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9 Ways To Stop Self-Sabotaging Behaviour

Self-sabotaging behaviour, we all do it. Sometimes we even know we’re doing it, whilst we’re doing it. There’s some twisted logic in our brains that makes us throw away everything we’ve worked hard for.

There’s putting 100% into your job, getting noticed at work and being inline for promotion. Then just when your lifestyle’s all going well, you open your big mouth and fall out with your boss.

Or you start a new diet, and following it rigidly for a month enjoying healthy living. You slip up one day and have a big piece of cake. Instead of thinking, “Okay I’ll make up for it tomorrow”, you scrap the diet and go on a comfort eating binge.

Maybe you want to start your own business, you have this dream you’ve always wanted to follow. Yet instead of doing anything about it, you just buy another “Get Rich Quick” book and add it to the pile on your bookcase.

It’s time to stop self-sabotaging behaviour…read on for my tips…

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stop self sabotaging behaviour

Recognise Your Uniqueness

It’s easy to put yourself under too much pressure. We’re surround by people telling us how wonderful they are. It’s BS. The Facebook stories capture your friend’s lives on a good day, and so many celebrities end up in addiction clinics. These perfect lives aren’t real.

Stop trying to be someone-else and try to be you. Think about the things you love doing, the things that you’re good at. Give yourself a chance for once. Enjoy being you and the rest will follow.

It’s Okay To Self-Sabotage

Yes you did read that correctly. Self-sabotage is okay. No-one is perfect all the time. The wonderful thing about being human is we’re designed to fail.

Eat your piece of cake. Just don’t get angry with yourself about it. It’s not a big deal. You had a piece of cake today and maybe you’ll eat a little less for your evening meal. It’s not a biggie.

Start Living In The Present

So many of us sacrifice the present for future wants and dreams. We’re making ourselves miserable in the hope it will all work out in the future.

It’s time to change your mindset. “What can I do today that’s enjoyable and will be a small positive change to my life?” Stop chasing perfection. Think about the now and put all your energy into the present. You may be surprised by the results.

Develop Strategies For Negative Thinking

Most of us are self-aware enough to know the type of negative thoughts we have. Write them down! Then come up with a strategy list. It could be chanting a mantra, going to see a friend, calling your Mum, taking a walk in nature… anything that get’s you out of that negative loop.

We all have negative thoughts. It’s how we deal with them that counts.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is about being in the present, self-awareness and connecting with your thoughts and actions.

Use A Journal

A journal can be a good way to reflect on a day’s events. Don’t make it just about “I should have done this better”. Write about the stuff that went well, what you enjoyed, what you might do more of tomorrow.

Make it a journal about the present and how you’re making your life better today.

Identify Your Triggers

It can help to think about your triggers. If you can recognise your triggers, what sends you into a loop of negative action, it’s easier to come up with coping strategies.

Triggers can be physical (hungry, not getting enough sleep), hormonal triggers, setting unrealistic expectations, emotional triggers or fear of the unknown. Being aware can help you come up with strategies to avoid or cope, such as eating regularly, getting 7-8 hours sleep, being fully prepared for an event, or getting support.

Fear Of Failure

This is a really big issue for a lot of people. It’s thinking “I’m going to fail anyway so I might as well give up now”.

It helps to set small achievable goals. Think about what you want to do and break it down into easy steps. For example if you want to get fit, don’t focus on being some amazing gym body in 6 months time.

Think about a little change you can make right now. It could be something as small as going for a 20 minute walk twice a week. Start with something you know you can do and build from there.

Commit To A Small Daily Goal

Every morning commit to a small positive goal. Something achievable. Visualise what it means to you, and picture yourself completing this small goal.

Surround yourself with prompts, little notes, images, so you’re constantly reminded about your goals. Focusing on today, being present and keeping to goals you know you can complete, is the best way to stop self-sabotaging behaviour.


I’d love to know your thoughts on this post. I’m certainly not immune to self-sabotaging behaviour, but that’s okay. I’m making sure I keep doing the things I enjoy in life and move forward in small steps. What about you?

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