How to Stop Self-Sabotage: 2 Proven Ways

 / 

, , , ,
How to Stop Self Sabotage

Self-sabotage is all those thoughts that prevent us from achieving our hopes and dreams. Here are some tips on how to stop self sabotage and overcome your inner critic.

How what you negatively think hurts your life and what to do about it.

It’s commonly estimated that our brains have about 2,500 thoughts per hour, and 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day. As I explain in my new book, The Anxiety, Depression, & Anger Toolbox for Teens, many of these thoughts involve self-limiting beliefs. Examples of these self-defeating, harmful thoughts that manifest themselves across all ages include:

  • “If I fail, then I’m a worthless, no-good loser.”
  • “I should be a complete success in everything I do.”
  • “In order to be a worthwhile human being, I need everyone’s approval.”
  • “I can’t bear disapproval from those who really care for me.”
  • “If I let my guard down and am vulnerable to another person, I will always get burned.”
  • “I screw up everything in my life.”
  • “If people knew about my past failures, they would not accept and respect me at all.”
How to Stop Self Sabotage
How to Stop Self-Sabotage: 2 Proven Ways

Unfortunately, the more negatively we think about ourselves, the more our behaviors become negative ones, such as emotional eating, procrastinating, sabotaging relationships, avoiding reasonable challenges, and engaging in addictive behaviors. This negative acting out is compounded by the human brain, as psychologist Mark Hanson describes it, being like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones.

This means that we remember, and hold on to, the bad, upsetting experiences—many of which we create—more than the good things that have occurred in our lives.

Related: 6 Ways That Empaths Sabotage Their Relationships

Skills to Overcome Self Sabotage and Living a Healthy Life

The two most essential skills for living a healthy, happy life are calming down and problem-solving. Yes, being able to communicate, developing STEM skills, creative thinking, empathy, and assertiveness, to name a few others, are all important, too. But if you can’t calm yourself down and problem-solve, then life can very quickly become very difficult.

Related: How To Deal With Personal Insecurities In Your Marriage

Two Proven Ways: How to Stop Self Sabotage

We sabotage ourselves by a lack of calming down and problem-solving when our minds and actions are negatively influenced by harmful self-talk. Here are two ways to turn this around:

1. We Need To Calm Ourselves In Healthy Ways

A day filled with healthy self-soothing may include any of the following:

  • Listening well to others around us. The more we truly listen to others, the less we realize the world is only about us.
  • Having an attitude of gratitude. The more we appreciate what we have and “dwell in well,” the less we stew in regret over the past or anxiety about the future.
  • Engaging in exercise. Exercise improves our mood, sleep, ability to concentrate, heart health, muscle tone, and lowers our risk for some forms of cancer.
  • Listening to music. Music slows breathing, lowers heart rate, lowers blood pressure, quiets the nervous system, eases muscle tension, and reduces stress and anxiety.

2. We Have To Problem-Solve

Demands are inevitable in our life and that is why we need to always be ready when they pop up. Eleanor Roosevelt wrote that one’s philosophy is best expressed not in words but in the choices one makes. The choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.

Not being organized, failing to eat healthily, putting off things we need to do such as paying some bills, talking ourselves out of exercising, or not doing what is required for school, work, or what we promised others, are all examples of the poor day-to-day decisions that get in the way of feeling relaxed at night.

Related: 11 Signs Of Self-Pity And How To Overcome

Another way we let our negative beliefs influence us to fail to problem-solve is by not managing our family, intimate, social, and professional relationships (or maybe talking ourselves out of doing so). Here’s a news bulletin for all of us: The communication fairies will not pop up out of nowhere, fly over, and spray conflict-easing pixie dust on us and/or those in our lives. We must take action.

The same notion is true for problem-solving in our relationships. This means having healthy communication. Yes, it’s hard to do. Yes, you may feel, “Why should I have to be the one to clarify, be assertive, or apologize?” The answer is that the better you manage your relationships with others, the more positive you will feel about yourself.

In Conclusion

We have to overcome our brains’ bias for negativity. To conquer this, we learn to healthily calm ourselves down, productively problem-solve, and pay attention to the positive results. This really important step of paying attention helps you to prime your memories of these positive calming and problem-solving experiences and incorporate them into the wiring of your brain structure. Keep this up more and more and you will less and less often fall prey to self sabotage.

Related: 8 Ways We Sabotage Love In Our Relationships

Self-sabotage isn’t a personality trait; it’s a set of behaviors that keep you from reaching your goals. If you’re feeling stuck, be patient with yourself and reach out for help.

We hope that you learn about how to stop self sabotaging yourself and overcome negative behaviors that may bring you down. Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

References -
Bernstein, J. (2020). The Anxiety, Depression, & Anger Toolbox for Teens, Eau Claire, WI: PESI Publishing.
Bernstein, J. (2015). 10 Days to a Less Defiant Child (2nd Ed.) Perseus Books, New York, NY.
Bernstein J. (2009) Liking the Child You Love, Perseus Books, New York, NY.
Bernstein, J. (2019). The Stress Survival Guide for Teens. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.
Bernstein, J. (2017). Letting go of Anger—Card deck for teens. Eau Claire, WI: PESI Publishing.
Bernstein, J. (2017). Mindfulness for Teen Worry: (Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications)
Brainy Quote, Eleanor Rosevelt, https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/eleanor_roosevelt_121041
Hansen, M. (2013) Hardwiring Happiness, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpuDyGgIeh0

Written by: Jeffrey Bernstein Ph.D.
Originally appeared on: Psychology Today
Republished by:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What causes self-sabotaging behavior?

Lack of self-esteem is one of the most common reasons behind self-sabotage. It leads to negative self-talk which promotes anxieties and self-destructive habits.

What are self destructive behaviors?

Self-defeating and harmful thoughts can be identified such as emotional eating, procrastinating, sabotaging relationships, avoiding reasonable challenges, and engaging in addictive behaviors.

How to Stop Self Sabotage pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply



Up Next

4 Ways To Find Greater Fulfillment In Life

Finding Greater Fulfillment In Life: Ways To Achieve That

Living a fulfilling and purposeful life is one of the most underrated mindsets and skills to have. But what are the best ways you can go about finding fulfillment in life? Let’s find out, shall we?

Søren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher, theologian, and poet is considered by many to be the father of existentialism.

His work focuses on individual experience and the importance of personal choice and commitment, and his philosophy offers insights into living authentically and finding fulfillment amidst the distractions and pressures of the modern world.

In the course of Kierkegaard’s writings, instructive themes emerge for how to navigate life’s complexities with integrity and purpose. Here are four.



Up Next

How To Make Right Decisions: 10 Proven Decision Making Tips You Can’t Afford To Miss

How to Make Right Decisions: Best Decision Making Tips

Have you ever found yourself standing at a crossroads, unsure of which path to take? Trust me, we’ve all been there! Life is full of decisions, big and small, that shape our journey and define who we are. This is why it’s crucial that we learn how to make right decisions.

Scratching your head about making a life-altering decision? Life loves throwing us curve-balls and forcing us to make decisions. Whether it’s choosing a career path, making a major purchase, or deciding on a life partner, the ability to make right decisions is an invaluable skill.

So let’s explore what is decision making and delve into some amazing decision making tips that will help you be a better decision maker. These practical insights help you navigate life’s crossroads with confidence and clarity.



Up Next

8 Things To Never Do In The Morning After Waking Up

Things To Never Do In The Morning After Waking Up

Mornings can be a battlefield, especially when the alarm clock rudely interrupts your dreams of tropical beaches and unlimited snooze buttons. But here’s the deal: there are certain things to never do, once you’ve woken up. Trust me, I’ve made my fair share of morning blunders.

Picture this: stumbling around and extremely groggy, you are reaching for that tempting snooze button like it’s your lifeline, only to realize that you’ve wasted precious time and now you are running late for work and household chores.

If you relate to this scenario, then it’s high time you ditch those toxic morning habits and practice some healthy ones. So, grab your coffee and read on to know about eight things to never do after you wake up in the morning.



Up Next

Mastering Energy 101: How To Manipulate Energy And Create Your Ideal Reality

How To Manipulate Energy To Get What You Want

Do you realize how powerful energy is? Have you ever wondered about this incredible force that surrounds us, permeating every aspect of our existence? Energy is the lifeblood of the universe, and harnessing its power can unlock extraordinary possibilities. Let’s find out how to manipulate energy to get what you want.

Today, let us embark on a journey to explore the fascinating realm of energy manipulation and discover how you can tap into this universal force to manifest your desires. So, fasten your seat belts and get ready to unleash the power within!

What is Energy Manipulation?

Energy manipulation refers to the practice of consciously directing and shaping the energetic forces that flow through and arou



Up Next

5 Powerful Benefits of Imaginative Thinking

Imaginative Thinking: Powerful Benefits Of Imagination

The benefits of imaginative thinking are unending to be honest. However, in this article we are going to explore five of the most interesting and powerful benefits of imagination and imaginative thinking.

KEY POINTS

Imagination is a fundamental aspect of human life.

Imagination enables one to look beyond the world as it is.

Imagination helps create different lenses through which to see the world.

Our



Up Next

What Kind Of Angry Are You? The 4 Types Of Anger

The Types Of Anger: What Kind Of An Angry Person Are You?

Everyone gets angry at some point, and anger is probably one of the most common emotions we feel. But did you know there are different types of anger, namely, 4 types of anger? This article is going to talk about the different types of anger and how they look like. So, what is your anger style? Let’s find out!

Anger may rear its emotional head in irritation and annoyance, self-pity and withdrawal, envy and resentment, or vengeance and violence. Our anger may fill the room with dominance or veil itself in anxiety or avoidance.

Those who internalize anger may question whether they have the right to be angry and avoid direct confrontation. They stuff their anger down to prevent offending, being disliked, or losing control.

Those who externalize anger resort to blaming, shaming, and engage i



Up Next

10 Signs You Are Wise Beyond Your Years

Signs You Are Wise Beyond Your Years

Are you often told by close ones that you’re an old soul? You know, the ones who always have a nugget of wisdom to drop, even though you never try too hard to portray yourself as intelligent? If so, you might just be wise beyond your years.

In a world where we often correlate age with experience, there are quite a few people who possess an innate depth of understanding that defies their age. It’s like they know more than they should, and they have an otherworldly aura to them.

So, if you’ve ever been told you’re an old soul trapped in a young body or if you just have a knack for offering sage advice, you’ve come to the right place, my friend. This article is going to look at the signs you are wise beyond your years.