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5 Signs You Self-Sabotage Yourself

Self-sabotaging behaviors can be confusing for individuals and their loved ones. You want to cope with stress productively, but you continue acting in ways that maintain negative thought patterns or harm your emotional well-being.

Self-sabotage refers to engaging in behaviors that directly counteract your values or goals. Most people do not self-sabotage themselves intentionally. Instead, they often find themselves in frustrating patterns of doing things they really don't want to be doing.

Here are some signs that you're self-sabotaging yourself:

Signs That You're Engaging in Self-Sabotaging Behavior

Sometimes, self-sabotaging behaviors aren't obvious, especially if you're used to experiencing denial or other defense mechanisms. It's important to note that most people get in their own way from time to time. It's also normal to fear change and struggle with self-criticism.

You're Feeding Negative Self-Talk

You'll never get this right. You're always going to keep messing up. Everything thinks you're going to fail. No matter how hard you try, it won't matter.

Do these messages sound familiar? We all have internal scripts, but when you're struggling with your mental health, those scripts might be downright toxic. They can convince you that you're entirely unworthy or incapable of change.

Listening to this inner critic can drive self-sabotaging behavior and other bad habits. You might feel like you're doomed to fail, which reinforces self-doubt. And when you don't believe in yourself, those self-sabotaging thoughts sneak up quickly.

If you're used to being hard on yourself, positive self-talk may seem like a foreign concept. But, it's important to focus on strengthening this skill over time. Self-confidence allows you to recognize self-sabotaging patterns as they're happening, and it can lead you into making better choices when you encounter stressful situations.

You're Avoiding Your Emotions

Everyone experiences emotional pain. Difficult feelings are a part of life. It's true that dealing with them can be challenging, but avoiding them altogether makes the problem worse.

People try to conceal their emotions through various defense mechanisms. Some choose the numbing route, which can include drugs, alcohol, or other forms of self-harm. Others are quick to intellectualize how they feel. Instead of acknowledging their strong emotions, they automatically judge what's going on or rationalize the situation.

Others avoid their emotions by staying so busy that they don't have a moment to think. They can't practice mindfulness in anything they do because slowing down means risking feeling something. But no matter how busy you are, feelings are still there, and you'll likely continue to self-sabotage until you address them.

You Procrastinate or Avoid Change

Do you always find a reason why something won't work out? If so, there's a good chance you're getting in your own way more than you realize.

People who self-sabotage often struggle to accept the uncomfortable feelings associated with change. They do what they can to maintain their current status quo, even if that prevents them from moving forward.

Procrastination is sneaky because it's easy to justify this self-defeating action. You can blame it on being too busy or not having enough resources to make the change. But if you want to stop self-sabotaging, you will need to break this pattern.

You Spend Time With People Who Enable Self-Defeating Behavior

We're social creatures, which means we are products of our environment. With that, some people self-sabotage because they surround themselves with people who consciously or unconsciously support their negative behavior.

For example, if you're in recovery for a substance use disorder, you might be sabotaging yourself if you keep hanging out with old friends who are still drinking or using drugs. Or, if you want to move up in the workplace, you may be engaging in self-sabotaging behaviors by letting a coworker influence you into staying in your current role.

It's important to note that most people do not consciously want their loved ones to struggle. But, if for some reason, they feel unworthy or have a distorted self-image, they might subconsciously project their own insecurities onto others.

You Have a Tremendous Fear of Failure

The fear of failure often underlies self-destructive behavior. This can also be seen in people who fear success. They don't quite know what's "on the other side" of their accomplishment, so they self-sabotage to mitigate the risk of potential danger.

This fear of failure can be rooted in past traumas, but it can also be a symptom of anxiety or depression. Either way, there's a sense of pervasive stuckness that prevents you from feeling like you can move forward in life.

How We Can Help You Stop Self-Sabotaging and Experience More Happiness

Your self-defeating behaviors may feel frustrating, but they aren't random. People self-sabotage all kinds of goals, relationships, and internal needs. You're certainly not alone in your experience.

At Resurface Group, we focus on helping people change their negative behaviors and stop sabotaging their progress. We take a holistic, comprehensive approach that may include focusing on your low self-esteem, reassessing your patterns in romantic relationships, and learning how to practice more self-compassion.

We also treat the underlying emotional pain causing you to self-sabotage in the first place. Negative emotions may feel uncomfortable, but you can learn how to cope with this stress. We are here to support you through your journey.

Contact us today to learn more.

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