am afraid to do, but I feel so much better once I do the task.

  7. Stop fearing failure. You’ve failed at other things. How bad was it really? Probably not that bad. Learn from your undesired outcomes and try again. That’s 90% of success in life. Each time I fail at something is an opportunity for me to learn and do better next time.

  8. Build your self-esteem. Some people self-sabotage because they believe they don’t deserve it. Like yourself and want the best for yourself. Then you’ll do the best for yourself.

Believe that you’re worthy of success and you’re halfway there. Failure is a part of life. It’s even a necessary part of life. You become more knowledgeable and capable with each failure. Study yourself and notice how you sabotage yourself. You can deal with it right away when it happens.

Self-sabotage is a common behavior. Part of your brain perceives it as a way of protecting yourself. Take a stand against self-sabotage and put an end to it once and for all.

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