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 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 have the power to 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 patters of thought-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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By Kimberly Key on May 12, 2015 in Counseling Keys
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By Rick Miller LICSW on March 23, 2015 in Unwrapped
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By Kimberly Key on March 21, 2015 in Counseling Keys
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The Mach 1 Experience: 6 Keys to Successful Risk-Taking

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By Rick Miller LICSW on March 10, 2015 in Unwrapped
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By Gregg Levoy on March 03, 2015 in Passion!
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By Marcia Reynolds Psy.D. on February 14, 2015 in Wander Woman
Whether you are starting something new or you made some mistakes you regret, you might fall into the trap of calling yourself a failure. Or you worry others will judge you as incompetent. This post will help you recognize scenarios where you discount yourself and then it gives you 5 steps for helping you recover your confidence so you can move on.

Are Your Boundaries Making You Miserable?

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on February 12, 2015 in Evolution of the Self
Sure, you need boundaries. And undeniably, you have the right to assert them—whether to safeguard your privacy, self-respect, or basic sense of decency. So it’s crucial to develop the ability and self-confidence to say no, or to tell others to stop doing what they’re doing. But what also needs to be emphasized is that some of your boundaries may be holding you hostage. . .

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When I speak of “old programs,” I’m referring to childhood decisions you made to better adapt to a conditionally accepting family. After all, when you’re highly dependent on your caretakers for comfort, guidance, and support, what could be more essential than feeling securely bonded to them? For you certainly can't function autonomously. . . .

How to Win the Willpower Battle

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By Linda Esposito LCSW on December 16, 2014 in From Anxiety to Zen
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