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"Understanding self-sabotage: Exploring 5 underlying causes and solutions"



“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” C. G. Jung


Using the word self-sabotage is in and of itself a diversion from taking responsibility for one's own life:


"There is a part of me, that doesn't want me to succeed and blocks me from achieving my goals."

We are basically at war, so to speak.


But all it says is:

"I am not in control of this. There is a part of me that just works against me and throws me off track to keep me where I am. 

It's not me...It's not who I am..."


While this may be true; it is not who you are, but it might just be very much related to who you were.

Let us update this help- and powerless attitude.


There is nothing inside any person, that wants to see them fail miserably. Even if you believe you're not worthy, your mind just wants you to be right, if this makes sense.

When we assume, as humans we are made to survive, 

to be safe, 

to be loved, 

and to be happy and free, 

we can assume, that the only reason why we feel we sabotage ourselves must be therefore a good reason to serve us to become that safe, loved, free, and happy bunny, that we want to be.

When we know that our mind is busy creating this for us, we might realize, that we are fallible and our mind gets it wrong from time to time, as well.


What was once a great strategy is now a block and a burden.

Self-sabotage wants to say we fight an invisible inner conflict.

It is a word for something we can't start doing or we can't stop doing that started as being very helpful in the past.


Here are 5 underlying reasons why we think we sabotage ourselves.


May this give you some food for thought and inspiration to act differently.



binge watching


1) Your brain likes the familiar.


Things, people, and places you know speak "safety". Some call it staying in the "comfort zone".

No matter how miserable those things can feel, they give you the illusion of being in control. You know how to handle it. You know who you have to be and how you have to behave.

We fear uncertainty and hence the unfamiliar can look like a threat. And when we perceive a threat we tend to avoid it or at least get out of there as fast as we can.


2) "The Who You Are"-version in your mind is outdated. 


Our identity is a collection of experiences, beliefs, personality traits, qualities, strengths, quirks, and everything we feel makes us.

Someone can sabotage themselves by believing a version of themselves they thought they were in the past. You might have been humiliated, downgraded, shamed, and bullied in the past.

This can sit with us for decades and we take it on board as "This is who I am, ...obviously".

But is it?


This learned belief about ourselves can determine how worthy and deserving we feel. Not feeling worthy is a guarantee for sabotaging good stuff that wants to come our way. We just cannot receive it with open arms.

We can't be in great and inspiring relationships because who would want to be with a loser like that? A lot of people stay in very toxic relationships because this is not only what is familiar to them, but also because of their perception of not deserving better than that.


We want that dream job, that dream project, but for some unknown reason, we stop ourselves from going for it.

Or we compare ourselves to others, not being aware, not really aware, that everyone just shows us, what they allow us to see.

When we already feel inferior deep down, the comparison to others is us swallowing pure poison to kill the rest of our little self-worth completely.


3) Living in the past.


Everything we have experienced in the past is used by our minds to project into the future. Our mind wants, again, to help us stay safe by creating meaning and interpretations of experiences.

What we thought might have been the cause of something in the past, needs to be avoided in the future. But some instances are not correlated in any way shape or form, we just think they are cause and effect.


A great example is superstitions. Sometimes the most absurd things look related: 

- a black cat crossing the street from left to right or vice versa tells us something about our luck or the lack thereof, 

- a spider in the morning or the evening means x,y,z, and so on.

- Or people having mascots to protect them from something or to keep their success going...etc.


Long story short, this is just what the brain does naturally.


If we are living in the past we think this thing might happen again in the future and our strategies of avoidance jump into gear.


4) The fear of failure, 


especially when people call themselves perfectionists and "control freaks" (mostly their words, not mine :))

As mentioned in the very beginning, self-sabotage is a means to give us the illusion of control in some way.

But what we are trying to do here is to control things that are beyond our control. 


People do, say and think, what people do, say, and think. There is just no way to be able to control it. Sure, we can influence certain aspects, sometimes, and when I think of the media, for example, oh no, don't let me go down this

rabbit hole...


In our surroundings, our personal life we will never know, what someone really thinks, or how someone will behave in the next minute. We can make guesses and predictions when we know this person very well, and we still are in for surprises.


We can't control events, circumstances and so many other things, but when we try to do exactly that because we need to feel a sense of safety, we are burning out and fail anyway big time.

Last, but...


5) The biggest reason, in my opinion, that keeps us sabotaging our

best intentions are fear and shame, which sums up everything I have said before in three words...

(well, yeah, I wanted to give you something to read after all).


Fear and shame keep us small, and hidden, and kill every joy, creativity, courage, and inspiration. They are the enemy of a life well lived.


Now everything I mentioned and all the things I haven't mentioned are very uncomfortable to experience and more often than not those things are keeping us stuck and in place, even though we strive for so much more in life. 


How can we overcome this?


8 Antidotes to self-sabotage:


1) self-awareness,

2) self-acceptance

3) self-compassion

4) self-care

5) self-love

6) Getting to know yourself better

7) and realizing what activates your old patterns and strategies.

8) learning to fail better and making friends with failure as part of

your road to success.


Ok, this is all fine and dandy, you might think, and how the hell am I doing this?


Well, I'm glad you asked:


Find a gift for you by clicking HERE. It's a great beginning to get you moving if you feel trapped in "self-sabotage". The audio guides you gently to the other side of "stuck".


Or you can check out my new course, "Renaissance Of The Soul", which I have created through all my temptations of self-sabotaging and procrastinating in the past months.


This course will help you to get much closer to your place of self-awareness, acceptance, self-love, and self-care. You will be guided, at your own pace, through self-discovery and exploration to realize what it was that made you feel the way you felt and how to feel better to become better.

You have all the space you want and need to heal old emotional wounds and learn to strengthen and use your resources, even the ones you have forgotten about. 


This course aims to help you feel whole as the person you are today so that you can feel safe, loved, happy, and free deep down and create a future you are excited about.

Check "Renaissance Of The Soul" out by clicking HERE.


Or you can work with me, of course. I am always happy to help.


My warm regards to you!



Christine Philipp Signature



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