Personal development

How to Stop Self-Sabotaging and Achieve your Dreams


You really want to get in shape and lose the extra weight, but you can’t even get yourself to start exercising, because it looks impossible? Here’s a secret for you: once you start, the result will come faster than you think, or rather than your own brain makes you think.

Most of the time we try to achieve something but we fail, we were the ones who stood in our own way. It sounds painful and hard to accept, but once you accept it you will be able to deal with it and finally achieve what you set out for.

If you are ready to stop preventing your own self from success, then keep reading.

What is Self-Sabotage and How to Stop it Once

Self Deprecating

Self-sabotage could fill you with guilt and prevent you from experiencing success and happiness, and even emotional intimacy in your relationships.

There are many different ways a person can stop his way to success, including:

  • Quitting tasks before finishing them;
  • Procrastination;
  • Holding back;
  • Self-deprecation;
  • Substance abuse.

Procrastination, quitting projects before finishing, and holding back on putting in some effort all lead to feelings of guilt and self-deprecation, which starts a vicious cycle.

There are deeper reasons for these behavioral patterns and if you want to change and achieve the success you have to move past the feelings of guilt and combat the root causes. Below are some expert-approved ways to do that.

Identify the Behavior

You can’t change a behavior if you don’t know that you’re exhibiting it. Take time to reflect on yourself and catch yourself when you’re starting to fall into the trap of self-sabotage.

Only after you realize that it’s happening will you be able to do something about it. Be honest with yourself, even though it could be hard to admit it.

Understand the Root Cause

There are various reasons for self-sabotaging behavior that are rooted deeply in our psychology. It could be the fear of failure, low self-worth, bad habits and thinking patterns we learned in childhood, or simply the fear of going out of your comfort zone.

The behavior could also be an unhealthy coping mechanism that we developed to deal with stress.

Whatever the root cause of the behavior is, you need to forgive yourself and try to destroy the source of the problem itself.

Change the Way you Think


Your self-critic is your worst enemy. Remember that your thoughts don’t define you.

We tend to develop thinking patterns that prevent us from following our dreams, such as telling ourselves that we are not good enough, and talking to ourselves in a self-deprecating manner.

A good way to change this is to try and talk to yourself the way you would to a close friend or a family member whom you’d love to support and motivate to achieve his dreams.

Make a Plan AND Follow it

Making a plan and following it

When we look at the big picture of our goals, we become discouraged, but when we make a plan, the path suddenly becomes clear ahead of us.

Changing self-sabotaging behaviors cannot happen overnight. It requires a lot of dedication and time in order to demolish bad habits and replace them with positive ones.

Keeping up was never easy, but it becomes more manageable when you have the plan written in front of you. It is easy to miss points of the plan but do your best to keep up with it until you start noticing results.

Be Proud of your Accomplishments

Many times, the reason for self-sabotaging behavior is low self-worth. It is hard to follow the long way to success if you don’t stop every once in a while, and celebrate your small accomplishments along the way.

Even if it’s just that you went to the gym despite the lack of motivation, that is already quite an achievement so you should stop and praise yourself, instead of constantly worrying about how far away you are from your goal.

Praising yourself actually increases motivation and makes it more likely that you will keep up with the plan.

Stay Focused on the Goal

Focusing on how many problems we have to solve could also be quite discouraging. Instead of focusing on the problems, you should keep your eyes set on the goals.

That is the only way you will have the courage to still move forward, instead of drowning in the swamp of problems. That’s the way to keep your motivation until you finally reach your goals.

Take Small Steps

You are never going to reach the top if you don’t make the first step…and then take another one, and then another one.

Looking directly at your goal could be discouraging when it’s yet too far away but when you break all the work into small steps it suddenly feels achievable.

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