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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Do We Overeat Because of Poor Self-Control?

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Adolescence and Making Parents Proud

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By Rick Miller LICSW on March 23, 2015 in Unwrapped
Expanding the ways in which we feel “sexy” is good for everyone (yup, except maybe for the beauty industry that sells just one way).

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By Kimberly Key on March 21, 2015 in Counseling Keys
Don't settle. Love exists. Test to tell if you're not getting the nurturing you need.

Say What? Why Do People Forget They Have a Live Mic?

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The Mach 1 Experience: 6 Keys to Successful Risk-Taking

By Gregg Levoy on March 18, 2015 in Passion!
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Vacation or Gaycation?

By Rick Miller LICSW on March 10, 2015 in Unwrapped
Gay men sometimes feel pressured to take “gay vacations” to resorts or on cruises, but these getaways can be as isolating as being in Disneyland surrounded by traditional families. The advantage of being out of the closet is being out of all closets, including those that are self-imposed.

Do You Need a Friendship Cleanse?

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Balancing Inhibition and Exhibition

By Gregg Levoy on March 03, 2015 in Passion!
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8 Negative Attitudes of Chronically Unhappy People

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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
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How to Win the Willpower Battle

By Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D. on December 21, 2014 in Living Forward
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Reversing the Psychology of Competition

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The Scientific Approach to Changing Your Life

By Lisa Firestone Ph.D. on November 18, 2014 in Compassion Matters
Whether it’s their job, their relationship, their city or themselves, most people have something in their lives that they're hoping to change. What most of these people probably don't know is that there is an actual science backed by 30 years of intensive research that reveals how lasting change is possible.

Are Your Excuses Really Lies That Sabotage Your Life?

By Susan Biali M.D. on October 30, 2014 in Prescriptions for Life
An excuse is a lie you tell yourself, without realizing you are doing it. Discover the excuses you are using, today, that are sabotaging your life and dreams and holding you back.

ENVY: Bane of Existence or Gift of Nature?

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A Brief History of Psychiatry

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When Your Penis Won't Do What You Want

By Isadora Alman MFT on October 06, 2014 in Sex & Sociability
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How to Ace: “What’s your biggest weakness?”

By Lynn Taylor on September 20, 2014 in Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant
Most hiring managers will at some point pop every job applicant’s most dreaded question: "What is your biggest weakness?" And how you handle the query could ironically portray vulnerability – or your admirable character. It’s an interview classic because it measures so many personality attributes in one fell swoop.

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