What Is Self-Sabotaging Behavior?

Behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems in daily life and interferes with long-standing goals. Among the most common self-sabotaging behaviors are procrastination, self-medication with drugs or alcohol, comfort eating, and forms of self-injury such as cutting.   

People aren't always aware that they are sabotaging themselves, and connecting a behavior to a self-defeating consequences is no guarantee that a person will disengage from the behavior. Still, it is possible to overcome almost any form of self-sabotage. There are behavioral therapies that can aid in interrupting ingrained patterns of thought and action while strengthening deliberation and self-regulation processes. Motivational therapies reconnect people with their goals and values. 

Why Do People Sabotage Themselves?

There are many potential reasons why a person might act in a way that proves damaging to his or her well-being. Some individuals, of course, spend much of their lives struggling with powerful cravings for food, drink, gambling, and other temptations that come with painful costs to their health or relationships.

But the forces that lead to self-sabotage can also be more subtle, such as an accumulation of dysfunctional and distorted beliefs that lead people to underestimate their capabilities, suppress their feelings, or lash out at those close to them. An important aspect of dealing with counterproductive behavior is identifying where it might be coming from.


Addiction, Procrastination

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