Self-sabotage is the one thing that will destroy your chances of having the relationships, confidence, happiness, success, and life that you want.
Self-love and self-sabotage can never coexist. If you self sabotage, it means that you embody the enemy while making it your life’s mission to take down the enemy.
When you self sabotage, you get off the road of life and onto that attractive and fancy treadmill. The treadmill comforts you because it not only provides proof that you’re going the distance and burning calories, it’s proof of productivity as well.
And if you’re in a destructive pattern like this, proof will always supersede having to feel and deal. The treadmill also guarantees the same terrain, weather, and outcome every time. And when you’re emotionally compromised, certainty is everything.
The problem with running on emotional treadmills is that no matter how hard you run (and try to convince yourself that it’ll be different this time), you never actually get anywhere. You always end up back at square one.
Self Sabotage? Same.
Certainty = Safety and as humans, we will risk our own values, dignity, and moral code just to secure a feeling of safety that certainty provides. Even if that certainty is our own misery. I learned this from Les Brown.
Self-sabotage is nothing more than an inability to get out of your own way. It’s that hidden mechanism that pulls the rug out from under your life, proving that happiness is never to be trusted; always chased.
Self-sabotage murders who you could become. No matter what you’ve gone through in life, self-sabotage is the only way that your destiny can ever be hijacked.
And because you can’t get out of your own way, you end up getting bulldozed every time – surrounded by a manifested environment that does nothing but affirm the necessity of you having to live on your emotional knees – now and forevermore.
I’ve self-sabotaged for much longer than I’ve been lucky enough to live without the “bad luck,” that I would always tell myself I suffered from (due to the superficial of course: not being pretty, smart, sexy, cool, interesting enough, etc).
Here’s how to know if you self-sabotage, why you self-sabotage, and 3 ways to put an end to it once and for all.
It’s not that I don’t get triggered and try to sabotage myself anymore. I still get triggered and to this day, I find myself trying to cut my own happiness at its Achilles. The only difference now is, I notice it right away and I’m able to deactivate it immediately.
Here are just a few of the traits I had when self-sabotage was a way of life:
- Procrastination. If I failed, I could blame it on the fact that I procrastinated. It was so much easier to do that than to not procrastinate, give it my all, and experience the pain of inevitable failure. At least with procrastination, I had an insurance policy on failure.
- Making every Monday/start of the week all about how it was going to be the start of “a new me.” A few minutes into a new Monday, I would inevitably f*ck up. So, I would delay my goals to the following Monday (my perfectionism would never allow mid-week evolution).
- Addiction. Although I’ve never been addicted to substances, I was addicted to the “I am not and will never be enough” thoughts. Self-sabotage is not an action as much as it is a habit. It’s a process that over time, will pine you against your own thoughts, fears, impulses, and self, AS it simultaneously erodes any pride and backbone you have left.
- Laser focus on the past/future. All I did was either live in the past or fantasize about the future. This disallowed me from ever living in the present moment.
- GOSSIP, pathological lying, and exaggerations. Lying, gossiping, and exaggerating are three forms of escapism. I engaged in all of them because they served the double purpose of escapism, as well as the long-term affirmation that I deserved the pain that would always, boomerang right back to me for engaging in terrible behavior.
- REPELLENT. If you self-sabotage, know this: you’re driving people away. I used to feel so inadequate and be so scared of failure that I would push people away by being overly critical, gossiping, lying and just being an all-around negative person. I’d do so much for other people on a superficial level (because I couldn’t connect emotionally), but it was never enough to override my ENERGY. I basically kept stirring the sh*t in the toilet and then cried because the bathroom smelled worse as a result.
- SETTLING. I settled for sh*tty jobs, toxic relationships, fake friendships, and worst of all, I settled for a toxic relationship with myself. Bottom line: if you settle, it’s because you believe that you don’t deserve any better. Your past, your future, and your present will ALWAYS be in direct correlation with what you tolerate.
Do you know what’s weird? My own body hopped on the self-sabotage game. In school, would never sweat unless I wore something tight or a certain color that would make perspiration visible. No matter how much deodorant I put on, I would perspire. ONLY in certain clothing and EVEN IF it was cold outside. This trigged massive social anxiety.
After I tackled my self-sabotage, the problem went away.
Why do we self-sabotage?
Looking back, no matter how much I knew that I needed to take action so I could reap the emotional, physical and financial benefits that I claimed to have a burning desire for, something always happened to justify inaction.
I knew that I was on a crumb diet in my relationships, I knew that certain people were toxic and I knew that I wasn’t stepping up for myself. I wasn’t having my own back and following through on my own needs, expectations, and desires. I KNEW IT.
I’d then, get so mad at myself that I’d make these “big announcements.” I’d post moronic quotes on social media or take some extreme form of initial action, ALL to collapse as quickly as constructed.
FEAR. It’s the same reason I used to drink alcohol. I have no problem with alcohol, I just don’t drink now because I don’t need it anymore.
I never drank alcohol because I liked the taste or because I liked pairing it with my food. I needed alcohol because if I drank two margaritas, put myself out there and got rejected, I could blame it on the booze and not on the fact that I knew all along, I wasn’t enough.
It hurt less to get rejected while drunk (because I had something to blame) than it did to actually PUT myself out there, try my best and get rejected in a sober state.
In this way, self-sabotage is the ultimate insurance policy.
Self-sabotage f*cks you over the entire time it has you convinced that if you play by its rules, you’ll get what you want.
I was addicted to getting in my own way because as much pain, humiliation and heartbreak as self-sabotage inflicted, it was MORE COMFORTABLE than the pain of putting myself out there and having LIFE affirm all of my fears and insecurities.
At least with self-sabotage, I knew to a certain extent what was coming.
And that’s why it’s so addicting. When you’re on that emotional treadmill, it’s predictable, but the cost for that predictability is a steep one: you don’t ever get anywhere. Yeah, if you’re on the road, the weather may be bad and there may be an uneven terrain. You may even fall, but AT LEAST you’re getting somewhere.
Exactly how much of your life are you willing to waste?
3 ways to end self-sabotage NOW
Awareness and Expansion.
By just being aware of the mechanism driving a pattern that you have now identified, guess what? That awareness alone will substantially reduce the destruction of your delusion. Next, EXPAND on that awareness by acknowledging the urgency of your situation.
You’re terminal. You’re suffering from a condition called life and as far as I know, none of us are going to make it out alive. Make the decision now to not waste this time because it’s the only time you have. I promise, you’re not going to be at the end of your life one day and wish that you would have self-sabotaged more.
I think that having a false sense of self is more dangerous than having no idea who you are. If you do this one life that you were given right, who you are will be ever-changing and evolving. Focus on who you are NOT instead of who you think you are.
And who you are NOT is directly tied to what you are willing to tolerate – in yourself FIRST, as well as in others.
Complication and Absolutes.
As much as you claim to hate it, if you suffer from low self-esteem, you LOVE complication. Where there are complication and absolutes, there’s fear. And fear is the rocket fuel of self-sabotage.
Some examples of absolutes:
“I will never be a,b & c,” “I always get cheated on,” “I’m big-boned and will never lose weight.”
Absolutes from others also trigger massive complication. You hear something along the lines of: “I’m not a good guy. You deserve better. I can’t give you what you want,” and instead of folding, you complicate it by further investigating. You tie your value to disproving the absolute of a cat meowing, as you keep investing in the hope of being good enough to get it to bark.
One of my favorite quotes by one of my favorite poets:
“Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.” – Rumi
Don’t hand over the pen for others to write YOUR story.
The keyword in Rumi’s quote is LIVE. Stop operating at the expense of your destiny by sabotaging the life that you’re supposed to be living NOW.
Your future will thank you.
+ If you need further and more personalized help with your relationship, please look into working with me here.
I would share any bracelet with your majesty! Lol love all your blogs and bracelets! Xoxo Brittney
LOL! Thanks Brittney 🙂 It takes one to know one – you are amazing. XO
My gosh, if the shoe fits, sigh, one must wear it. 🙁
And if the bracelet fits, then that too but it’s a better fit 🙂
You have the best advice ever I love the Best bracelet and would share it with you. I look forward to reading and re reading the great advice your provide. THANK YOU…!! BEST babes
Thank YOU Amber!! 🙂 XO
Your blog is amazing! it has helped me so much during my heartbreak! i continue to re-read posts hoping to reach the “indifference” phase one day!!
Hi Radha! Thank you! I’m happy to help 🙂 You will get there; you are loved, supported, understood and never, ever alone <3 x
Your wise and beautiful posts have helped me heal from a broken heart and self ridden guilt and low worth. Thank-you, it has helped me more than I can ever tell you. hugs, Jude x
Hi Judy! Words will never be able to convey my appreciation for you, your support, sisterhood and love. I’m honored to have played a part in your healing and realizations. All my love to you soul sister. XX
You are amazing! I found your blog over a year ago and I’m such a big fan of all your work. You have really helped me evolve and ever though I have made mistakes and even gone backwards at time I have learned to love myself. This post was so inspiring 🙂 keep up your amazing work!
Thanks Kristina! It takes one to know one 🙂 I’m so happy to help. You are loved, believed in and never alone. Thank you for your sisterhood and support! XOXO
You managed to do it again Natasha! I was literally procrastinating on studying for my midterm just now. I’m stressed, exhausted and finally walked away from an LDR where the guy after pursuing me aggressively just became avoidant and began gas lighting me. School is so important to me but I am also stressed with how hard this class is that I am terrified to open my books and realize how far behind I am. Fear as mentioned is most certainly the root cause. All my friends are nearly done with the syllabus and I’ve been nursing a headache from sleeping at 4am last night.
So I had a good cry in the shower and penned my worst fears of failing the class. If I stayed with him I’d be on the treadmill but it feels like I lost someone very important to me and I went from a 4.0 to barely scraping by in my classes and having to ask the professors to let me know my grades early so I can withdraw instead of actually failing. I know I made the right call. He stopped making any effort at all and accused me of being pushy to have us at least try and schedule a date to meet. But the comfort factor….the knowing, even if it is miserable, it’s hard to walk away from and I can only do it once I’ve exhausted every mental, physical and emotional fiber of my being. And then it takes me months to bounce back and unfortunately it’s while falling into another man.
It takes so much courage to walk away and whenever I have, I’ve always come out a stronger and wiser person…but every single time, the initial pain and loneliness affects my ability to function in the other areas of my life that I hold so dear.
How do you manage the spillover effect? I tried to open my books and just think about all the good times and how I lost someone I loved and then I get on tinder trying to find someone new to ease the feeling. It just causes a cyclical effect because then I have more work and less time and I’m stuck in an abysmal death spiral. How do you prioritize when you feel this way? How do you make yourself “feel ok” enough to not self sabotage at a critical moment? My brain just isn’t cooperating with me and I am scared now to lose the grades I worked so hard for.
Thank you! I’m happy that the post helped! I wish I had the time to answer your questions, but I LOVE the topics/questions and will try to write a post on this soon 🙂 Thx! xx
It amazes me how every post you write is exactly what I needed to read, you’ve helped me so much and I’m so grateful for coming across you soul sister ?
Thanks Mishaell! I am just as grateful for you, your love and support 🙂 Love you soul sister! x
I said it before and I’ll say it again- you need a cape just to show off your bada**ry, brave, super powers. Through me a bracelet so I am constantly reminded of the healthy team I’m on.
LOL! I love you. Thanks Dea! It takes one to know one 🙂 x
“God said ‘Love Your Enemy,’ and so I obeyed Him and loved myself.” – Khalil Gibran
OMG, not a narcissist, I’m a genuine reverse narcissist, this IS ME!!!
Natasha, you are so spot on (again). No one sabotages me like ME. No one beats me up like I do. And to think “I” think I deserve it!! So I go and seek out proof. Wow.
Will read and read again your steps on how to stop this brutal (self) behavior/sabotage. It’s painful, tiresome, a BAD habit and definitely stopping me in so many ways
YAYY! So happy it helped 🙂 Thanks sister! XOXO
Thank you for always helping me get through my hardest days with your post! I would share the tribe bracelet with you 🙂 You helped me feel more worth after stepping out of a domestic violent marriage. Thank you
Hi Jaclyn! Thank YOU for your love, support and sisterhood. I truly am honored to have helped. You are loved, supported understood and never alone. All my love to you soul sister 🙂 XO
As always, your? words come to the rescue whenever I feel I need to address a certain issue. I was going into the self-sabotage spiral, to the extent that I had almost actually begun questioning what was wrong with having a little drama in life…And that’s when I knew I had to stop & head over to hear from the voice of reason. And as they say, “seek and ye shall find” 🙂 Thankyou Natasha for sharing your awesome, level-headed words of wisdom; it’s really heartening to know that there’s someone we can count on, to guide us in the right direction.
Love and best wishes ?
Hi M M!! I’m so happy that the post helped. Thank you for allowing me to feel so far from alone in my experiences, patterns, anxieties ad pain. You are a a beautiful soul who’s believed in, loved and supported beyond words. Thanks for being a part of this tribe! 🙂 x
This article cut right to the center of the issue and I LOVE your site! So glad I found it.
Happy it helped! 🙂 Thanks MK! xx
This is one I’ll be reading regularly! So so so good.
Hello Natasha! I found your amazing blog after listening to an interview with you by Laura Yates. Im currently going through a bad heartache and reading all your old entries every single day. I can not tell you how much it helps!!! Keep posting, please.
Happy Easter from Norway!
Hi Emilia! I’m so happy that the posts have helped 🙂 You are understood, supported, loved, believed in and never alone. I promise to keep at it! Happy Easter to you too (from California)! It’s one of my favorite holidays. xxxx
Natasha, your blogs are the best and most common sense, resonating stuff I have ever read. I’m in awe of your insight/foresight on so many matters that seem to plague so many of us. “IM HOOKED!!!”
Thank you, thank you, thank you
Hi Tamsin! I’m all smiles, honored and so happy to help 🙂 Thank you for your love, support and for being a part of this tribe! All my love to you soul sis. xx
I am so grateful to have found your blog…. Am in such a space of fear and pain after a terrible break-up… also getting divorced ( complicated story…) .. quit my job… feeling so lost! And I am NOT young… 48. Feel an urgent sense to make a change. Have read a few of your posts… thank you!!! I hope to break my self-sabotage cycle… really resonated! Time to get a grip and LIVE
Hi Anna! Thank you 🙂 I’m happy that the posts are serving you. YES IT IS! Time to LIVE. You are loved, understood, appreciated, valued, supported and believed in. Thank you for being a part of this tribe. Sending you big love sister. XOXO
Natasha, This hit home with me on many levels. My girlfriend has said she is broken and always moves the goalpost in our relationship I assume for me to fail and when we get to a point she will run or just stop all communication.(and she is aware of this behavior and admits it)My question is I know I can’t fix her but how or what can I do to show love and support so she feels safe to make these changes.
She is 60 and I am 61.
I’m so glad that the post was helpful; it’s what I live for. I wish I had the time to be able to directly advise in the comments (thank you for your kindness and your understanding – I would need to know many more details). I will try to write about this situation and topic soon. In short, all you can do is be supportive and encouraging when it comes to her own self-awareness and protect your mental health always, as I know you do. Take care. my friend. All my love to you both.