Understanding Self-Sabotage

Signs of Self-Sabotage: Living Life Sober or High?

If we are honest with ourselves, our addiction was the epitome of us understanding self-sabotage.

And the definition of self-sabotage is simply a behavior that prevents one from accomplishing a goal or a task.

In our addiction we did everything ass-backwards, so we had no chance of reaching or meeting any goals.

The biggest one would be getting sober I imagine….

…but truth be told, we also do it sober. Example:

You wake up late, and this sets a shadow on the rest of your day. Everyone has days like that, high or not.

But what if you can’t get out of your own way, no matter how hard you try, even when you are sober?

If you find that most of your days are like that, you’re probably sabotaging yourself in recovery as you did in addiction.

Wrecking your own potential success is not just a harmless byproduct of low self-esteem. Self-sabotage can take a huge toll on your relationships, health, finances, and career.

So, let’s take a look at a few major signs of self-sabotage.

Number one: you’re too hard on yourself.

Are you constantly putting yourself down or picking apart everything you do?

Are you able to let your mistakes go, or do you replay everything you did wrong?

Perfectionism and Pessimism: Signs of Self-Sabotage That Can Harm Your Health and Productivity

If any of this sounds familiar, you could be sabotaging yourself by being too perfectionistic.

Self-oriented perfectionism, or the belief that you need to be perfect no matter what, often leaves the person feeling like they’ll never be good enough.

This is because the end goal of perfection is often unrealistic. Not surprisingly, constantly feeling as though you don’t measure up leads to lower self-esteem and higher feelings of failure.

Your fear of making mistakes paralyzes you from taking any productive step ahead. Being overly self-critical can also hurt your mental health, resulting in feelings of loneliness, helplessness, anxiety, and depression.

Number Two: you’re quick to point out the negative.

Do you go out of your way to pick a situation apart until you find all the flaws?

Are you surprised when your plans work out well?

If this sounds familiar, you could be sabotaging your relationships with your pessimistic outlook. The surprising ways self-sabotage can harm your health and productivity.


Procrastination and Pessimism: How They Can Lead to Self-Sabotage and Impact Mental Health

Pessimism doesn’t just sabotage your goals and relationships, but it can also be bad for your health.

A recent study found that people who described themselves as pessimistic were 2.2 times more likely to die of coronary heart disease than the more neutral or optimistic participants.

Number three: you wait until the last minute.

You usually wait until the night before to write a paper, and you relate to waiting until the week before a holiday to make preparations.

Procrastination or putting off a task until the 11th hour is easy to do if you’re feeling overwhelmed, tired, mentally drained, or just plain lazy.

Avoiding a task because you just don’t feel into it is normal from time to time.

However, giving in to that “blah blah blah me” feeling on a regular basis can hold you back in many areas of your life. You end up being dissatisfied with everything you do, be it school, work or just anything in general.

The Negative Impact of Procrastination, Disorganization, and Clutter on Mental Health

Research has shown that people who described themselves as regular procrastinators report higher levels of stress and anxiety. They are also more prone to depression.

Number four: you’re disorganized.

What happens when chaos is your normal?

Are you constantly being late or missing deadlines? If you feel like your life is all over the place, you might be sabotaging yourself in several ways.

This lowers your self-esteem. Also, you lose things that you actually want and need.

The out-of-control feeling that comes with being disorganized can lead to emotional eating too, and increases feelings of depression and hopelessness.

Research shows that too much disorganization and clutter can make people feel stressed and uncomfortable.

People who describe their homes as cluttered tend to have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Recognizing signs of self-sabotage, such as imposter syndrome and overcommitment, is important.

Linking Self-Sabotage to Burnout, Imposter Syndrome, and High Cortisol Levels

High levels of cortisol over time have been linked to health conditions such as inflammation and high blood sugar.

If you feel like a phony and doubt yourself and your abilities, these points may point towards imposter syndrome.

Feeling like a phony can lead to serious self-sabotage, such as not trying for jobs, promotions, roles, or relationships you want.

Overcommitment can also lead to self-sabotage in a variety of ways, such as taking on too much and not being able to finish everything you start.

Burnout, which is a constant state of stress and exhaustion, can also lead to self-sabotage. Burnout feels like constantly trudging through wet concrete or trying to drive a car with no oil.

The constant stress and exhaustion from burnout can lead to some serious self-sabotage, such as mental and physical illnesses, relationship troubles, and even financial problems. The dread even manifests physically.

Recognizing Telltale Signs of Self-Sabotage: Importance and Tips to Overcome

Recognizing the telltale signs of self-sabotage, such as headaches, stomach aches, and other physical symptoms, is important.

If you experience these symptoms frequently, it may be time to pump the brakes and consider how much effort you’re putting into your work or other areas of your life.

While occasional thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are normal, if you experience them frequently, it’s important to consider what might be contributing to your self-sabotage.

Remember that you’re worth the effort to overcome it. Read more about overcoming self-sabotage and experiencing healing in “Hopeless to Healed: A New Creation.”


Read More: Hopeless To Healed: A New Creation

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10 thoughts on “Understanding Self-Sabotage

  • June 14, 2023 at 6:36 PM

    I appreciated the Your emphasis on self-awareness and introspection as key tools in breaking free from self-sabotaging patterns. By encouraging readers to examine their beliefs, fears, and patterns of behavior, the article provides a starting point for self-discovery and personal growth.

    Moreover, the article acknowledges the importance of self-compassion and understanding in addressing self-sabotage. The author reminds readers that self-sabotage is often rooted in deeper emotional wounds or past experiences and that healing and growth require patience, kindness, and a willingness to confront and release negative self-perceptions.

    I highly recommend this article to anyone who has experienced self-sabotage or wishes to understand it better. Your compassionate and insightful approach, coupled with their practical suggestions, make it a valuable resource. By engaging with the concepts and strategies presented in this article, one can embark on a journey of self-discovery, self-acceptance, and personal growth, ultimately breaking free from self-sabotage and embracing a more fulfilling and empowered life.

    • June 15, 2023 at 6:17 PM

      Thank you Pasindu for elaborating on the article. I do appreciate your response and appreciation of the post. Thank you again my friend!

  • June 17, 2023 at 8:07 AM

    I am often very hard on myself and think I can do better. Replaying everything that you did wrong, really struck a cord with me. I am always analysing what I said or did wrong, Instead I should focus more on letting go and learn from my mistakes. It is interesting to see the other signs of self sabotage, which thankfully I am not guilty of. 

    Thank you for pointing out the importance of self-awareness and self-compassion, to help you overcome sabotaging yourself.

    • June 18, 2023 at 11:39 PM

      I appreciate your feedback and thank you for taking the time to read the post…greatly appreciated.

  • June 18, 2023 at 7:19 PM

    I used to think perfectionism was a strength. But now I know it is a weakness. When I started my business, I wanted everything perfect; but I did nothing. I started working towards success when I opened up to correction and making mistakes. I agree with you that it is a sign of self-sabotage. Please can you recommend programs that can help one overcome perfectionism?

    • June 18, 2023 at 9:54 PM

      Hello and thank you for your comments and questions. Although perfectionism and addiction are two different subjects, I do believe self-sabotage is something you can apply to trying to be a perfectionist. Giving your all or your best and realizing , hey, “I did my best” is you being honest with you. Being a perfectionist , you can actually fool yourself into thinking that’s what you are and always miss the mark that you believe you are suppose to hit….nothing wrong with expectations of yourself, but they have to be realistic, because you are not going to be “perfect” at everything, I don’t care who you are unless you happen to be “Jesus”.

      With that said, I would recommend a book to read called “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. It will open your eyes to failures and victories and how to balance them and realistically accept that you can be the best version of you, without being “perfect”…THANK YOU MY FRIEND!

  • June 20, 2023 at 10:40 AM

    “Understanding Self-Sabotage” offers valuable insights into the psychology behind self-sabotaging behaviors and provides practical strategies for overcoming them. The article explores the root causes of self-sabotage, such as fear of success or low self-esteem, and provides guidance on how to identify and address these underlying issues. By understanding the patterns and triggers of self-sabotage, readers can gain the tools necessary to break free from self-destructive behaviors and create positive change in their lives. Have you ever experienced self-sabotage? What strategies have you found effective in overcoming it?

    • June 24, 2023 at 3:36 PM

      Thank you once again Steve. You can read about my experience and strategies that have worked for me in various articles at my website but you can start here https://timotherapy.com/about-

  • June 21, 2023 at 9:59 PM

    The topic is a sensitive and deeply personal one, and your insightful exploration of this phenomenon is truly commendable. Your article delves into the underlying reasons and patterns that lead individuals to self-sabotage, shedding light on a complex and often misunderstood behavior. By providing practical tips and strategies for overcoming self-sabotage, you have offered valuable guidance for those who may be struggling in their own lives.

    • June 24, 2023 at 3:25 PM

      Appreciate the kind words Lauren and thank you for taking the time to read the article!


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