Episode 24: Why We Self-Sabotage

by Podcast

Today we’re talking about something we’ve probably ALL done far too often and to our own detriment: self-sabotage.

It probably looks a little like this: you set a goal. You start changing your behaviour and working towards that goal. Some normal life situation pops up like stress, relationships, work commitments, negative self-talk, lack of motivation and BAM you start doing the exact opposite of what you want to achieve.

So why do we do this?

Additionally how do we change our thinking and behaviour to prevent it from happening again? That’s exactly what we’ll be answering in today’s podcast episode, with some personal anecdotes from yours truly woven through for good measure.

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What is self sabotage?

Self-sabotage is the sabotaging, whether consciously or subconsciously, of oneself or one’s own plans. The way I like to explain it is that self-sabotage is when part of your personality acts in conflict with another part of your personality.

There are literally hundreds of reasons why se self-sabotage, but today I’m going to be focusing on some of the most common ones that come in my work when coaching clients, and also those I’ve personally experienced.

1. Fear of success

It’s a whole lot easier to fly under the radar than it is to level up and chase our dreams, goals, and ambitions. We’ll have to become new versions of ourselves, and all this fear of the unknown plus your brain’s deep-rooted preference for familiarity can make it easy to self-sabotage.

2. You have analysis paralysis

Too many options can lead to decision paralysis. Options can freeze you up and make you worry about the paths you don’t take. I see this with clients all the time – especially those who are high achievers.

3. You quit because you don’t see instantaneous results

This is especially true when it comes to health and fitness. People jump on and off different fad diets, and workout plans because they want instant gratification.

4. You avoid hard work in favour of the mundance or trivial

Nobody, I repeat NOBODY ever saved the world by checking email or scrolling through social media for endless hours. There, I said it!

Change is hard EMOTIONAL work, which requires attention and brain power and if you’re wasting it on mindless tasks you can bet your bottom dollar it’s less likely to happen.

5. You don’t take radical responsibility for your actions

Take self-responsibility and recognise that your actions are what’s going to lead you either towards or away from your goals.

6. You let negative self-talk drag you down

If negative thinking is the soundtrack constantly playing in your head, it’s hard to make positive changes. How many of your thoughts per day are lifting you up versus dragging you down?

7. You create goals that have no personal meaning for yourself

Striving for something that someone else has because society has conditioned you that is what “success” looks like is a load of BS. Ask yourself why you really want to achieve a certain goal and be honest!

8. Your focus is actually a negative end result

I see this all the time in my clients working on healthy eating. Instead of focusing on adding in more nutritious food they focus on what they feel they can’t or shouldn’t have! As a result they end up becoming hyper-focused and obsessed with those foods which leads to overeating.

9. You’re too hard on yourself

Self-compassion throughout the process is essential. If we can’t be kind to ourselves it’s very difficult to keep moving forward in a positive way.

For more in depth solutions to each of these self-sabotage topics be sure to listen to the full episode above. You can also subscribe to listen on iTunes and Spotify.

Sarah King

Sarah King

Hi future friends, I’m Sarah King, an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and health coach.

Science, not trends is the foundation of my approach. By nourishing the body and mind with scientific facts we can build foundations for a life of realness, not just wellness.