Breaking The Habits Of Self-Sabotage

In this blog, I will share five (5) steps I have found in my walk with God that helps me to break the habits in my life that seek to sabotage my new self.

September 3, 2020

Last week, Mattie James spoke on her weekly Instagram Live in which she shared (5) things top Influencers Do to Standout. One of the points that she shared with us was that we need to “Do the work to stay consistent.”It isn’t just enough to do the work BUT, are you consistently doing it? After that live, I realized how much my momentum started to diminish within my craft.At that point I had to begin asking myself why?

Yes, I post Monday through Saturday every week but, I know that there were more things that I was capable of doing. Where was my determination, that fire, that desire? Is it lost in my hectic lifestyle, am I getting to comfortable? Lazy? Complacent? What is it! It was not until my friend Victoria sent me a post from the and this is what it said:

“Deep down you know exactly what you need to do, to get to where you want to be. You have to be willing to fight through self-sabotaging behavior, self-doubt, and the fear of failure. Break the cycle. Take the pledge to stop standing in your own way to success.”

Whether you are a blogger, digital creator, photographer, influencer etc self- sabotage can affect anyone, no matter who you are. Today, I want to discuss some of the ways it tends to show up in our lives and how I plan on getting past it.

What is Self- Sabotage?

Self-Sabotage refers to behaviors or thought patterns that hold you back and prevent you from doing what you want to do. Simply put, self-sabotage is when you undermine your own goals and values. One thing that I learned about self-sabotage is that the behaviors can be both conscious or unconscious depending on how aware you are of them.

Conscious self-sabotage is when you are aware of the fact that what you’re doing is undermining one of your goals or values.E.g.: Remembering that you need to pick weeds in the backyard but deciding to play video games instead.

Unconscious self-sabotage is when you do something that undermines a goal or value, but you don’t realize it until after the fact. E.g.: People with a strong fear of failure in their jobs often develop the unconscious habit of showing up late or doing sloppy work as a way to avoid promotions or increased responsibility which would lead to higher expectations and therefore a higher chance of failure.

In order to deal with a problem head on you must be willing to acknowledge that you (1) have a problem and (2) discover the root of said problem (3) be willing to put in the work to persevere through it. Self-Sabotage can show up in many forms such as procrastination, chronic lateness, substance abuse, stress eating, and even intimacy and commitment issues. There are many more examples however, based on my research these tend to be the most common.


What’s the Answer?

Honestly, there is really no magic pill, magic trick, or cure,but once identified, can be a work in progress. If you feel like you have identified with any of the examples, I’ve previously listed JUST BREATH! You’re not crazy and you’re not the only one whose experienced these sorts of habit or behaviors I mean hey! I’m facing the same issue now. It’s not about how many times we fall down, it’s about HOW long you stay down. Take some time to consciously and honestly identify what self-sabotaging behavior you’re doing right now makes a great starting point. Next, take some time to think about the underlying reason and issues, dealing with individual components separately if needed. Now that we’ve identified Self- Sabotages ugly face what can we start doing to stop it?


1. Understand the need your self-sabotage fills

If you’re anything like me, if you’ve found yourself in the self-sabotaging boat you immediately want to go hard on yourself. Forget grace and forget mercy Sis, I’ve been slipping and I need to tighten up. Sound familiar? Approaching yourself in this manner is also a form of self-sabotage because, while is feels good in the moment, it usually leads you to missing the first step in overcoming self-sabotage: understanding what need the self-sabotaging behavior feed. This component cannot be fulfilled without some self-compassion.


2. Identify alternative healthy behaviors that fill that need

Once you’ve got a clear understanding of what need yourself-sabotage fills, the next step is to generate ideas for alternative behaviors that address the need but in a way that doesn’t also hurt you. Often,just getting clarity on what the underlying need is will be enough to trigger ideas for alternative behaviors. But sometimes it takes a little more discovery and research.

3. Anticipate and Plan for Obstacles

It’s easy to stick to new behaviors and good intentions when the conditions are just right. But if you want to eliminate self-sabotage for good, you also need a plan for when times are hard. Even if you’ve identified the underlying need and a healthier set of behaviors to address it,you still need to anticipate potential obstacles to using those new behaviors. If your alternative behavior to stress eating after work is to have a small healthy snack instead of binging on junk food, what might get in the way of that new behavior?

4. Boost your tolerance for uncomfortable feelings

Now matter how well you strategize and execute your alternative behaviors it will still be emotionally hard sometimes. I tell my husband all the time, we’re talking about creating a new way of living and thinking when we transform habits so to think that it would be an easy process is asinine. Letting go of self-sabotage isn’t merely an intellectual problem of planning ans strategy. It’s and emotional tolerance problem. In order for us to form new habits we have to be able to build up our tolerance to discomfort.


5. Lastly, clarify your values

This would have to be the most powerful step in letting go of self-sabotage. The key to clarifying your values is to get beyond superficial forms of values and connect with meaningful, specific,and personal goals. I like to say this also equates to identifying our why.  For example, I want to lose weight. Losing weight is sort of vague my why would be because I not only want to look good, I also want to feel good as well.  As mother of three, a wife, a full-time employee, and student I can only work to the point that my body allows me to work. I don’t want something that I can change be a hinderance to me reaching my goals or walking in my purpose. Would you say that was more specific?


I truly pray that anyone who read this and is experiencing self-sabotaging behaviors that you have finished reading this knowing that you are not alone and that this too shall pass. I want to leave you with this: I gave you many practical ways to break self-sabotaging habits and behaviors however, it would be remiss of me to not remind you that we must stay humble and acknowledge that we have habits that are hindering us from reflecting who we are as children of God. In lieu or the (5) tips that I provided above, remember that whatever we do in our own personal assessment that we must to be sure our daily routines and habits are in God’s purpose and plans for our lives.