Self-sabotage, a prevalent issue faced by many women, can manifest in different ways, including self-doubt, procrastination, or negative self-talk. These self-imposed barriers hinder personal and professional growth and prevent us from reaching our full potential. However, with self-awareness, support, and effective strategies, women can overcome self-sabotage and pave the way for success and fulfillment in all aspects of life.
By recognizing and honestly addressing our self-sabotaging behaviors, we can break free from the constraints we place on ourselves. This process allows us to tap into our true potential and unlock the possibilities that lie within. While embarking on this journey of self-discovery and growth may not always be easy, it is undeniably necessary for personal development and ultimate fulfillment. So, let’s embrace the challenge, confront our limitations, and pave the way for a more empowered and meaningful existence as we look at seven ways to overcome self-sabotage.
Take a step back and reflect on the recurring patterns in your thoughts and actions hindering your progress. These behaviors could range from negative self-talk and procrastination to fear of failure or perfectionism. By gaining a deeper understanding of these patterns, you can begin to address and overcome them effectively.
It’s not always easy to examine your actions deeply enough to note patterns of self-sabotage. Admitting we are self-sabotaging is painful. Nobody rushes to that conclusion. We tend to avoid it for as long as possible until we have no choice but to face it. Start by looking at areas where things seem to go wrong regularly.
You might be self-sabotaging if you find yourself doing any of the following.
1. Putting Yourself Down – People often set much higher standards for themselves than others. When you fail to meet these standards, you might give yourself some pretty harsh feedback, such as, “I can’t do anything right. I won’t make it, so why should I bother? Wow, I really messed up. I’m terrible at this.”
2. Procrastinating – Have you ever been stalled or stuck when faced with an important task? You’re not alone! You may have a project to work on, but you can’t seem to get started. The motivation you once had has completely disappeared. To avoid the task, you fill your time with less important things, such as cleaning out the fridge or starting a movie marathon. Procrastination can happen for no apparent reason, but it typically has an underlying cause, such as feeling overwhelmed by what you need to do, trouble managing time or doubting your abilities.
Love evidence-based advice and techniques? James Clear, best-selling author of Atomic Habits, put together a Scientific Guide on How to Stop Procrastinating. I think you’ll love it!
3. Blaming Others When Things Go Wrong – Sometimes, bad things happen without anyone being at fault. Sure, some misfortunes might be solely someone else’s fault, but that’s not always true. If you find fault elsewhere whenever you face difficulties, it might be worth taking a closer look at the part you played in things going awry.
4. Walking Away When the Going Gets Tough – There’s nothing wrong with moving on from toxic situations. While this might be the best option sometimes, it is wise to take a step back and ask yourself if you are just using the perceived difficulty as an excuse to give up.
How do we know the difference between a toxic and challenging situation? My friend, Lysa TerKeurst, has an excellent resource to help us identify 15 red flags we might be missing in our relationships.
5. Trouble Stating Your Needs – If you have a hard time speaking up for yourself, you may have a difficult time getting all of your needs met. This challenge can happen in all areas of our lives, from family situations, friendships, relationships with co-workers, and romantic relationships to simple interactions with the people we encounter during our daily activities.
Self-sabotaging behaviors often stem from past experiences or negative beliefs that have become deeply ingrained within us. By gaining a deeper understanding of the origins of these behaviors, we can better address them and develop more effective strategies to overcome them.
This self-reflection allows us to identify patterns and triggers, enabling us to make conscious choices that align with our goals and aspirations. Exploring and analyzing the underlying factors contributing to self-sabotage empowers us to break free from these destructive patterns and move towards a more fulfilling and successful life.
Fear of failure is one of the main reasons that people self-sabotage. Incredibly, fear of success can also cause us to sabotage our goals before we achieve them. I once had a friend share that her fear of success was causing her to sabotage her efforts. She worried that what she was working towards would not be all that she had hoped it would be. She could cherish it and keep it safe as long as it was still a dream. But by working for it and achieving it, she would lose control over the outcome.
Our fear of what our family and friends will think of us can also cause us to self-sabotage. Do you dream of owning a business, attending graduate school, or writing a book someday? If you come from a family where the norm is just to do enough to get by and live at the status quo, you might fear that your loved ones will think you’re “putting on airs.” This fear can constantly lead us to live in a state of apathy and defeat.
I had a wonderful conversation with my friend, Jen Fulwiler, about overcoming self-sabotage. Jen is a standup comic, bestselling author, former Sirius XM Radio host, and mom of six. She shares all sorts of knowledge about what it looked like to step out in faith from one career to another. What an inspiration!
“You’ll never succeed.” “You don’t have what it takes.” “Everyone else knows more than you do.” “You might as well not even try because you always fail.”
We would never say these things to a friend we love and care about, but for some reason, we have no problem saying them to ourselves. Rather than unquestioningly accepting these thoughts, take a moment to reflect and counteract them with positive affirmations and supporting evidence.
“Things may not always turn out how I would like them to, but I am determined never to give up.” “I am willing to learn new skills and improve the ones I already possess.” “Others may know things that I do not, but I also know things they don’t know!” “The only failure comes when we don’t learn something from the experience.”
By consciously challenging and reframing our negative beliefs, we can cultivate a more positive and empowering mindset that fuels personal growth and resilience. This simple practice can profoundly impact our overall well-being and success.
Check out my Guide to Positive Self-Talk: 11 Strategies to Defeat Negativity for more strategies to help you challenge negative self-talk.
One effective way to stay motivated and focused on your goals is by building a strong support system of like-minded individuals who uplift and encourage you. These individuals can provide valuable insights, guidance, and motivation when self-doubt creeps in, helping you to overcome challenges and stay on track to achieve your goals. You create an environment that fosters growth, positivity, and success by surrounding yourself with positive influences.
Finding people with similar aspirations in the carpool line, at the gym, or even at church can be difficult. This is where online communities come in. They are a terrific way to find the support you need to achieve your goals and to quit self-sabotage. The Coach School and Called Creatives are two of my favorites!
Setting realistic and attainable goals can create a sense of purpose and direction in our lives. These goals serve as milestones that mark our progress and keep us motivated to continue moving forward. When we set goals that are within our reach, we are more likely to experience success, boosting our confidence and encouraging us to push ourselves even further.
Be sure to write your goals down. Studies show that we are more likely to achieve our goals when we put pen to paper. They become more real and concrete this way. When writing out your goals, make them SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timebound.
For example, instead of saying to yourself that you would like to lose a few pounds, a SMART goal would be something like this, “I will walk for 30 minutes after dinner every day for the next four weeks.:
So, take time to reflect on your aspirations, break them down into smaller, manageable steps, and start working towards them. Remember, every small step counts on the journey to achieving your dreams!
I sat down with New York Times Best-selling author Annie F. Downs to learn how she has fun while reaching her goals. I think you’ll love the conversation!
This approach can be beneficial when facing an overwhelming project or goal. By dividing it into smaller, bite-sized tasks, you can reduce the intimidation factor and increase the likelihood of success. This method allows you to focus on one step at a time, building momentum and gaining a sense of accomplishment as you progress toward your ultimate objective.
Instead of focusing on decluttering the whole house at one time, commit to purging items for just 30 minutes each day. That 60,000-word book you’ve always wanted to write will be done in no time if you focus on writing 250 words daily.
Embrace this approach and witness how the power of incremental progress can transform your journey to success.
Long to-do lists are the place where dreams go to die. Learn how to craft a better to-do list from the experts over at bulletjournal.com.
You have the strength, courage, and determination to overcome self-sabotage and achieve your goals. Trust your abilities, stay true to yourself, and keep pushing forward. With perseverance and a positive mindset, you can break free from self-sabotaging behaviors and build the life you deserve. Believe in yourself, and anything is possible!
So go out there and make your dreams a reality. This is your time to shine and be the best version of yourself. Embrace your journey and keep moving forward with determination and self-love. And in the end, when you look back at how far you’ve come, you’ll realize that overcoming self-sabotage was just one stepping stone towards fulfilling your true potential and making your dreams come true. You’ve got this!