Are you still thriving for the goals you set at the beginning of the year? Or struggling to keep up? If that’s the case, you need to be aware of these MAJOR signs that you’re self-sabotaging your goals!
Looking back to my old planners, I realized that I had many different half-done goals.
Each goal has memories of hardships of achieving it and also… memories of giving up on it. I suddenly recalled when I procrastinated and got tired of achieving even my small new year goal/new year’s resolutions like “eat more veggies.”
Some of the unfulfilled goals had valid reasons why it was left undone, but mostly, I realized that I sabotaged my own goals.
That’s why today, I want to talk about signs that you’re self-sabotaging and how you can get rid of them so you can go back and smash those goals ASAP!
Here are the tricky hints of self-sabotage that we’re going to talk about:
- You are procrastinating.
- You are putting yourself down.
- You are overcommitting.
We’ll also reveal many facts about self-sabotage. At the end of this article; I will share the tips that helped me stop sabotaging myself and my own plans, which I know will also work on you! So now, let’s get into it!
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What is Self-sabotage?
Self-sabotage is a conscious or unconscious thought pattern or behavior that drives you away from your goal.
When you self-sabotage, you restrain or avoid yourself from the accomplishment you want to rather stay in your comfort zone.
Sometimes, you are aware that you are self-sabotaging. Yet very often, you don’t even realize it.
Why We Self-sabotage?
Another thing before we uncover the three significant signs you’re self-sabotaging, we want to know why we do it so that it could help us be aware. That said, here are the reasons why we self-sabotage:
1. We self-sabotage because we feel overwhelmed.
Have you ever been in a situation wherein you have a task to do, perhaps, a school project? Your goal is to finish it and submit it before the deadline.
You know that it’s a huge project, so you plan. You break down the goal into little steps to make it done.
Then, you got a bunch of lists of to-do’s, and that overwhelmed you. You keep telling yourself that you’ll do it but always end up not working it out.
Out of frustration and disappointment, you did not finish the project.
If that sounds familiar to you, well, you have to watch out.
One of the reasons why we self-sabotage is because we see our goal as a huge block in front of us.
We set goals and visualize them as a whole fixed block and forget about the small goals we should achieve first.
With that, we feel overwhelmed, which will make us sabotage our own goals without realizing it.
2. We self-sabotage because of the feeling of comfort.
The second reason why we self-sabotage is because we are locked in our comfort bubbles.
In one of Aileen Xu’s YouTube videos, she mentioned that self-sabotage is the same as restraining ourselves from feeling the next level of happiness. The reason is simply because we became comfortable to where we used to be.
As a human, we don’t want unusual things. Life surprises are not our thing, and we don’t wish discomfort.
Instead of taking a huge step to level up, we go back to our comfort zone. We stay there because our mind signals that it is scary and disturbing when we leap.
3. We self-sabotage because of our fears.
Lastly, we sabotage ourselves because deep down, we are frightened.
Fear is what I think the main root why we sabotage our own goals.
We fear failure, fear of invalidation, fear of being ignored, and so on.
For example, your goal is to lose weight. You’ve always been dreaming of a good and healthy body, that’s why you finally decided to do it.
You enrolled in a gym, get an instructor, bought everything you need to get started. Despite of that, you still got discouraged and gave up because you fear that people might judge you.
That’s one clear example of how you sabotage yourself because of your fear.
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3 Major Signs You're Self-sabotaging without Realizing it
We’ve already uncovered some reasons why we self-sabotage. At this point, I think you might have that “AHA” moment. So here’s how those reasons manifest these self-sabotaging behaviors:
1. You are Procrastinating
Procrastination is one of the most popular forms of self-sabotage because it’s really easy. – Jen Sincero
Procrastination is the number one form of self-sabotage.
Typically, procrastinating is so obvious. However, it would be best to watch out! Sometimes, you also don’t realize that you are procrastinating.
Some of you might experience a moment when you know you have to finish an important task. Instead of working on it, you did other things like cleaning the house. Thinking that it would make you start your work if you finished that first.
I dealt with this kind of procrastination so many times!
Procrastinating is not always watching Netflix all day or surfing the net instead of working on your project. It can be the urge to do other unnecessary tasks when you’re supposedly working on a paper you have to submit.
If you are doing this, that’s how self-sabotaging manifests to you.
2 Reasons Why You're Procrastinating
Procrastination can be a manifestation of fear of failure.
Maybe you are a perfectionist. You don’t realize that you procrastinate because you’re afraid your work might not be as perfect as you want.
Another thing is you feel like a “fraud” or the Imposter Syndrome.
According to Arlin Cuncic, imposter syndrome refers to feeling as you don’t belong where you are or feeling like a phony.
You must be aware that these are forms of self-sabotage, and you should not tolerate them.
2. You are Putting Yourself Down
The second sign you’re self-sabotaging your goals is talking negatively to yourself.
The way you talk to yourself matters.
Most of the things that we believe are not from someone else. It’s the words that we tell to ourselves.
Negative self-talk is the inner voice you hear that limits you from believing in yourself.
Some of the negative self-talk statements we hear to ourselves are:
- “I’m too lazy.”
- “I’m a failure.”
- “I’m not going to get any better at this.”
These kinds of words shrink our confidence.
As long as you continue feeding it, your mind will dig “pieces of evidence” from your memories. Once it convinces you, there’s a high risk that you’ll sabotage your success.
For example, your goal is to get high grades in Physics class.
You studied hard, but every time you encounter lessons that you don’t understand that much, you tell yourself, “I’m so stupid!” Usually, the story is not going to end there.
The moment you heard yourself saying those words, your mind will analyze them and find evidence to make those words “true.” That’s why you will suddenly remember that time when you failed in your English class, you got the lowest score in your last quizzes, and the story will go on and on.
The more negative self-talk, the more your mind will also sniff out into your memories to validate the words you tell yourself.
This is how it goes:
Firstly, you’ll tell something harmful to yourself.
Next, your mind will process it and find “evidence” to validate your words.
Then, you’ll support those “evidence” by feeding more negative words.
After that, your mind will convince you that it’s true.
Finally, you’ll believe it because of the “evidence” you realized.
This process happens real quick. You’re not even aware that this is how it goes.
That’s why it’s so important to watch the words you say to yourself (and even to others).
Cut out the “process” immediately, and don’t let self-sabotage knock on your door!
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3. You are overcommitting.
The third sign of self-sabotage you need to watch out for is overcommitting.
Sometimes, when we set our goals, and of course, we feel excited about it. Normally, it’s not bad. However, exciting goals and excessive planning sometimes lead us to commit to every opportunity we encounter.
This is the sign you might not always notice. It boils down to how often you say yes and no to opportunities.
Sometimes, we overcommit because we don’t feel like we’re doing enough to achieve our goal.
We feel like we need to do more and work harder for our goal. What’s worse is we compare ourselves to others’ success and make us feel not enough or even worthy of our dreams and plans.
If you are doing this, you have to be aware that this is self-sabotaging.
Overcommitting can hurt the progress of your goal, your own growth, and even the people that are involved with your particular commitment.
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How to Stop Self-sabotaging
Knowing the signs you’re self-sabotaging is vital to break it off. Now that you became aware of it, let’s understand how we can fix it!
Here are the tips on how to stop self-sabotaging and be aligned with your goals again:
1. Realize you are self-sabotaging
The first action that you need to do to stop sabotaging your goal is to be aware of it.
You have to determine why you keep sabotaging your dream and really notice the signs of it. Either by talking to a friend, family member or writing it in your journal can diminish your self-sabotaging behavior.
In that way, you will be conscious of your thoughts and behavior towards your goal.
Ask these questions or use them as journal prompts whenever you feel the urge to self-sabotage:
- Is this thing I am doing right now contributing to my goal? Why or why not?
- What triggers me to avoid pursuing my goal?
- What is one thing that I can do to move closer to my goal?
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2. Analyze your limiting beliefs and rewrite that story.
The second action you must do to stop sabotaging your goals is to ask yourself: “What story do I tell myself about me?”
You have to know the beliefs that limit you from achieving your goals.
Maybe your limiting beliefs are…
- “I’m not good at making money.”
- “I’m too young to start a business.”
- “I’ve been bad at Math since I was a kid.”
No matter what it is, you have to know what you believe about yourself. Those stories are the thoughts that keep holding you back from achieving your goals that manifest into self-sabotaging.
Determine your limiting beliefs and flip that story. Create a mantra and say it out loud every night and day. That way, you’re helping yourself believe in yourself, and it can heal you from those old beliefs.
3. Identify your core values.
The third action that you can do to break the habit of sabotaging yourself is knowing what matters to you.
According to Psychology Today, your values tell you the kind of person you are and the person you want to be. Our values provide us with guidance and a sense of urgency for our actions.
That is to say, knowing what is important to you is everything. Basically, it works as our fuel. That’s what will give meaning to what we are currently doing and stands as our motivation.
In the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey talks about the third habit of effective people; putting “first things first”.
To be an effective person, you need to identify what you value the most.
Is your goal your top priority or the least important?
Here’s one practice I learned from the book to help you identify your priorities in life:
- Grab a piece of paper or journal your 5-6 priorities in life without particular order.
- From that list, decide what are your top and least priorities by numbering it.
Another way to determine your priorities is by answering these two questions:
- What activity do you know if you did well and consistently produced marvelous results in your personal life?
- What is another activity that you know if you did well and always will deliver excellent results in your work or professional life?
Think about it deeply. You want to assess the things that really matter to you. Knowing this and keeping in mind what you value the most will serve as your fuel to achieve your goals and help you stop self-sabotaging it.
4. Remember your goal’s objective.
Last but not least, remember the purpose of your goal.
If you don’t see the importance of your goal and why you have to achieve it, well, my friend, you have to know. Not knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing will really make you stuck in a rut.
That’s why writing down your goals in your journal or even just on a piece of paper to identify your steps to achieve it, what it is for and what you will feel if you complete it is a really effective way to motivate you.
Creating a Vision Board is also a great way to remember your goals and the purpose of why you want them.
If you know your goal’s purpose, that will prevent you from falling into the trap of self-sabotage.
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There you go! We learned the common reasons we self-sabotage, the major signs you’re self-sabotaging, and how to prevent it.
Here’s a recap:
- Self-sabotage is a conscious or unconscious thought pattern or behavior that prevents you from achieving your goal.
- We sabotage ourselves because of 3 common reasons:
- An overwhelming situation or a load of work.
- We seek comfort because taking a risk is unusual to us.
- Our fear overcomes us.
- The 3 major signs of self-sabotaging that you must watch out for are:
- Negative self-talk
- Tips to stop self-sabotaging:
- Being aware that you are self-sabotaging and prevent it.
- Analyze your limiting beliefs and rewrite them positively.
- Know what are the most important things for you.
- Always remember the purpose of your goals.
Finally, I want to tell you that stopping your self-sabotaging behavior can be challenging, so don’t be too rigid to yourself. Take it easy.
What’s important now is to be aware of your self-sabotaging thought pattern and behavior.
Awareness is the key. By just being aware of the signs you’re self-sabotaging, that will help you to take action.
Comment down below what self-sabotaging behavior you realized you’re doing and what will you do to stop it.
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I am a content writer and the creator of Cresetella. I’m here to help you start your self-discovery journey and be fearlessly authentic.