Self-sabotage is a defence mechanism that one develops to prevent vulnerability and pain experienced in childhood. As a child, we may make a vow to ourselves to never feel the same level of hurt and disappointment again. However, this vow often manifests as self-sabotaging behaviours that prevent us from reaching our full potential and achieving success. To overcome this, it’s important to understand the root cause of these behaviours and work on healing past wounds.

Here are 10 steps to help overcome self-sabotage:

  • Identify the root cause of self-sabotage: Understanding why you engage in self-sabotaging behaviour is essential to overcoming it.
  • Practice self-awareness: Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings and recognize when you start to engage in self-sabotaging behaviour.
  • Set achievable goals: Make a plan for what you want to achieve and break it down into manageable steps.
  • Focus on positive self-talk: Change the way you think about yourself by speaking kindly to yourself and reframing negative thoughts.
  • Surround yourself with supportive people: Find people who believe in you and your goals and avoid those who bring you down.
  • Practice self-care: Prioritize self-care and make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation.
  • Build resilience: Learn how to tolerate uncomfortable emotions and try to cope with challenges and setbacks in a healthy way.
  • Celebrate your successes: Acknowledge your achievements, no matter how small, and give yourself credit for your hard work.
  • Seek help when needed: Don’t be afraid to reach out for support, whether it’s from a therapist, coach, or friend.
  • Be patient and persistent: Overcoming self-sabotage takes time and effort, so be kind to yourself and keep going, even when progress seems slow.

Many thanks to Mary Rogers, Clinical Psychologist for the contribution.

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