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8 Ways To Stop Sabotaging Your Success

and reaching your goals

By Kelli Sheckler-AmsdenPublished 3 years ago 9 min read
8 Ways To Stop Sabotaging Your Success
Photo by Susan Wilkinson on Unsplash

8 Ways to Stop Self-Sabotaging Your Successes

The world will put countless obstacles in your path, but none will be as big as the ones you create for yourself.

Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening a polity, effort, or organization through subversion, obstruction, disruption, or destruction. One who engages in sabotage is a saboteur. Saboteurs typically try to conceal their identities because of the consequences of their actions and to avoid invoking legal and organizational requirements for addressing sabotage.

It may have made a bigger impact, if I had put a picture of my self as a description of Sabotage.

I am a pro at it. I have done it for years. I have allowed myself to be told and believed that I am not enough.

If you follow me at all, you already know by my work, that I struggle with self- doubt, and most days self-care. Although I have found some release in writing about my struggles and have found and grown fond of many of you who reach out to communicate. You have made this journey of self-exploration enjoyable. However, I need to do and be better. The time of surrendering and caving is over.

If you do this too, STOP IT!

I am writing this article to get myself out of this rut, and if I can take you along with me, even better.

Why Do People Self-Sabotage?

There are many reasons why a person might act in a way that proves damaging to his or her own well-being.

Some individuals, of course, spend much of their lives struggling with powerful cravings for food, drink, gambling, or other temptations that come at a painful cost to their health or relationships. But the forces that lead to self-sabotage can also be more subtle, such as an accumulation of dysfunctional and distorted beliefs that lead people to underestimate their capabilities, suppress their feelings, or lash out at those around them.

What are different forms of self-sabotage?

People can stand in their own way for countless different reasons. Common types of self-sabotage involve procrastination, perfectionism, relationships, work, finances, time, and change. For example, a perfectionist who wants to complete a task flawlessly may dismiss incremental improvements, when making even a little progress would actually help accomplish their goal.

How do I know if I’m sabotaging myself?

It can be difficult to identify self-sabotaging behavior, especially because the consequences might not immediately follow the behavior, making the connection unclear. One approach is to examine whether your behaviors are aligned with your long-term goals. If not, the behavior may be self-defeating. You can also take this quiz to find out whether your behaviors are problematic.

So, what can we do to stop the self-limiting behaviors?

Here are eight steps you can start taking immediately to stop self-sabotaging your success.

1. Understanding self-sabotage.

Many of us daily struggle with self-destructive behaviors that we now call habits. We allow these behaviors to continually undermine our success and happiness, we may not even realize that we’re doing it. Self-sabotage is when we do something that gets in the way of our intent, or of our bigger dreams and goals. We want something, but somehow, we never accomplish it. Why? Because somewhere deep in our subconscious we’re afraid of failure, so we find ways and reasons that our goals can’t be reached.

Your subconscious sees self-sabotage as self-preservation; a way to protect and defend yourself, from falling short, embarrassing ourselves. If we don’t try, we don’t fail. Some of our self-sabotage is so subtle it’s easy to miss. We often fail to recognize how our actions are hurting ourselves.

We don’t see how our disorganization distracts us, or how we’re constantly overthinking all our decisions, leaving us practically paralyzed with inaction. We don’t realize that our reactions to situations end up causing bigger problems in the long run.

2. Recognize self-sabotaging traits:

Want to break the cycle of self-sabotage? You need to become aware of the following behaviors. What self-destructive habits, patterns and mindsets are holding you back?

Here are a few common self-sabotage habits to be aware of:

• Procrastination. Instead of tackling an important project in a timely manner, you allow yourself to dawdle to the last minute. It’s hard to shine when you don’t give yourself time to fix mistakes or do a thorough job. Start setting deadlines and mini deadlines to work toward your objective

• Negative self-talk/negative thinking. Your inner dialogue is constantly critical. Are you chastising yourself for past mistakes? Are you constantly criticizing yourself? Be patient with yourself; be kind to yourself. Work to build yourself up.

• Perfectionism. You tell yourself you can’t take action until the right time, or believe you need to perfect your skills before you move forward. These are forms of self-sabotage. Perfection is an impossible standard that keeps you from moving forward.

3. Identify root causes.

Many of us have very unhealthy ways of coping with stress. We fail to meet commitments or take adequate care of ourselves. We take our relationships for granted, shut ourselves off to others, as a shield. Maybe, we react negatively to situations with no explanation.

Self-destructive habits are often rooted in our feelings of self-worth. You don’t feel like you deserve to be successful. You’re plagued with feelings of inadequacy, even when you’re trying to overcompensate by setting high goals for yourself. You just don’t feel good enough.

It’s better to fail, never having tried, than to have someone tell you that you weren’t enough. Being able to identify and acknowledging what is causing you to sabotage yourself, and then start making changes to stop those behaviors.

4. Take time for self-reflection.

It takes serious self-reflection to understand why you keep shooting yourself in the foot in the first place. Taking the time to peel back the issues you seem to be placing on yourself can lead to a deeper awareness, as well as helping you understand your underlying motivations and desires.

The most successful people are those who take the time to think through their choices, decisions and actions. People who can learn from what worked or failed to work, are often the most successful. Trial and error are one of the best ways to learn and adjust your approach the next time. Being able to change your behavior is one of the first steps to overcoming sabotage.

By Jesse Bowser on Unsplash

5. Find your inner positive voice.

If you are like me, this is one of the hardest things, being your own cheerleader. Fear is often what holds us back. We fear that our inner voice is right. We start to worry that we don’t deserve happiness, aren’t tough enough or simply aren’t enough. It’s time to stop letting those harsh inner voices of "I can’t" or "I’m not good enough,” win.

That negative voices in our heads are a pattern of self-limiting thoughts. Start replacing critical with positive, encouraging thoughts.

Once you start seeing the areas and ways in which you are limiting yourself, you can start effectively changing that behavior. You can choose not to tear yourself down. You can start telling yourself things you can so, things that you excel at. Change the way you talk to yourself. Would you say what you say to you, to someone else? Of course, you wouldn’t. Give yourself a break, begin talking to yourself positively.

6. Change your pattern of behavior.

In every moment, we take action that moves us toward or away from the person we want to be and the life we want to have. The behaviors you keep doing, are the ones that are keeping you from what you most desire. Doing the same thing over, and expecting a different outcome, is insanity itself.

Consider how the actions you’re taking and the thoughts you’re thinking conflict with your happiness and hold you back from your true potential. Then look for ways to replace old patterns with new ones that are more helpful in achieving your goals.

At first, we may need to learn to change our behavior by avoiding certain triggers: such as negative people or challenging circumstances that cause us to repeat our behaviors. If there is a stressful situation that triggers you to react in a negative way, find a way to avoid it or cut it out.

7. Make small, meaningful changes.

Once you identify the changes you want to make, pick one thing that you want to work on. Don’t try to make huge, sweeping changes all at once. That’s not realistic, and those huge alterations will be hard to maintain and easier to cause you to quit. Instead, begin by making small, meaningful changes that you’ll slowly build to create larger transformations in your life.

If you realize you’re sabotaging your success by constantly missing deadlines, not following through with leads or simply being disorganized, take a step back and look for one small, meaningful change that you can make to set you on a more successful course.

8. Set goals and make plans.

When we struggle with self-sabotaging behavior, we don’t know what to expect. The unknown can make us feel off and on unsure. Instead of moving forward with confidence, we respond to situations negatively. We allow ourselves to crumble, and then we retreat, feeling incompetent and incapable.

The best way to counter this is to lay down solid plans and goals for the future. By having firm, thoughtful plans for each step we take, we will feel more confident about our intentions and what we’re doing. You can do this daily -- thinking through how you’ll respond to situations, people and circumstances.

By doing all this, you can take control of your life and banish self-sabotaging behavior.


What can we take away?


*Be kind to yourself

*Set attainable goals

*Change negative behaviors

*Understand you are your own worst enemy, stop it

*Recognize why you do what you do

*take time to breathe

*Take the first step

Did you realize that failure is the first step to success? Yes, it’s true. And it is ABSOLUTELY ok to fail. You will learn more from failing than succeeding.

Make your plans, find your people of accountability, (I will be yours if you need one) Stop making excuses, stop listening to someone else’s voice over your own.





Thank you so much for reading this, if it helped one person, (including me) it was more than worth it.

Please check out the links, they are helpful

Please ask for help if you need it

Please realize your value


About the Creator

Kelli Sheckler-Amsden

Telling stories my heart needs to tell <3 life is a journey, not a competition

If you like what you read, feel free to leave a tip, I would love some feedback

Find me on twitter @kelli7958958

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