You are likely reading this post for one of two reasons. Either someone has pointed out a pattern of behaviours you don’t particularly enjoy, or you have a sneaking hunch that you’re getting in your way. These are signs of self-sabotage.

Nobody wants to acknowledge it, but we all undermine our own lives to some extent. Everyone has taken actions that have put them at odds with a goal they are working toward or behaviour they want to modify. When we’re conscious of it, that’s okay.

However, life can seem impossible when we’re unaware of our self-sabotaging behaviours. Sometimes it can seem like we’re playing a game with unclear rules. It may seem impossible to succeed in our objectives or lead the kind of life we desire.

It’s beneficial to focus on what you can control rather than what you can’t when trying to change your life. Fortunately, you have the power to alter your behaviour. This article will teach you how to spot harmful habits and quit self-sabotaging behaviours.

What is self-sabotage?

To intentionally harm, block, or hinder something that doesn’t function as intended is called sabotage. Even while we hardly ever purposefully stand in our way, we occasionally take action or say things that do just that. Others might even think it was intentional.

Although we frequently discuss self-sabotaging behaviour. The first step in changing these is becoming aware of self-sabotage.

11 Signs That You’re Self-Sabotage

Self-sabotage can appear as avoidance, conflict-creating, and dominating behaviour. Still, most people don’t even realise they’re doing it. You can start to alter your self-sabotage behaviours after you are aware of all of them.

Among the eleven indicators of self-sabotage is a pattern of the following actions:

  • Avoiding uncomfortable people and circumstances
  • Resisting change and remaining in your comfort zone
  • Establishing too-low standards for success
  • Provoking disagreements with spouses, family members, close acquaintances, or coworkers
  • Attempting to rule others
  • Trying to win the respect of others
  • Making apologies
  • Making decisions that don’t align with your values and objectives
  • Making comparisons with others
  • Social isolation or withdrawal

Types of Self-Sabotage

Self-sabotage can take many forms, such as procrastination, perfectionism, self-criticism, resistance to change, and inadequate self-care. In the end, it’s typical human behaviour, albeit it does vary from person to person. Whatever shape your self-sabotage takes, you can change the habits that are holding you back from realising your aspirations in life.

The following are five types of self-sabotage:

1. Perfectionism

Although aiming for perfection might seem like a good idea, doing so frequently hinders productivity. Perfectionists frequently struggle to begin projects; if they do, their fixation on the intricacies prevents them from finishing them.

Additionally, all-or-nothing thinking is a trait of perfectionists. They have the propensity to be very hard on themselves and talk themselves out of possibilities before they ever begin.

2. Over-Burdening

Setting boundaries might be challenging for people with difficulty being tolerant. This behaviour may appear to be people-pleasing (which leads them to accept too many requests). A night out with too many drinks or a lack of moderation in other areas of their lives could also be the cause.

Other, more subtle methods of “overdoing it” include staying up late watching TV or working out at the gym until you’re exhausted. Overcommitting frequently hides a hidden fear of achievement, even though it can appear to be a strong will to succeed.

3. Procrastination

Everyone occasionally procrastinates, especially when faced with a task they don’t enjoy. However, procrastinating can be a sign of low self-confidence. When you put off doing something, you deprive yourself of the opportunity and resources you need to complete it well.

Perfectionism and procrastination frequently coexist. If they believe they can’t complete a task precisely, perfectionists frequently put off starting the activity.

4. Lack of Communication

Even if you know that you need assistance, you choose not to ask. Despite being late, you choose not to send a text.

Communication is a constant in our lives, both at work and outside. Self-criticism is a common cause of our communication inhibitions. We fear that we will draw attention to our shortcomings by seeking assistance.

Unfortunately, poor communication can be detrimental to our interpersonal connections. And to make matters worse, it can encourage impostor syndrome. You always worry that you’ll be “found out” because no one knows what you’re going through.

5. Self-Criticism

Harsh self-talk and self-criticism might influence our behaviour and keep us from achieving our objectives.

As an instinctual response to ourselves, others, and the situations we face daily, it frequently runs through our brains unchecked. It is self-sabotage to listen to severe criticism of oneself since it undermines our confidence in our ability to succeed.

How To Stop Self-Sabotaging Behavior & Succeed In Life

1. Get Rid Of Your Limiting Beliefs

Limiting beliefs are the “tools” that mould our outside environment and the lens through which we view reality.

By the time we are five years old, we have ingrained beliefs. So everything in our environment will be taken in and internalised, even though this is frequently untrue.

Consider yourself a young child who witnesses frequent arguments between your parents. As a result, you begin to form the belief that “Love is hard,” “Love causes me to suffer,” or “I can’t be in a healthy relationship.”

Years later, you could discover that finding a mate is difficult. The issue is that you’re still unconsciously using those ingrained, comfortable behaviours from your upbringing.

Challenge your beliefs if you want to advance and rise on your journey. 

2. Determine Healthful habits

The next step is to come up with ideas for alternative behaviours that satisfy the need but don’t also injure you. Once you have a clear grasp of the need your self-sabotage fills, you may go on to that stage.

Often, simply understanding the underlying need will be enough to spark ideas for new behaviours. But occasionally, a little more investigation and inquiry are required…

Studying those similar to you is one of the finest ways to create substitute behaviours for your self-sabotage.

Make a list of other people you know who have high-stress occupations if you’d like to find an alternative to, for instance, binge eating junk food to relieve work stress.

Reach out and start researching after that. How do they cope with the pressures of work? Make a list of all the inspirations you find.

Finally, choose two or three options that look like a good fit for you and give them a try after conducting research with at least a few different people and creating a list of potential alternatives. Try one out and see how it goes for a week or two. If it appears to be working, keep doing it. Try the next one if it doesn’t seem very useful.

3. Write It On Paper

Start by keeping a journal if you’re having problems identifying your behaviours. You can begin to catch yourself grumbling about the same things repeatedly as you keep writing about your aspirations. Talk to a coach about these ideas. They might be able to advise you on how to get through them.

Self-destructive behaviour can occasionally be brought on by prior or childhood trauma. We could come up with coping mechanisms that protect us from more injury. Unfortunately, it is challenging to abandon these tactics once they have outlived their usefulness. You can heal the underlying emotional anguish in my 30 Days Rise N Shine Manifestation Club.

4. Practice Being Mindful

Breaking self-destructive behavioural habits can be difficult. They might serve as coping methods to assist you in overcoming prior experiences. They can also block you from accomplishing important goals for you. You might see how these patterns affect your business, social, and romantic interactions if you start to dissect them.

It’s crucial to develop the ability to sit through these challenging emotions and treat yourself kindly when they do. It’s a good idea to work on your meditation and attentive breathing. You can break the patterns faster, and it can also help you learn self-compassion. Breathwork makes it easier for you to stay in the moment, making it easier to recognise when your inner critic enters the picture.

5. Focus On The Therapeutic Value Of Connection

Have you ever considered that people frequently engage in harmful habits and addictions because they feel cut off from others?

They will locate something because they believe there is no one with whom they can connect. 

It transforms a negative feeling into a positive one for a brief period. Concentrate on building relationships with people while battling self-sabotage because of this. For instance, bring your friends over and prepare supper together rather than shutting out and eating emotionally.

Love From Your Coach

The greatest act of self-love you can perform on occasion is getting out of your own way. Allow life to work its magic. You might realise that you have great potential hiding inside you once you accept and genuinely enjoy who you are, with all of your perfectly human flaws.

Additionally, Million Dollar School is the best place to look if you require some direction and assistance.


1. How can self-defeating behaviour be changed?

Working with a coach can be beneficial if you are mired in a cycle of self-defeating thoughts and actions. You can identify the fundamental assumptions that underlie self-sabotage and gain the tools and techniques to overcome them with the help of a coach.

2. What kind of trauma leads to self-sabotage?

Childhood abuse or neglect frequently results in behavioural dysregulation and emotional dysregulation.

3. Can self-sabotage be corrected?

Your brain tries to protect you from emotional anguish by self-sabotaging. Many solutions are accessible if it is no longer beneficial to start changing things. To help you reach your objectives, you can recognise your tendencies, develop an alternate course of action, and collaborate with a mental health specialist.

A note to our visitors

This website has updated its privacy policy in compliance with changes to European Union data protection law, for all members globally. We’ve also updated our Privacy Policy to give you more information about your rights and responsibilities with respect to your privacy and personal information. Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our updated privacy policy.