Mental Health

Mental health: 5 ways to stop self-sabotaging, according to a therapist

Posted by
Leah Sinclair
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Acknowledging you are a self-saboteur is the first step – but this is how to put an end to it once and for all.

How many of us have missed out on an opportunity with no one but ourselves to blame?

It’s something that happens often, as we convince ourselves that something – or someone – isn’t right for us or that we’re not ready or not qualified when, in reality, we are just self-sabotaging ourselves in an endless cycle that sees us overthink and miss out on the things we truly desire.

Acknowledging that you may be self-sabotaging is a great step – but how do we go about stopping it altogether?

Therapist Sana Powell has highlighted the key signs that you’re self-sabotaging in a recent Instagram post – and offers advice on how to stop.

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“Self-sabotage describes doing things that go against your goals and efforts to succeed,” writes Powell. “This post highlights some tips to break the cycle of self-sabotage and explore why we might do it in the first place.

First up, the therapist says one way to stop self-sabotaging is by identifying what fears are holding you back from “wholeheartedly pursuing your goals”, followed by reminding yourself that you are “enough” just as you are and are worthy of good things.

Powell says acknowledging your strengths and considering all the ways you’ve succeeded in the past is key to when trying to stop self-sabotaging. Additionally, recognising that “it’s OK to not be able to control everything about your journey”.

Finally, Powell says that it’s important to remember during this process that there is no shame in failure and that it’s “a natural part of growth”.

“It’s important that we talk about why we might self-sabotage so that we can better understand the barriers, sometimes within ourselves, that can hold us back from achieving our goals,” Powell adds.

“Unlearning beliefs about ourselves that lead to self-sabotage can take time! Be patient with yourself if you find it difficult to make these changes.”

Following the post, people took to the comments to share how Powell’s advice has helped them along the journey as reformed self-saboteurs.

“Love these tips, because they’re all about balance,” commented one. “Our negativity bias means we’re wired to focus on the negatives more than the positives, so it’s important we consciously acknowledge the positives to balance it out.”

Another added: “Letting the past be in past is one of the best things we can do in order to disrupt the cycle of self-sabotage. It’s like we don’t even realise but it’s so important to break this cycle consciously whenever the realisation dawns upon a person.”

It’s time to step into a new season that sees you forgo doubt and fully acknowledge your growth.

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Leah Sinclair

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