Self Sabotaging Behavior & Thoughts

Self Sabotaging Behavior & Thoughts

A self-saboteur is someone who actively or passively prevents themselves from achieving their goals. Nearly every aspect of our lives can be affected by this behavior, whether it is a relationship, a career goal, or a personal goal like losing weight. This cycle of behavior is very common, but it can be extremely frustrating because it undermines our self-confidence and leaves us feeling stuck. People choose self-sabotaging behavior for many reasons, but many come from a lack of confidence in themselves.

Why do I self sabotage?

Lack of self-confidence

Self-confidence is a reflection of our self-worth. We will act accordingly to what we are telling ourselves if we keep telling ourselves that we’re not smart enough, qualified enough, or good enough to have what we want. Our self-talk directly affects how we present ourselves to others. Having little confidence leads to us putting ourselves in a position where we won’t realize or live up to our full potential.

Fear of success

We sometimes become stressed by our success when we have worked so hard for it. Lack of self-confidence is often to blame for this. Our greatest fear may be that we will be exposed as a fraud because we are not sufficiently qualified or prepared. We limit our success by acting in ways that are counterproductive. 

Shifting Blame

When we believe that no matter what we do, we will not succeed or fail, we behave in a way that guarantees failure. If we think things like “I probably won’t get that job”, we neglect our responsibility to achieve our goals. Because we told ourselves we would, we can shift the blame to someone else when we fail. Those of us who have already accepted that we will not succeed can justify procrastinating or not preparing.

Am I self-sabotaging?

In situations where you are failing repeatedly or feel stuck, you may want to ask yourself these questions.

  • Do I prioritize instant gratification?
  • Do I avoid responsibilities?
  • Is self-care a priority for me?
  • Am I constantly procrastinating?
  • Do I think negatively about myself?

You may be engaging in self-sabotaging behavior if you answer yes to any of these questions. Ask yourself honestly if you believe you deserve better and determine what you are afraid of. By doing this, you may be able to overcome self-sabotage.

If you are having difficulty working through your fear or self-sabotaging behavior, consider seeking the help of a therapist. To understand why we engage in self-sabotage, we sometimes need to talk about what’s going on. Other times, all we need is help to move past the negative and create a plan. If you feel you need help, make yourself a priority. If you are looking for someone to talk to at Mountain Vista Psychology, we are here for you. Feel free to reach out via email at or call us at 720-583-9332.


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We believe in an integrative and holistic approach to help you make the changes you want. Contact us now to schedule an appointment or to request a 20 minute free phone consultation. During this session, you will be invited to share your story and ask any questions you may have.

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