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Detecting Early Signs of Self-Sabotage and Overcoming Them


How often do you hear a small voice inside your head saying – you can’t do this? How often do you hear that same voice gnawing at you, saying – don’t do this, you will fail? We all hear that voice speaking to us now and then. We call it our conscience. What if it is not our conscience warning us of imminent danger? What if that voice is our anti-self, holding us back and ruining our efforts?

Focus on what the voice does to you – does it keep gnawing at you and feeds doubts?

The term ‘self-sabotage’ might not sound familiar to you. This behavioral pattern is real! It is extremely destructive and never allows you to grow.

Understanding Self-Sabotaging Behavior

According to Healthline, “self-sabotage refers to behaviors or thought patterns that hold you back and prevent you from doing what you want to do.” Does that sound familiar?


Take a step back and refocus on all those small episodes where you easily gave in to what your inner voice commanded you to do. Remember anything?


Allow us to refresh your memory a little for you –

Detecting the Early Signs of Self-Sabotage

#Sign 1: Procrastinating is Your Second-Self

Do you find yourself pushing things to the last minute? Think back to all those episodes where you delayed important tasks till the final hour. Your procrastination has become your second self already. You feel like you’re unable to pull yourself to get the job done on time. You keep pushing it away till the last minute. You indulge yourself in other lesser important tasks instead.


These are early signs of procrastination. Why do you procrastinate?


You procrastinate because you doubt your abilities and skills to get the job done to perfection – just how it is expected of you. In simple words, you do not believe you have what it takes to accomplish assigned tasks to the best of your abilities. In reality, this self-doubt is pushing you to self-sabotage your confidence and motivation.


And, when you reach the deadline, you end up delivering very poor results. So, your procrastination sabotaged your chance to succeed!

#Sign 2: Play the Blame-Game with Others

Believe it or not, playing the blame game is an early sign of self-sabotage. We all do it. We rarely take responsibility for our actions and blame others for our misfortunes.

This is an easy way out of shouldering responsibilities. This is also self-sabotaging behavior.

#Sign 3: Walking Away

Walking away does not seem like a form of self-sabotage. You’re just walking away from a situation. Right? Wrong!


Have you ever felt that keeping a job for a longer duration is actually difficult for you?

How many times have you walked away from a job because your supervisor treated you unfairly? How often do you leave a job when your manager criticizes your work?

Hope these questions allowed you to self-reflect. Moving away from undesirable situations is permissible. But, if the episodes keep repeating, then there’s a pattern building up inside of your head. This is a time when you should focus on the root cause before you decide to walk away. Because if you can’t break the pattern, the pattern will ruin you.


This sign of self-sabotage will prevent you from thriving in your career.

#Sign 4: Picking Fights Everywhere

Maybe that has become a coping mechanism for you? Or your inability to express your feelings, especially when you are agitated? You resort to passive-aggressive behavior.

This is self-destructive! These are silent indications of self-sabotage!


Before that self-sabotaging behavior ruins you for good, you need to reflect on your actions and find solutions immediately.

How to Overcome Self-Sabotage?

Now let’s get to the point. Once you see these signs and they become a pattern, it is hard to break from the chain reaction. However, it’s not impossible! Lucky for you, here are a few tricks that might help you to save yourself from self-destruction –

#Trick 1; Stop self-doubting Yourself

That’s the first step towards silencing the small voice inside your head for good. Instead, focus on your abilities and enhance your skills.


Work on yourself, build yourself, and embrace yourself with all the flaws and faults. Do not criticize or compare yourself with others. You can reach this point once you start accepting and loving yourself for who you are!


Never question your abilities. Instead, be confident of what you can accomplish and start believing in that. Then, avoid procrastination and attend to businesses with full force. You will come out as a winner!

#Trick 2: Find the Ability to Express Freely

It would help if you broke the pattern of passive aggression.


No one is going to tolerate that behavior for long. And no one will even try to understand why you pick fights frequently?


To find other mediums to express yourself or channel that energy into doing positive things. It is quite hard to put into practice if the pattern has been formed in you already. You can still walk away from a situation where you feel your anger is boiling up inside of you. Or, maybe try to change the subject altogether. Even better, laugh it away.


Pen down your thoughts if you wish to vent out those thoughts. Maybe try to develop an interest in new things for a while. Keeping yourself busy momentarily will help you to avoid such gatherings where you can lose your temper. Most importantly, reflect on those moments where you let your temper get the best of you. You will reach the root of the problem eventually.


Next time when you confront a similar situation, you will be well-prepared to avoid or laugh away comments that otherwise might have made you mad! Instead of generating volatile expressions, try to express your thoughts in a zest if the statement made to you had a hint of sarcasm, or defend yourself positively even though the comment was pretty negative and offensive. The more you practice self-controlling, the more you steer clear of self-sabotaging.

#Trick 3: Understand What is Holding You Back

Holding you back from doing what you wish to do is a part of the destructive self-sabotaging behavior. To rid yourself of falling victim to that, you should try and understand what’s holding you back.


For instance, you knew the opportunity could have placed you on the road to success in your career. Or the idea could have been perfect to start a business. Or maybe the person you just met could be the one you have been waiting for all your life.


What made you decide otherwise? What made you let go of that job offer? What stopped you from pursuing that idea? What prevented you from seeing that person again?


One word. Self-doubt.


You can overcome fears of failures and give yourself a second chance, a third chance, or maybe the fourth and fifth chances – it doesn’t matter!


Opportunity might not knock twice. Just take those chances and keep trying!

#Trick 4: Overcome the Fear of Failure

It’s not just you. We all fear failures. Statements like ‘Failures are the Pillars of Success’ might sound great, but accepting that in real life is quite hard.


We say learn from those great entrepreneurs who faced multiple failures before they tasted success. Yes! Their stories can be inspiring enough.


But, let’s face the truth for once!


Did you personally interact with Steve Jobs when he was facing his failures? No, obviously!


He indeed overcame his failures. He probably went through a rollercoaster of emotions in the face of adversities and failures? We will never know.


The fear is not much about the fear of failure. It is more about people’s words and criticisms. Their judging eyes. That’s what worries us most! We would advise – Dump them!


People will always be judgemental. But, unfortunately, you can’t do much about that!

So,cancel out the naysayers and focus on your efforts instead. You try once, and you fail. That’s ok. Figure out where you went wrong and find a fitting solution. Then, try again; you are nearing success. But you failed again!


Never mind! Get up, find out your mistakes, amend them and try yet again. Keep trying unless you succeed.

Trust us; you will succeed soon enough!

“Self-sabotaging behaviors are often deeply ingrained and hard to recognize. Once you do recognize them, noticing how you hold yourself back can be hard to come to terms with,” according to Experts.


Always remember, nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself. That’s all it takes to pull yourself out of self-sabotaging.


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