What causes self-sabotaging behavior and 5 strategies to stop doing it!

self sabotage

What causes self-sabotaging behavior?!

It is really easy to buy that gym membership and never use it. It is even easier to then feel guilty and then stop working out altogether from the guilt. Then even easier to eat the feelings of the guilt, gain more weight, eat more, and continue this cycle until we create a new target that seems unreachable to meet. Goal-setting and completion can be tricky especially when we have ourselves getting in the way all the time ;)

This is common because we as humans tend to want to change behavioral patterns by using the same ones that created the unhealthy pattern in the first place. 

In order to stop self-sabotage, it takes dissecting the patterns that we do and why we initially are driven towards our own demise. What fear is holding us back from believing in ourselves and what part of us have already failed to commit before we even began the challenge?

As an empowerment coach, I want people that are "all-in" and ready to make changes in their life without the doubt they will give up on themselves. I want to hear a part of my client really claim that they are done with the way they have been doing things and ready to make vast changes to create a new and healthier pattern in their life. I also know that the first two weeks their root pattern of self-sabotage will likely appear and I will likely be able to guide them towards their first goal when starting with me. It is very easy to go back to the story that we know best, even if it is not a story we love.

It is very easy for the addict to start drinking again and just the same it is very easy for the person that overgives and overextends themselves to start asking for help. 

Why do we self-sabotage?!

It happens because of comfort. People subconsciously, I included, are more comfortable in our current patterns rather than shifting even it the new pattern is a healthier one. When we do something new, we tend not to be the best at it, it is challenging and it makes us feel awkward. 

Overthinking, fantasizing, worrying, expecting and doubting. It is our game and our story.  

Let this flow and happen naturally. It also does not happen without the patience of the process. It is always when we are out of the fire that we can talk about how hot it was when we were in it with a smile. 

So, learn these 5 strategies and you will be able to deflect and divert your natural temptations to conquer your dreams and intentions for 2019.  

Also, grab our infographic with the strategies at the bottom ;)



1. Change is a process, it takes time. 

You may want these things in your life to change quickly. You may be upset that you had intentions and plans on being in a different position already so you are trying to rush something that just doesn't want to go any faster. Recognizing that when we do things slowly and steady we are allowing the gentle flow of commitment to stay more secure. 

For example, when people do fad diets they don't stick because people are trying to change everything all at once instead of just knocking one bad thing out of their diet at a time and integrating one new healthy thing into their life. 

If you slowly build on something it becomes less overwhelming and you will have a tendency to commit to the process more readily and easily. Like creating a new habit or routine may take time, and adding one new thing per morning may be the best way to effectively start having a clear routine :) 


2. Even if you slip up, that doesn't mean you are starting all over again.

Reminding yourself that it is okay to have slip-ups and we can easily be triggered to do the behaviors and patterns that we were accustomed to doing previously of our new challenge. That does not mean you have not learned the new tools or solutions that are now currently working for you. 

For example, if you are trying to quit smoking and do for 3 months but have a slip-up cigarette, that does not mean all the sudden the new pattern of not smoking is no longer effective. You have choice right then to continue not smoking and keep your new pattern in place. 

You always have many paths you can take. The difference when committing to a new path versus staying in the old path is you now know more than one route to take that can get you where you want to go. No need in feeling like a failure, or carrying guilt or shame for old patterns. Find the joy and accomplishment in the new ones! 

Learning to be gentle with ourselves is part of any change consistently happening. Forgiveness, love, and compassion go a long way. The more gentle we are with ourselves, the better we can practice this with other relationships that we have. 

3. Write down all the ways you already think/feel you are sabotaging yourself. 

Then replace it with ways you could love yourself as a new list and post it on your wall. Part of knowing how to deflect self-sabotage is examining all the ways we already do it in our lives. Understanding the root of what is getting us to not move forward is step one to reprogramming new thoughts and stories. 

Observation is key to learning our patterns and seeing how to deflect the ones that no longer serve us. 

Also, reprogramming your old limiting beliefs and recreating them into truths/mantras that are more digestible and beneficial is going to jumpstart you towards both understanding the root of your sabotage and the joy of what you are newly seeking. 

why do we self sabotage?

See your limiting beliefs...

by writing them down and creating new beliefs.

4. Fear is normal and part of taking the steps towards success. 

You would not have fear if you didn't really want it. It is also this fear that is driving you to understand your desires in life and it is your fear that is reminding you that you are strong and taking the risks for your happiness. It is beautiful to know you are stepping into something you truly care about. You would not have fear to apply for a job you didn't care about versus starting your own business you've always dreamt about.  

So, which one do you really want?! Because the fear is your compass towards you stepping into your success. You won't give up on something you really want. You will keep trying until you succeed because you REALLY WANT IT!! 

5. Don't put all the pressure on yourself... stop frackin' saying should! 

Saying should, have to, must, gotta, supposed to is a stab wound the back of your inner will-power. It is like telling the anxious person to relax, or saying to grandma that she cannot spoil her grandkid. It just doesn't fit right. It adds a burden to the things that you want to do and know that serve you and the people around you better. 

It is to your benefit to replace these words with serves, could, its possible, and benefit! If we look at some of our tasks in our life as possibilities we then start treating them as joys in our life again versus chores and obligations. 

So, there you go! If you repeat this process during the beginning of any new pattern in your life or any new challenge I promise you will see more results. I know I do and I know my clients see amazing transformations as well!! 

Good luck with everything, and if you ever need a boost you can just hop on a call!

Infinite love and gratitude,

The Snarky Spiritualist, Brook. 

In Albert Einstein’s words,  

“Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”


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