Are you getting in your own way? Learn these 9 tips to Overcome Self-Sabotage and get healthy today. It’s not difficult if you know.
Have you ever worked so hard at something only to be on the brink of success and blow it? If you’ve been here, you’re not alone. It’s the natural pull of life. The closer we get to success, the crazier we seem to get. Leading us to get in our own way.
All because we are hard-wired for the familiar. We crave it, and when we don’t have it, our need for control kicks in—leading us to act in the opposite way of our goals. It is the pattern of self-sabotage and the very thing that keeps so many people stuck in the same patterns they hate, no matter how much energy they invest in doing something different.
But it doesn’t have to stay this way.
Self-sabotage may not be going away, but it doesn’t mean you have to live controlled by it. Once you are aware of the survival instincts that pull you back into your old and unhealthy patterns, you can learn to rise above them. When you know better, you can do better.
Here are nine ways to overcome self-sabotage, helping you move beyond your fears and step into success.
9 ways to overcome self-sabotage in your health and life
01: Step Outside Your Thoughts
You have thoughts, but you are not your thoughts (1). Just like you have a mind, but you are not necessarily that mind. It’s a lot to take in, but understanding the concept of your two minds and learning how to step outside of them is potentially one of the healthiest places you could live. Your mind will think many things, and when you live inside of your mind, these things become your reality.
But when you can learn the art of stepping outside your mind, you can start to understand the value of these thoughts and the direction they are pulling you towards. If they are not thoughts that help you succeed, challenge them, disconnect from them and move in a direction that will. But it starts by taking a step outside your mind to understand what is happening inside of it.
02: Choose Self-Compassion
Self-sabotage quickly entangles you into a mess of self-hate, but I want to defend you for a moment. Most likely, you are doing the best with what you have. Your body never acts to hurt you but always to preserve you. To protect you by keeping you safe.
You may not agree with all of the choices you have made, but beating yourself up only reinforces a level of pain. Pain that your body is trying to escape. No one in the history of the world has ever hated themselves healthy. Shift that to a place o self-love, finding safety and compassion in the place you find yourself in, and building from there.
03: Develop a Growth Mindset
There is a natural pull toward a fixed mindset because a fixed mindset, the black and white, gives us a false sense of security. You’re either secure or you’re not. Unfortunately, a fixed mindset also leads to a lifestyle of extremes. Chasing an unrealistic pursuit that few people will achieve.
If you look close enough, you’ll see that while your mind likes to believe a fixed mindset is the safest, it’s the most unrealistic. Creating more pain than the pain you fear of a growth mindset. But there is power for trusting in a growth mindset, breaking up with the need for perfection, and living in the in-between. A growth mindset takes away the fear of failure because, in growth, there is no failure. There is only growth.
As long as you’re moving, you are progressing, which is the foundation we all need to stand on to achieve lasting health.
04: Build an identity based in habits, not goals
It’s not to say that you can’t have goals, but goals tend to be fixed. I’m not putting down goals, but living for a destination can prevent you from living in the moment, and it can prevent you from recognizing the growth of movement you’ve made regardless of if you’ve arrived.
There is more growth in the process, and I don’t want to miss that. The process is what creates the patterns that become your way of life. And those patterns are what we call habits—the things you subconsciously do throughout the course of your day that create the outcome you experience. If you want to achieve the goal, you have to create the habits that will make the goal happen.
Don’t miss the daily patterns in the chase of a future destination. Choose habits over goals.
05: Choose the smallest action
Self-sabotage is rooted in fear—specifically, the fear of failure. Instead of taking the risk of failure, you quit, which in itself is a self-induced epic failure. There is no lower place than quitting before you even attempt it. But it’s survival, a form of self-preservation, and it’s the natural tendency of all humans.
Instead of going big or going home or attempting the all-in-scenario, focus on small action. Little steps of showing up for yourself and proving that you can feel safe, even safer than you have been in the midst of creating change. Don’t let fear overwhelm you but find safety in the everyday, moment-by-moment small steps you take to help you achieve health.
06: Boost Your Tolerance for Uncomfortable Feelings
I don’t want to say suffering is your friend because I don’t think suffering is the intended design of life, even if it is a part of life. But in some way, you have to make peace with pain to overcome self-sabotage.
At the root of self-sabotage is not just a fear of failure, but it’s the fear of the pain that comes from failure—leading you to cycle back to a comfortable life, which most likely is a familiar life. Keeping you stuck in the places you hate.
You could call it a negative-feedback loop, but I think we should call it survival. The art of protecting you from the pain that you fear.
But what if your body and mind didn’t have to protect you from pain because you didn’t fear it?
There is great value in making peace with the pain, which comes from believing you can move out of pain. That pain isn’t forever, and you are strong enough to handle it, move through it and grow from it. Don’t let uncomfortable feelings stop you.
That run will be hard. Fasting will produce pain. Choosing nourishing foods over sweet foods will be difficult. But this shouldn’t stop you. There is growth and greatness through the pain. But that means you have to stop avoiding it.
07: Anticipate and plan for obsticals
There is no perfection in health or life. You will fail. You will get knocked down. You will fall off. You will give up. Don’t let this world make you believe anything different. But these things don’t have to make you quit, and they shouldn’t be the reason you self-sabotage yourself back into the old patterns that keep you stuck.
Instead, know these are a part of any healthy life. The key is not giving into them but working through them. It’s not getting so caught up in the way life pulls you out of balance. The key is knowing how to bring yourself back into balance when life pulls you out. Don’t put your energy into controlling your life that you have no energy to change your life. Obstacles will happen. Don’t run from them but grow from them.
08: Want to Not Quit
That’s exactly as it states, want to not quit. Just decide that in whatever situation you find yourself in, you won’t quit. You’re going to stay in it. You’re going to grow through it, and you’re going to find a way into the space you desire. You’re not a quitter. Stay in it.
09: Stay consistent
The driving force in lasting change is always consistency and discipline. Discipline comes from the other eight tips inside this post. It comes by not giving up, and consistency follows that. Show up even when you get knocked down. Even when you get out of balance, come back. Do it again and again and again. The more you do it, the healthy thing, the showing up, the more it will become your pattern and eventually be a defining factor of who you are.
The best way to overcome self-sabotage is to show up. You’ve got this. There is no failure as long as you’re moving, just growth. Don’t let yourself be the one that holds you back. You were made for this and you have everything inside of you to overcome self-sabotage. Now live it.