This post may contain affiliate links, to find out more information, please read my disclaimer.
Self-sabotage is something we all can get pretty good at if we’re not careful.
It’s something that starts when you’re younger and how your parents treated you.
Before you even have a shot at creating a positive life for yourself.
This isn’t just because I’ve been watching all the episodes of This is Us (but that show is a very good example of how your childhood effects adulthood).
Our parents have a big influence on how we grow up, how we see ourselves, and how much value we place on who we are.
If your parents didn’t treat you right, there’s a chance it’s effecting your life right now.
Don’t get me wrong, your parents aren’t the only reason why this happens.
The way they teach you about life and how they encourage you can have a big impact on your confidence.
But, also other people in your life too. Like your siblings, best friend, or early-on intimate relationships.
Other people make us feel less than or more than good enough.
When life crashes its crazy waves down onto you, how you handle it is what’s most important.
How do you handle rejection? Or if someone judges you? Do you let things slide or let them stick to you for the next ten years?
I like to relate how you’re feeling right now to your childhood because if you get rejected as an adult then you might think back to a time where you felt the exact same way.
Like you were in trouble with the principal or something.
It just makes you feel like way less of a person.
And when we don’t know how to handle these negative side effects to life then that’s when the self-sabotage starts.
What is Self-Sabotage?
If you aren’t sure if you self-sabotage (even though I’m pretty sure you are), then here are some ways you could be doing it without knowing it:
- Believing you don’t deserve anything
- Taking on other people’s emotions and problems
- Avoiding your problems
- Ignoring adult responsibilities
- Shutting down emotionally
- Cutting off communication
- Playing the victim
- Using unhealthy coping mechanisms
- Taking things too personally
Because of all the different forms of self-sabotage, your anxiety levels will increase.
It’s honestly a bad cycle to get into, and it’s very difficult to pull yourself out of it.
A Glimpse Into my Personal Life
For the longest time I always believed that nothing good was supposed to happen to me. I was good with living that way, too.
I didn’t expect much and didn’t like to get my hopes up.
When it came to getting close to people in relationships I always kept my wall up.
That way if something happened and they lost interest, I wouldn’t be so hurt.
The downside was they never got close enough to see who I truly was.
Being vulnerable to the world is scary and it’s much easier to just stay in your little bubble and avoid it all.
With being happy comes the risk of losing it all. And then being left alone, once again with a broken heart.
If you feel this way, I get it.
You’ve been hurt in the past, so self-sabotage does seem like the easiest option.
You do it to yourself first before anyone else can.
Coming from someone who’s made it through to the other side, I will tell you it’s way better on the other side.
When you decide to finally open up and live your life authentically then it actually gets easier.
At first, it’s uncomfortable and weird. But, it’s very much worth it to open up your heart to the good life has to offer.
I’m only 26 but I have learned a lot from my past experiences. I lost my mom at 17 and for a long time after that I believed I didn’t deserve much happiness.
It felt so much better to be one step ahead of everyone else. When I had my walls up, I felt more in control.
But then I started to meet people who didn’t put up with that crap.
They either wanted all of me or none of it. And honestly, I was getting sick of living the life I was living because it wasn’t real.
I went through trial and errors when it came to jobs and relationships and my family.
But I am now on the other side. Where I am risking a lot, but I believe it’s worth it.
That quote “It’s better to have love and lost than to never have loved at all” is a great quote.
It’s so true. Because when you actually decide to live your life and stop sabotaging any chance you have at happiness then you really learn how to start living.
You only get one chance at life. I am constantly reminded of this and have been ever since I lost my mom.
Stop sabotaging your life and start exploring what it has to give you.
Even if it’s scary and uncomfortable.
How to Overcome Self-Sabotage, Reduce Anxiety and Live a Better Life
Stop Neglecting Yourself
At some point you are going to have to come to terms with who you are. Even if you don’t currently like yourself.
If you try to move quickly in the world and avoid your thoughts and feelings, slow down.
If you love to get into relationships with toxic people who don’t treat you right, stop.
And if you love to work yourself into the ground before taking a second to look up at all that you’ve accomplished then it’s time to look deeper inside.
Obviously, there are deep roots to all of these things. It won’t be as easy as me telling you to just “stop”.
But, you can choose to make the decision if you really want to.
It just depends on how committed you are to living a better life. And it starts with you.
Stop neglecting yourself. Focus on what you need the most and listen to it.
Start believing that you deserve more.
And if there is a belief inside of you that thinks you deserve more, hold onto it. Don’t let it go for anyone.
The first step to ending self-sabotage begins with you.
Once you learn to let go of all of those self-deprecating thoughts then you will start to see what you will and will not tolerate anymore.
You will begin to let go of the people and toxic things that just don’t serve you anymore. And you’ll start to bring in more positive things.
Don’t Avoid Things
Your emotions, other people, the long to-do list on your fridge… these are all things you probably tend to avoid from time to time.
Avoidance doesn’t solve anything, though.
It usually just ends up making the situation much much worse.
Maybe you learned to avoid things at an early age. Avoiding things in your life is actually a symptom of something else.
People use unhealthy coping mechanisms like drinking or overeating to avoid what’s really going on.
This will only help temporarily.
And avoiding things just makes life way more complicated than it has to be. If that’s what you enjoy about it, then work on paying more attention to what your emotions are telling you.
You can put a stop to this by actually facing what is going on. At the end of the day, whatever you are avoiding will float right back up to the surface.
Confronting things might not have been something you were taught, but it’s never too late to learn!
Face your problems head on, figure out a way to fix them, then move forward.
Open up to the People Around You
No matter what you might believe, there are people out there who care about you.
It may actually surprise you. The people who you only say two words to you at work might like you a lot more than you think.
You will never know what someone else is thinking unless you decide to start talking to them.
Assuming is such a dangerous thing to your mind.
Thinking no one cares about you, or that other people are way happier without you, or that everyone is too busy to make time for you isn’t healthy.
Any thoughts that flood into your brain when you think about reaching out is your inner critic trying to make you feel worse about the situation.
It’s not fair to you or the other people around you to just assume they don’t care.
Some people don’t, and they are the assholes who you don’t need in your life.
Most people do, though. The world is full of a lot more kinder and heart felt people than bad ones.
It’s just unfortunate that the bad guys make headlines in the news. It’s more interesting than writing “nice gentlemen held door open for woman in wheel chair”.
Good does exist in the world. It always will. The world might feel very dark at times, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a light shining somewhere.
You just have to be willing to see it. Reach out to people. Talk to someone about what’s going on.
Be open and honest and stick to your guns. Take care of your mind by letting out the things that are affecting you.
If you know people close to you who check in and want to make sure you’re ok, speak up to them.
And if you don’t have close people, then reach out to a counselor or therapist.
Stop Blaming Others
I’ll be honest, I held onto blaming others for a long time. It was so much easier to do that and resent them instead of focus on myself.
It’s very difficult to turn that finger back on ourselves and face our own issues.
Admitting to your faults takes strength that you may or may not have right now.
You can work on building up that strength by stopping that knee-jerk reaction to blame someone when you’re uncomfortable.
Sure, it could be someone else’s fault. That doesn’t make it any better, though.
Instead work on clearing your mind. Don’t focus on the issue and distract yourself with something else.
Take responsibility for your life and let go of all of the blame.
People who don’t self-sabotage don’t blame others, even when they have every right to do so.
They are strong enough to take a step back, learn how to fix the problem and then move on. They don’t dwell on the bad stuff, they just move forward so they can get back to feeling good again.
Let go of Trying to be Someone You’re Not
Are you trying to live up to the expectations of someone else?
Does your job accurately reflect what you want to be doing with your life, or is it just something you do to get by?
Are you spending every day trying to live as authentically as possible or are you more focused on being successful in other people’s eyes?
These are just a few questions you should be asking yourself.
As we grow up into adults, we get advice from many different angles.
Other people tell us what we should do, and yet they never want to stick around to help us through the tough moments.
The more you try to live up to other people’s expectations the more resentful you will become.
That’s how you start blaming other people for your life problems.
Honestly one of the best ways you can stop self-sabotage and live a happy life is by ignoring what everyone else thinks.
No matter who they are.
The ones who love you and respect you will be by your side every step of the way.
The ones who don’t support you, won’t.
And if you spend all your time trying to please the unsupportive ones then you’ll be living an unfulfilling life.
Maybe you already have supportive people in your life. But, if you don’t then don’t worry about leaving them behind when you start to live your life on your terms.
Because your wellbeing matters way more than anyone’s opinion of you.
And when you start to fully believe in that then you will feel the self-sabotage start to fall off your shoulders.
You will begin to see your worth and you’ll start to see a spot in this world for you.
As I’m writing this, and as I write any article on my blog, I realize that it’s so much easier to just write these things out than to actually do them.
Whenever you are trying to improve yourself and are searching online for the answers, remember that improving yourself takes time.
All the advice in the world can’t change that fact. You won’t turn into a completely different person overnight.
What you can do is take this advice and work on moving in the right direction with it.
Every article you read or thing you do to better yourself is a huge step in giving yourself a great life.
And as you work on stopping the self-sabotage and loving yourself more, each time you decide to work on yourself is you deciding to put yourself first above anything else.
Get your FREE Mental Wellness Workbook
This workbook includes 7 printables to help put you on the path towards better mental wellness!