How To Stop Sabotaging Yourself And Achieve Your Goals

Identify your negative habits, write it down, and start small.

Felix Cabrera
Nov 2, 2019 · 4 min read

We’ve all been there …

When you are losing weight, and you already lost 10 pounds. You feel a little successful, and then you start eating more calories than you should. Thus, slowing down the weight loss process.

Or when you have had a productive day, then, the next day, you start getting lazy and not achieving anything in your to-do list for the day.

Another example, when you know, you should start studying for an exam, and you keep procrastinating.

Can you relate?

No worries, I understand.

So, today, I will share my experience with self-sabotage and some strategies I used to overcome it.

This way, you can do them to and achieve your goals.

You HAVE To Want It

Before you recognize that you are self-sabotaging your success, you need to want to make a change.

Thus, the first thing to do is to reflect on where you are now and where you want to be once you make a change.

If you are satisfied where you are at the moment, then there’s no need to change. Also, it may be harder to motivate yourself, so you have to be committed to making a change.

If you don’t like how a specific part of your life is now, then the pain of staying the same needs to outweigh the desire not to change.

Hence, you will have the desire to make a change in that area of your life.

“I am the greatest obstacle to my greatest dreams.”
― Craig D. Lounsbrough

In other words, you have to want it.

Identify The Actions That Are Blocking You From Success

This step can be a little hard. To identify the things you do that hold you back from achieving your goals, you need to go deep and self-reflect.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

1. What is what I am NOT achieving?

2. What am I doing that is contributing to me not achieving what I desire?

The first question, what is what you are not achieving can help you become self-aware of the goal that you are not accomplishing.

“We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.”

― Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Now, the second question will help you dig deep and make you take a look at yourself and the things you do daily.

What I like at about this question is that, if you go deeper, you may notice that some of the things you do that hold you back, you do them subconsciously.

Here are some examples of self-sabotaging actions:

  1. Procrastinating
  2. Shying away from new opportunities
  3. Being late to appointments or meetings
  4. Not giving your full effort
  5. Overthinking and worrying
  6. Self-doubt
  7. Overeating
  8. Not sleeping well

Once you have identified your self sabotaging actions, then you can start making a plan to stop these actions.

You can gather the resources you need, perhaps read a book, join a program, or make a commitment to stop doing these things to yourself.

Thus, helping you move towards success, not away from it.

Write It Down And ACT

After you have identified the actions that hold you back from success, write them down on a piece of paper and hang it up somewhere where you can see it frequently.

This way, you can remind yourself about the things you need to stop doing. Now, the most important part of this step is to act.

Act on the things that help you succeed.

Here are some examples:

  1. Read a book that helps you achieve your goals
  2. Exercise consistently
  3. Practice 1 hour a day
  4. Drink water every day
  5. Set early reminders for appointments, so you get there on time

The key is to do the positive actions on a consistent basis, this way, you’ll move closer to achieving your goals.

Start Small And Build Positive Momentum

One thing that I noticed when working on replacing self-sabotaging habits is that you can get overwhelmed when trying to stop too many habits at once.

Which can lead you to stop and give up, thus, going back to your old ways.

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”

― Robert Collier

So, for this, start with one, and then as you build positive momentum, you keep replacing self-sabotaging habits one at a time.

The key is to be consistent; this way, you start seeing positive changes in your life.

It might be tough at first, but as you see the rewards, you will keep going. That is what has happened to me.

Final Thoughts

To stop self-sabotage, you need to want to change. The pain of staying the same has to be greater than the desire to stay keep an area of your life the way it is.

Once you decided to change, then identify the actions that move you away from success in an area of your life.

Start small, then, as you keep building positive momentum, you can keep going replacing one self-sabotaging habit at a time.

Disclaimer: I am not a mental health or counseling professional. These tips and advice are based on my experience and opinion as a student, tutor, teacher, and software developer. Everyone is different, so the advice shared in this article may or may not work for you.

Live Your Life On Purpose

Get Purpose. Get Perspective. Get Passion.

Felix Cabrera

Written by

A.k.a. Felix The Dev. Software Developer. Writer, programming teacher, tutor, and coach.

Live Your Life On Purpose

Get Purpose. Get Perspective. Get Passion.

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