What Is Self-Sabotage?

Behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals. The most common self-sabotaging behaviors are procrastination, self-medication with drugs or alcohol, comfort eating, and forms of self-injury such as cutting. These acts may seem helpful in the moment, but they ultimately undermine us, especially when we engage in them repeatedly.

People aren't always aware of their own self-sabotage as the effects of their behavior may not show up for some time. Unfortunately, connecting a behavior to 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, and people do it every day. There are behavioral therapies aimed at interrupting ingrained patterns of thought and action and strengthening deliberation and self-regulation processes. Motivational therapies reconnect people with their goals and values. There are even computer programs that help eliminate the constant temptation of online distractions.

Recent posts on Self-Sabotage

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Dismissing Attachment and the Search for Love

By Hal Shorey Ph.D. on February 06, 2018 in The Freedom to Change
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It's All Relative...Sometimes

By Brad E Sachs Ph.D. on February 05, 2018 in Emptying The Nest
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How to Stop Procrastinating on Self-Change

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Beware the Masks of Addiction

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Why Do We Self-Sabotage?

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Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?

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How Is Rewriting History the Goal of All Therapy?

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on September 27, 2017 in Evolution of the Self
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3 Relationship Compromises You Should Never Make

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on September 25, 2017 in The Squeaky Wheel
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Therapy for Gambling Addiction

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“Never Again!” The Psychological Fallout of Trauma

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on September 13, 2017 in Evolution of the Self
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Calming the Monkey Mind

By Diana Raab PhD on September 13, 2017 in The Empowerment Diary
Do you find that there's a voice inside of you that seems like negative self-talk? Is it hindering your creativity or affecting your success? It might be your monkey mind at work.