Overcoming Self-Sabotage - International Coaching Federation
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Overcoming Self-Sabotage

Posted by Haley Osborne | March 17, 2021 | Comments (2)

It may be hard to believe, but many respectable and self-confident people have experienced times when the conscious and subconscious levels of their mind ran counter to each other. This contradiction is called self-sabotage, which hindera person from reaching their goals and making a successful career.  

Many do not view internal resistance on the subconscious level as a difficulty, indicating that they may be unaware of this challenge. The conscious mind signals to you that there’s problem to overcome, but you ignore it because you believe in yourself. If you are not sure whether it’s happening in your life, analyze the following manifestations, and explore solutions to the widespread self-sabotage among X, Z and Y generations. 

Self-Sabotage Manifestations  

1. Excessive Self-Confidence and Naivety 

The habit of being proud and appreciating your own achievements and skills is not at odds with normal behavior. It’s necessary to love yourself, but it’s important to note the difference between confidence and narcissism. Be realistic and take a sober look at new challenges and tasks to complete. Overestimation of potential personal resources may result in procrastination and low-quality performance. Imposters easily manipulate naive people, but rational thinking and self-estimation will save you from external pressure and internal resistance.  

2. Health Destruction  

Self-sabotage influences well-being because it can create constant anxiety for someone who is not doing the thing they’d long been planning to do. This can cause negative effects on mental and, consequently, physical health. Your well-being must be priority number one in any situation. If negative thoughts and fear of loss are deteriorating your well-being, take proper measures to deal with it. If you see that upcoming deadlines affect your mental and physical health, ask for help from other people and services.    

3. Striving for the Ideal  

Perfectionism can lead to self-sabotage because many people strive to accomplish task in the best or most perfect way possible.  They believe that until they’ve mastered a skill, they cannot move forward and meet the objective. But it’s important to remember that we learn from our mistakes.  

4. Victim Positioning 

Some people may subconsciously fight against their goals by blaming others for their misfortune. In their minds, others can be held accountable for their own behavior, and victims consider themselves morally right. It casts a negative light on understanding a person’s role in their own life and makes them feel miserable and unprotected.  

5. Constant Self-Accusations 

Self-sabotage habits can also manifest themselves if people constantly blame themselves for the misfortunes in their life. A person’s mind rejects positive aspects and previous achievements because of mistakes that discourage them from trying their hand at achieving a long-desired objective.  

Solutions to Overcoming Self-Sabotage 

1. Examine your Situation  

It may be challenging to identify the ways to overcome self-sabotage habits without the help of a coach, mentor, friend, or anyone you trust who might help you. They can open your eyes to the matters you didn`t realize were affecting you or that you are subconsciously avoiding. Take care of your life and don’t downplay your potential. Do not stay alone in uncertainty. 

2. Track your Thoughts and Motives 

Self-sabotage can happen when nothing people are doing in life brings them a sense of self-satisfaction and fulfillment. It’s time to listen to yourself in any situation and pay attention to your feelings and emotions. Do the things that make you feel like an indispensable part of society and set new goals that will encourage your personal and professional development.  

3. Enjoy the Simple Things 

Feelings of anxiety and fear of moving forward let self-sabotage control your life. A great solution would be to make small steps to be free of this obsessive mindset. Reveal the beauty of nature and little pleasures in life. Take a fresh look at everything around you and enjoy the moment — be present here and now, catching every small thing that makes you smile.  

4. Understand the Root Causes 

Once you get the hang of conscious and subconscious contradictions, it’s vital to identify what makes your inner voice hinder you from taking necessary actions. It’s very often rooted in the false assumption that you don’t deserve to be successful and happy. Define the reason why you are afraid of new challenges or commitments and do not allow them to blindside you. 

5. Define Core Values 

People miss opportunities without realizing that self-sabotage can ruin their personality, career, relationships, health and life. It can manifest itself in any aspect of our life and make it unbearable. Be sure to clearly delineate the foundational beliefs that guide your behavior and decisions. Once you outline those values, you can freely move forward, having a sense of responsibility and self-worth.  


Now you know the signs of self-sabotage and what steps you can take to overcome it. So put these tips into practice and remember that defining the problem is the first step to solving it. 

Headshot of author Haley Osborne.

Haley Osborne

Haley Osborne is an active freelance writer and contributor for writing service. She is interested in management, web design, and writing. Her writing regularly touches on the topics of self-development and modern trends. Her goal is to provide quality and inspiring content. 

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

Comments (2)

  1. ISAAC says:

    I have loved this article and yes, Haley Osborne has put it crystal clear!

    This is what I wanted to hear as a young mentor and leadership coach.

    Kindly connect me with Haley. I would like to partner with her, so she can help me with my small team.

    I will appreciate.


  2. Binu Prasad says:

    I love this article. I read some parts many a times as deep meaning was in it. Thank u for this wonderful contribution.

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