Recognizing Self-Sabotage

If you have an area of your life that’s regularly in turmoil, you are probably sabotaging yourself in that area.

Take a moment to think about the areas of your life that flow smoothly. Maybe you have a lot of great friends, or maybe your career is right where you want it to be. Maybe you’re wealthy and don’t have to worry about money.

Now think about the areas where you always struggle. Consider whether:

• your romantic relationships are always a nightmare.

• you always just barely find the money to pay your bills.

• you squander extra money when you get it, perhaps through overspending or through bad investments.

• you do something foolish that puts you back at square one when you’re about to get promoted.

• you binge in the evening, even though in the morning you are resolved to follow your diet.

Comparing and contrasting what comes easily versus what does not will help you clarify your trouble spots.

Here is a list of potential areas for self-sabotage: Money. Romantic relationships. Career. Friendships. Health. Diet. Fitness. Weight. Education. Family. Character. Emotional control. Daily habits. Spiritual development. Life purpose. Maintenance of house/yard/vehicles.

If the areas where you have difficulty are consistently the same, chances are you are blocking yourself in that area.

Regardless of the specific area, our blocks share a common theme of cutting us off from the good stuff in life. The underlying reasons for doing this are what get complicated, and people can spend a lot of time in therapy trying to sort through those issues. Once you recognize the trouble area for what it is, though, that will go a long way to resolving the problem, or at the very least mitigating the effect of it.

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Reasons why we block ourselves include:

1. We don’t feel worthy of having good things.

2. We think to deserve something, we must struggle to get it.

3. We’re afraid of success.

4. We’re afraid of failure.

5. We’re afraid of change.

6. We keep creating new challenges for ourselves in the same area to keep proving to ourselves that we can do that thing.

7. We’re afraid to make mistakes.

Regardless of the underlying reasons, the end result is the same: We’re getting in our own way of accomplishing our goals. We are frustrating and disappointing ourselves.

Check back next week and the following week for parts two and three of the series: Overcoming Self-Sabotage and Preventing Self-Sabotage Relapses.

What areas of your life trouble you, and do you think self-sabotage is to blame?

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