January 21, 2017 |Gideon


4 Common Self-Sabotaging Tactics to Avoid

We are sometimes our own worst enemies and downfall. We might have great goals and dreams but then find ourselves undermining our own progress when it matters most. Have you ever found yourself repeating behaviours that sabotage your success? I know I have. And if you have, are you ready to put your limiting behaviours to rest in favour of a better outlook and greater success? In this post we’ll look at 4 Common Self-Sabotaging Tactics to Avoid and what to do about them.

How are you sabotaging yourself?

The first step to the success you crave is being able to recognise the limiting beliefs that stand in the way of your success. Once you do, you can banish those beliefs in favour of more empowering ones.

Tony Robbins talks about the success cycle. Here’s what it looks like:

What the cycle points out is the impact “belief” has on any “result” in your life. You can have all the potential in the world, but the amount of action you will take that will produce a great result, is determined by the amount of belief you have in your potential (or yourself).

If you have little to no belief, or unhelpful beliefs, you will only tap into a portion of your potential and consequently take very small actions that will result in a very small outcome.

But this is not where this cycle stops.

Robbins explains that the result we end up with (the one that we created) becomes the proof or validation of our existing belief.

For example, if I believe I am a poor salesperson, that will impact my potential to be a great salesperson as well as the amount of action I take which in turn will give me the result of a substandard salesperson. I will then take this poor result and use it as evidence to prove the belief that I am a poor salesperson. And so we create a vicious cycle.

We end up believing even less in our potential, which means we take even less action which results in an even poorer result which then consequently feeds back into our belief yet again. And around she goes.

Therefore the first step to success is recognising any self-limiting beliefs that you might have and attacking them by replacing them with more helpful empowering beliefs.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you make things up because your unconscious mind simply won’t believe it. That’s why certain affirmations don’t work. You might tell yourself 1000 times per day that “I am skinny and happy,” but if you know that it’s not the truth your mind will reject it.

It is much more effective affirming and reinforcing something that is true that could be turned into a positive belief instead of holding onto a self-limiting one.

For example (staying with the salesperson), when you’ve identified your self-limiting belief that your poor salesperson, you might want to replace that belief by emphasising something else that is true, believable and more empowering. Like, being good with people. Maybe you believe you suck at selling someone something, but perhaps you totally believe and know that you are really good with connecting with people. This belief can complement your behaviour in the future a salesperson, but more importantly it can become the foundation of an empowering mindset and belief(s) required to be successful in sales.

So, before moving on to the rest of this article, make sure that you’ve made a list of the most obvious self-limiting beliefs that you have and that have been holding you back. Beliefs that might have caused you to self sabotage in the past.

Once you have that list, you can replace them with more productive thoughts that support your success.

Let’s now look at 4 Common Self-Sabotaging Tactics to Avoid:
  1. Settling for less than your best

When you settle for less than your best, it causes you to stop short of unleashing your fullest potential.

Sometimes you settle for less because you’re scared of encountering failure. Other times, you may settle simply because you lack awareness of your own strength.

But you have to start testing your strength constantly by going out of your comfort zone. Face your fears, because more often than not, your fear is the only obstacle between you and ultimate success.

What I’ve learned after working with many different people as well as from our own life, is that we typically know where our comfort zone is. We know what it is that we need to do, or attempt at least, in order to get to that next level of success.

Maybe it’s waking up earlier and going to the gym. Maybe it’s drinking less wine in the evening. Perhaps it’s resisting the second helping during meal time. Perhaps it’s avoiding certain people. Maybe it’s putting yourself out there more boldly and courageously.

Whatever it is for you, we typically know what it is.

The challenge is moving from knowing about it to doing something about it.

So, take a piece of paper and draw a big circle on it. Name it your comfort zone.

Outside of the circle write down all the things you would like to achieve but have failed to so far.

Inside the circle, write down all the reasons or excuses that have kept you inside that circle.

Next, come up with at least one strategy that will challenge these reasons or excuses, that will move you outside of your comfort zone and closer to anyone of the results outside of the circle.

Example Only

If one strategy doesn’t work, come back to this piece of paper and come up with another strategy that you can attempt.

The secret is, keeping moving forward. If one approach doesn’t work, you change your approach. If that doesn’t work, you change it again. And you keep changing your approach until you get the result you want. That is the essence of discipline and focus.

Do not get sucked in by this idea that anything worthwhile has to be achieved quickly and easily, because that’s not how the world works. Not typically anyway.

Somebody that I view as my mentor, Brendon Burchard, has a saying:

Honour the struggle.

To really unleash your best, you have to be willing to spend time on mastering yourself and your abilities.

Few worthwhile things in life come easily, because if they did, everyone would have them and they won’t be that worthwhile.

2. Expecting too much from others

When you automatically expect help from others, or anticipate that others will bail you out of a tough situation, you’re expecting too much. You are only responsible for yourself.

Even if your friends and family have helped you in the past, they won’t always be around to help you out.

It is great having people we can call on at any time, but you have to always be prepared to suffer the consequences of your actions and clean up your own mess.

Choose a more sensible path that takes into account that you may journey to your destination alone.

Most of my clients know I have to saying that, you are the director of your company, You Ltd

But not only that, you are also the front desk, salesperson, marketing department, human resources, and cleaner. If it is to be it is up to me. You are the beginning and the end of your own journey. You are responsible for your choices, actions, and consequences.

When you are automatically expecting help from others (long before you actually need it), you are setting yourself up for sabotage. Because in the back of your mind you know there is an scapegoat. You have a safety net. Consequently, you end up pursuing certain goals with the unconscious belief that you will be bailed out if things go to custard.

With this in mind (unconsciously) we have no fear of failure, and succeeding becomes an option not a must.

I believe being scared to fail is a good thing, not to the point where it paralyses us, but definitely as an energy to spur us on to giving our best.

Relying on others too much is a sure way to sabotage your progress in the long run. That doesn’t mean you cannot rely on people, or call on them when you need help, but it does mean you back yourself with the option of getting support when you really need. But even then, you trust in your ability to figure it out and get it done.

  1. You feel sorry for yourself

Feeling sorry for yourself is a sure way to set yourself up for self sabotage.

With a defeatist mindset, or victim mentality, you can forget about any progress in your life or business.

No matter how sorry you feel for yourself, or how much you blame others for your misfortune while they get to enjoy the pleasures of life, success will always elude you as long as you harbour this mindset.

If your current situation causes you to feel like something’s missing, change your circumstances.

The great teacher, Jim Rohn, used to say, “if you’re unhappy with where you are, you’re not a tree, so get up and move.”

Therefore, instead of dwelling on what could have been and focusing on the unfortunate hand you’ve been dealt, seek to learn from every experience and focus on solutions, instead of problems.

Figure out a way to improve your situation rather than begrudge it.

As I said before, your success is your responsibility.

Hold yourself accountable for your results and allow unfortunate situations to steer you toward success, instead of deterring you from achieving your dreams.

By maintaining this mindset, even your worst trial will be far better than remaining on the sidelines of life.

Society is filled with people blaming, complaining and finding excuses for why they not living fulfilling lives. Don’t let that be you. Choose to be different.

Avoid setting yourself up for failure through sabotage, because you’re harbouring a mindset of a victim. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, and start getting excited about all the possibilities this world has to offer.

And in this age of information where you have access to everything you need to know to improve your life, spend your time and energy focusing on that, rather than wasting your time away on social media. It’s distasteful and won’t ever make you more successful.

  1. Lack of a second plan

Another common self sabotaging tactic to avoid, is lacking a second plan to your first one. It’s kind of like having one goal without any progressive goals.

If your initial plan gives less than desired results, your only chance at success is your ability to adapt.

Everyone needs a Plan B.

You may feel like a pessimist by planning for an unfortunate outcome, but this planning is actually proactive. It shows your mind that you’re serious about reaching your desired destination.

Ensure your financial security, mental health, and well-being by always planning for the worst while hoping for the best.

The same goes for your goals.

Rather than having one isolated goal, or a few isolated goals, start thinking in terms of progressive goals.

What this means is, you have goals that follow on from one another. So when you reach one, you already start moving towards the following one. And each goal takes you forward to even greater levels of success or achievement.

In this way, you never run the risk of reaching a point where you’ve reached your goal but it failed to be as great as you anticipated initially. You simply use it as a stepping stone for the next.

Final thoughts

If you often find yourself doing any of these self-sabotaging behaviours that hinder your chances of success, decide that today is going to be a new day.

The important thing is that you recognise the thought patterns and behaviours that limit you and head in a new direction that supports your success.

Replace stinking thinking with a productive, solution-oriented focus that tells your mind you deserve the success you seek.

When you do, your success is inevitable.

Please leave your comments and questions below, as I love reading them.

To your success,

Gideon H.












About the author


Gideon is the founder of TheRelationshipGuy.com, a top-50 relationship blog (2021) and top-100 marriage blog (2021) focused on providing healthy relationship advice about love and life. He earned a Master's degree in theological studies before training as a professional counsellor and hypnotherapist (DipProfCouns., DipMSHT.) almost 10 years ago. He is currently pursuing further graduate Psychology studies at Massey University while working as a relationship and dating blogger the majority of the time. He has been married to his wife for over fifteen years and is the father of two children.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

You may also like