Self Sabotage – Why do we do it?

Why is it we allow ourselves to self sabotage our lives with negativity, self doubt and despair? When we arrived on earth we knew nothing of these feelings, yet somewhere along the way we were tainted and feel inadequate at times. We don’t follow things through to the end. Our shelves are laden with self help books and yet we have not implemented things that we think we should. We listen to podcasts and audio books yet we feel incompetent and lacking in self worth.

Do any of these thoughts and feelings resonate with you?

Let’s take a step back for a moment.

I woke up early one morning and it was perfect weather to don my headphones and take my little dog out for a walk. Guiseppe is the cutest Yorkie weighing in at 4.8lbs. He is 8 years old and thinks he is a Great Dane. In fact – he has a wonderful self image. Me – not so much. I was pondering this while I was walking and watching him bark at dogs some 15 x bigger than himself. I watched him run up to everyone who would smile and talk sweetly. He pranced and danced on his hind legs acting as though he was on stage. Where did he get that self confidence, my little dynamo!

When I got home, I sat quietly wondering why one has self doubt and little confidence. God knows that I have even considered not completing this blog post – wondering who would want to read it anyway? If you are reading this, you know I stepped out of my comfort zone and posted it anyway.

“The starting point of discovering who you are, your gifts, your talents, your dreams, is being comfortable with yourself. Spend time alone. Write in a journal.”— Robin Sharma


I never really learnt to journal properly – not quite knowing what needed to be written. It did not come naturally to me, although I love to write and I do write part time for a living. When doing my research looking for help for myself,  I found some interesting articles, podcasts and youtube videos talking about the journaling process. Apparently journaling can help with feelings of self doubt, low self esteem and therefore self sabotage.

Why Should You Journal?

If you have thoughts clogging your mind and you keep on worrying about them – then you need to brain dump. If you get rid of the stuff thats churning in your head and your heart, you will feel better and be able to concentrate more easily. That made sense and so I began jotting down the things on my mind. That felt good but it did not make me feel as though I achieved anything major – I still felt unworthy and nearly gave up again.

How do You Journal?

Journaling comes easily if you have some prompts to help you. Perhaps it’s best to start with the Wheel of Life and some questions you could answer in your journal. Dig deep. You do not need to do all of them, just start somewhere and write as much or as little as you want. Don’t answer all in one day. Take days, weeks or months if you need to until you have your life out on paper. 

  • Money
    • How much money would pay your bils and let you live comfortably?
    • What do you desire in life
    • What does your bank account look like today?
    • What amount of money in the bank would make you feel secure?
    • Are you on the path to a good financial place?
      • If not, what is holding you back?
    • Have you ever saved money?
      • If not, why not? What could you do to earn more money so you could save?
  • Wellbeing
    • Are you at the right fitness level and weight that you are comfortable with
      • If not, what will it take to make you do it?
    • Have you tried health programs and failed?
      • If you failed, what caused you to fail?
    • What is the biggest obstacle you face?
  • Relationships
    • Are you happy in the relationships you have with family and loved ones
      • If not, what is it you want from the relationship and why don’t you have it
    • Do you have enough friends to share your world
    • Who is your go to person and are they available for you when you need care
      • Do you have a reciprocal arrangement?
  • Spirituality
    • Are you comfortable with your Spiritual Well Being?
      • If not, what could you do to be more fulfilled Spiritually eg: Church, book reading, meditation, quiet time, alone time, writing, journaling.
      • What feeds your Soul? What do you love to do that could grow you Spiritually?
  • Career
    • Do you love your job / work
      • If not, why did you do this job?
    • What would you rather be doing?
    • What would it take to get to that?
  • Education / Learning
    • Life is a learning experience – what are you learning about life? What are your Aha moments?
    • What are the things you would persue if you had time and money?
    • What are your hobbies and interests? Could you monetize them and earn a side income?
  • Fun
    • What fun things do you do in your spare time?
    • Do you have hobbies or sports
    • What about your social life? Is that balanced?
    • What things would you like to be doing and would like to persue?
    • Why are you not doing them?

Where did this Self Sabotage Mindset Begin?

That’s a good question to ask yourself. What is it that you do that makes you give up or talk yourself out of something that you want to do or want to accomplish? Can you think about an instance that you did give up or not even attempt? Why did you give up? How did it make you feel? Was it caused by someone doubting your ability? Did you not plan well enough to follow through? Think about the time before this one… then the time before that… what made you doubt yourself?

Did Your Parents Achieve their Goals?

Were your parents achievers? What did you witness that makes you question your self worth? What were their expectations? Did they get angry with you or did you get angry with yourself when you failed to accomplish what you set out to do? Perhaps you didn’t even try for fear of failure? What about your siblings or classmates – do you compare yourself to them? When did that start? Why do you feel inadequate. Break down the barrier and look hard for the answer.

How To Move Forward

Every night, make a list of things you would like to achieve the next day. Be consistent with these every day for one week. Don’t make huge big demands of yourself. It can be as simple as getting up on time, reading for 10 minutes and taking a 20 minute walk at lunch time.  What can you do several days in a row to give you confidence and know you can achieve. That will give you the confidence to try bigger things. The next week add one more achievable step for the day. Then the week after add a social function for one day in that week. Build on this foundation until you have several small wins under your belt and you prove to yourself that you can be a success.

Stop, Start and Continue

What is the One Thing – 

  • you should stop doing straight away that would make you happier and more confident in your life?
  • you should start doing straight away to give you more confidence?
  • you are doing already that makes you comfortable and you should continue doing?

When you have these answers then set a goal to carry thru with them


At the end of the day, you have to be happy with your progress. Keep scrambling to make your life better. Don’t compare yourself with others because you are unique. You have gifts for this world and your life matters and no one gets to be you. When people make you feel small or not worthy, or consider you an under-achiever, remember that the smartest and brightest achievers have closed door traumas too. Peoples lives on Social Media always sound more glamorous than they really are. You do you. Remember, if you fail to start you can never soar. You can do it. Peel away those layers and live free from self sabotage.