Why Do We Self-Sabotage?


Are you sawing off the tree limb you’re sitting on? Are you constantly letting yourself down, procrastinating and shying away from success?

Self-sabotage, however it manifests, is all about fear. And most often, fear of failure. Many think that self-sabotage is a fear of success, but we disagree. It’s about the fear of trying one’s best and not being good enough. Behaviour is self-sabotaging when it interferes with your goals. Sometimes these actions seem helpful in the moment (such as having another glass of wine or putting off a personal project to hold another meeting), but they ultimately undermine us.

It’s possible to overcome almost any form of self-sabotage. The first step is to be aware
when it’s happening. Here are the self-sabotage ideas to watch out for…

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Although it may be ironic, many people work hard because they are making up for a sense of inadequacy. And then when that hard work leads to the things they want – material success, status or power – they self-sabotage.

Why? Because, basically, people like to be consistent. Normally our actions line up with our beliefs and values. But when they don’t, we get uncomfortable and try to line them up again. That’s why if we start to stack up some achievements, but think we’re incapable, we self-sabotage to get rid of the difference. This is called cognitive dissonance.



It feels better to control your failure than to be surprised by it. Self-sabotage is bad, but it doesn’t feel as bad as spiralling out of control.


Imposter Syndrome

If you call attention to yourself, it’ll be more likely that you’re called out as a fraud. What does this look like? You may do as little as possible and hope no one notices. Or you may go big and hard, but worry you’ll be revealed as an imposter at any moment. And if you’re faced with a task that makes you feel like a fraud, it’s a lot more appealing to check Facebook or realise you’ve never made banana bread from scratch and it’s time to seize
the day and do that right now.





Time and time again we choose consistency over happiness. We see this in jobs, relationships and habits. The devil you know is preferable to the devil you don’t.



If things don’t work out, we can blame the sabotage instead of ourselves. Of course, we broke up; we argued all the time. Of course, I failed the class; I didn’t start my essay until the night before. These reasons, while true, are superficial, and easier to swallow than the deeper reasons we tell ourselves: of course he left; I’m unlovable. Of course, I failed; I’m incapable.



Sometimes we sabotage just to test. We pick a fight, incite drama, get a rush. If we’re going to cause chaos, we might as well wield some power while we’re there.

Pilates is the ultimate exercise for your mind and body. When you next do a Pilates class, focus on the mindfulness benefits, then go out there and kick those 2018 goals! For a strong body and a sharp mind, Pilates is the answer for 2018!

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