How Do You Self Sabotage?

 In Beliefs, Entrepreneur, Fear, Podcast, Self sabotage

How do YOU sabotage yourself?


Before I dive into today’s content I wanted to remind you that my friend Lisa Johnsons’ Race To recurring revenue challenge is kicking off today (12-15 Oct 2020) so there’s still time for you to get involved.  You can sign up HERE to learn how you can create passive income in your business.  Whether you’re an established business or complete newbie!


I know lots of you are in the facebook group already and it’s going to be lots of fun….and there are prizes involved!


I really do believe that just having the knowledge and understanding of what’s possible, what’s outside the box that could give you everything you want in life, is a game changer. So please do give yourself this.


I know lots of you will have some gremlins going on around why you may not want to get involved but just having the knowledge, even if you decide to do nothing with it, is so worth it.


If you do then perhaps this episode will help you know if you’re not going for this, or some other opportunity because of self sabotage or a genuine ‘it’s just not for me’.  There’s a big difference.


So, into the content!


Are you actually aware of how you sabotage yourself?


We all have behaviours that we’re probably painfully aware of when it comes to self sabotage.  


The ways that we get in our own way.  Or the behaviours we perform to directly sabotage getting the things that we want.  Or doing the things we know are good for us.


Some can be really obvious.  Others not so much.


Some we absolutely recognise as self sabotage.  Others not so much!


There’s two main keys to overcoming self sabotage.  


There’s HOW you’re self sabotaging.  And there’s WHY you’re self sabotaging.  


Once you have those two pieces of the puzzle the rest is FAR easier to work on.


You can’t work on what you’re not aware of right?


So how do we start to identify the ways you self sabotage and what do we do about it?


It’s a complex subject with a lot involved and is really personal and individual to each person.


It’s based on strategies that we learned in the past, usually in early childhood, that WILL have served us at one point.


But it’s then encoded into our nervous systems and into our unconscious so that we repeat the same patterns that they believe saved us from a life or death situation in the past.


Along with any unconscious beliefs, traumas, experiences that may have been added to the mix.


So you can see, it’s complex.


But it IS something that we can do something about.


We will always find ways to sabotage things, it’s how we’re wired.  But we can make that sabotage conscious so we get the power of choice back.


It’s not something that we try to ‘get rid of’, or make ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ which is a natural thing to try and do, it’s something we learn to work with so it’s not constantly working against us.  And it’s something we learn to recognise and make conscious so we get the power back to make a different choice.


Self sabotage can affect every part of our lives.  Mine 100% included.  No one is immune to self sabotage, even if they like to think they are!


Your health, relationships, business, careers, friendships, everything!


It’s something I’m fascinated by and passionate about helping with because it doesn’t have to be so difficult.


Some of the elements that cause self sabotage can be unconscious, some more conscious.


Here are a few common ways we might self sabotage;




Overwhelming yourself yet still adding more to your to do list.


Numbing with food, alcohol, substances, even shopping!  Yep…even shopping!


Being late all the time.


Not saying no.


Not taking opportunities you know could move you forwards. Like going to an event, joining a challenge, not responding to a potential client.


Doing something you know will have negative consequences for you, or someone else.


NOT doing something you know is good for you.


Breaking promises.


Needing everything to be perfect.


Comparing yourself to other people.


Expecting yourself to do something, but not putting any time or energy towards it, but still expecting it to be done.


You put ‘reasons’ and ‘excuses’ on other people or circumstances for why something isn’t done.


Ignore the signs telling you you need a break.


Netflix binging until 2am so you’re too tired to work effectively the next day.


Overcomplicating things.


Not sticking to a routine and ‘wing it’.


Not understanding your finances.




Not taking responsibility and blaming others.


Telling yourself ‘I can’t’.


Telling yourself ‘I don’t have time’.


Telling yourself ‘It’s not the right time’.


Telling yourself ‘I should/have to/must’.


I’m sure some of these are familiar.


All of these things serve to reinforce something in some way.


Whether it’s an unconscious belief or a behaviour.


For example, you might sabotage a relationship to unconsciously reinforce your belief that you aren’t good enough.


Same with your business, you might not take an opportunity for something that will move you forwards because of an underlying belief that you aren’t good enough and won’t be successful.  Or that, if you DO become successful that means you could lose friends and family.


So you can see how the behaviour of not doing the thing to move you forwards keeps you safe and protects you from your unconscious truth (as it stands before you work on it) that when you’re successful you’ll lose everyone you love.


So your unconscious works against what you consciously want.


As I mentioned, the behaviour could have helped you at some stage in your life as a coping or protection mechanism.


It just doesn’t serve you NOW!


So your autonomic nervous system gets involved too.


Your autonomic nervous system is responsible for the fight, flight, freeze or fawn response.


Your sympathetic nervous system gets activated.


Fight is attack mode, which could show up as chronic stress.  It could show up as aggression towards competitors, it could be that you cause conflict in your relationships.


Flight is running away, which could show up as avoidance or not taking an opportunity.  It could be isolating yourself or making yourself ‘busy being busy’ but avoiding the hard tasks.  Or potentially constantly changing your offerings or business and never giving it a real chance to thrive.


Freeze is literally that, this shows up as doing nothing.  Where you feel an inability to make a choice to move forwards.


Fawn is the response that not so many people talk about which tends to show up as people pleasing.  Putting others first.


I’ll go into depth on these more in future episodes but I thought it was helpful for context when talking about self sabotage because you will be able to categorise some of the behaviours you recognise into these responses and bring them into the conscious and see how they may be holding you back.


As with everything I teach, awareness is the first key to change.  Becoming aware of your thoughts and responses.


Recognising what you feel physiologically, where do you feel it in your body?  What happens?


Learning how to regulate your nervous system plays an important part.


The free stressed to success meditation I made for you guys does just that.  


It activates the parasympathetic nervous system and allows you to get on with your day.  So getting out of the hyper aroused state of stress and overwhelm to bring in more balance.  Don’t forget to download yours below.


Essentially it’s all trying to work for your highest positive intention of keeping you safe.  


So the more you can learn to create that safety for yourself the easier these things are to overcome.


But it starts with recognising them.


Understanding where it may have served you in the past.


Can you remember a time when your particular way of self sabotaging was helpful?


Can you remember something that happened that was in any way traumatic as a child that this particular behaviour could have stopped anything similar happening again?


You can see how important this stuff is.


You can see how unconscious most of it is, so if you don’t want to keep repeating the pattern you need to take a deeper look at these things!


They’re fundamental to your success.


BUT, here’s what I know to be true.


However you may be sabotaging yourself, you can overcome it.


That’s not to say it won’t come up again, BUT you’ll be able to recognise it and make a better choice for yourself.


Life won’t feel so hard, business won’t feel so hard.


Hopefully you’re seeing why one of my core values is curiosity!


When we can look at these things with curiosity, as the casual observer to our thoughts and behaviours it takes the sting out and gives us choice.


It takes the judgement away so instead of thoughts like ‘i’m useless’, ‘why can’t I do this’ or ‘I’m not good enough’ it becomes, ‘hmm…I notice that i just said or did X which caused Y, that’s interesting’ it becomes ‘I wonder where that came from’, ‘I wonder where that would have helped me in the past’ and then comes the ability to move forwards.


You don’t have to do everything on your own.  This is why it’s so important to have people around you to help reflect these behaviours back in a non judgemental way so you can actually move forwards.


Coaches, therapists, psychologists.  I believe everyone should have one, even if to not waste so much time and energy not having the things we want for ourselves, because it’s all so possible!


It’s possible for you too!


So have a think about where you might be holding yourself back right now, make it conscious, what are you going to do differently?




To Sign Up For The Race To Recurring Revenue Challenge 12-15 Oct 2020 Click Here

Check out The Positive Pants Podcast here

Fran Excell, Mindset & Productivity Coach – Helping Business Owners Overcome Self Sabotage & Get More Done In Less Time at

Download your FREE Stressed To Success Meditation here

Recommended Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt
Why you're saying you can't...but you really can!Why doing new things feels so hard