Last Updated on May 6, 2021 by Shane Walker
Do you have a tendency to sabotage your success? You may set out with good intentions but somewhere along the way, you find yourself doing things that cause you to fail. Maybe you sabotage your healthy eating efforts or your relationships. Perhaps you ruin your financial goals. Whatever it is, we all tend to do things that go against our better judgment. We know better, but we don’t do better. Here are 8 strategies that will help you stop self sabotaging so that you can finally reach your goals.
How To Stop Self Sabotage
1. Silence Your Inner Critic
Our inner voice is powerful. It can also be a consistent stream of judgment and negativity. Your internal dialogue can sometimes consist of things like, “You are just going to fail again,” or “What makes you think you can do this?” When we have these types of things constantly running through our minds, it is extremely difficult to make decisions that are in our best interest. Stop self sabotaging by silencing your inner critic.
A great way to do this is by using affirmations. When that voice says, “you can’t do it,” you say, “I can easily succeed at any challenge I am faced with.” Even though you may not believe this affirmation when you say it, in time you will. Spoken words and affirmations have power. Fight back against your negative, self-limiting internal dialogue with affirmations.
2. Stop Self Sabotaging by Learning To Accept Success
Many people fail to reach their goals because deep down they feel like they do not deserve it. They can’t see themselves as having it. Seeing themselves as fit and healthy is difficult. Being financially free is unattainable. Even when they do experience success, they can’t hold on to it because in some way they can’t accept it. You must learn to accept success and accept the fact that you deserve it. Otherwise, you will always find a way to sabotage your efforts.
Everyone deserves a piece of the success pie. Others who experience success are no more special than you. If someone else can achieve it, so can you. A great way to accept success is to visualize yourself as being successful. Every day, spend a few moments with your eyes closed imagining having reached your goals. See yourself vividly as someone who has achieved extreme success. If self-doubt starts creeping in, keep visualizing anyway. The more you do this, the more you will learn to accept success as an inevitability.
3. Show Yourself A Little Love and Acceptance
Loving and accepting the person you are will go a long way to stop self sabotaging. Self sabotage comes from a place of resentment. You don’t want yourself to have success because you feel you don’t deserve it. Start treating yourself like you would a loved one. When you love someone you want the best for them. You want them to achieve success and to be happy. On the other hand, when you do not like someone, you are less likely to cheer them on and maybe even go as far as rooting against them. Are you rooting against yourself or are you cheering yourself on?
Louise Hay says, “You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” Do what Hay says and try approving of yourself. Start loving and accepting who you are.
4. Build Up Your Confidence
It is much easier to stop self sabotaging when you are confident in yourself and your abilities. Work to improve your confidence and self-esteem. It does take time and effort but building confidence doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Even adopting small confidence-building habits daily will go a long way in feeling better about yourself. For instance, you can practice gratitude, and work on your body language. You can also spend some time each day focusing on your strengths or being kind to others. Build up your confidence and you’ll be better equipped to accomplish your goals instead of ruining your efforts.
5. Stop Trying To Be Perfect
Your perfectionistic tendencies may be a major reason you sabotage your success. No one is perfect and no path to success is perfect. Reaching your goals is never a straight line and you will always have setbacks. We tend to have this idea in our minds that if we start off determined and motivated, things should just work out. This couldn’t be further from reality. For many years my perfectionistic tendencies fueled self sabotage with my health and fitness goals. I would do well for a few days of eating and exercise and then I would end up eating a donut or giving in to fast food. Once I did this it was game over. I didn’t have a perfect day of eating so I totally spiraled out of control. I figured since I screwed up, I might as well keep eating unhealthy for the day and gave myself a pass until “next week”. Then I would start over. What I failed to realize is that things like this will happen and instead of trying to have a perfect day or week, I should just pick myself up immediately and continue on.
Stop trying to be perfect. You will mess up. Once it happens, let it go and take the next best step.
6. Stop Self Sabotaging by Overcoming Procrastination
Accomplishing your goals takes determination and deliberate action. Procrastination will prevent you from doing this. If there are things you know you need to do, you have to find a way to get up and get moving. If you find that procrastination and lack of action is holding you back, here are a couple of things you can do:
Have a Short To-Do List
It may be tempting to put a ton of things on your to-do list when you have a goal that you are really motivated to accomplish. I was guilty of this. Whenever I started my health and fitness journey I had a million and one things I wanted to do. I wanted to eat this and not eat this. Exercise for this long, meditate this often, stretch these body parts on these days, and so on and so on. It was too much. I felt overwhelmed and ended up procrastinating. Don’t fall into the trap that I did. Instead, have a short to-do list. No more than 2 or 3 actions per goal and no more than 4 or 5 to-dos per day. Keep it short and simple.
You can also overcome procrastination by rewarding yourself. We often forget to do this. When you complete a task, plan to give yourself something special. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, small things go a long way as well. If you eat well for the week, then treat yourself to a new pair of shoes. It doesn’t matter what the reward is, as long as it is something that will motivate you.
These are only two of many ways that will help you stop procrastinating but if you want to stop sabotaging yourself, you must overcome this bad habit.
7. Develop Better Habits
Speaking of habits, developing better habits will help you overcome self sabotage. Self sabotaging is a bad habit in and of itself. You have to break the routine of ruining your efforts. A good way to do this is to replace these bad habits with good habits. Think about the specific actions that are holding you back. Having a sugar-loaded Starbucks coffee every morning or holding grudges for minor frustrations for example. Figure out what these self-limiting actions are and come up with a healthy replacement. Keep in mind that it takes approximately 21 days for an action to become a habit. It will be hard at first but in time it will become easier.
8. Develop a Mitigation Plan
Develop a mitigation plan to stop self sabotaging. Many times our sabotage is triggered. Perhaps it’s difficult for you to stick to your diet whenever you pass Starbucks on your way to work every morning. Maybe you can’t help but purchase something every time you go to the mall thwarting your financial goals. A mitigation plan will help with this. For instance, you can take a different route to work to avoid Starbucks. When you go to the mall, you could leave your wallet in the car. Think of ways to mitigate things that trigger your self sabotage.
Stop self sabotaging your success. Silence your inner critic, learn to accept success, and show yourself some love and acceptance. You can also build up your confidence, stop trying to be perfect, and overcome procrastination. Finally, develop better habits and create a mitigation plan if necessary.
How has self sabotage affected your success in life? Let us know in the comments below.