How to Recognize the Signs of Self-Sabotaging

By Lani

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Ready to Learn the Signs of Self-Sabotaging?

Let me tell you the story about one particular liar that scared me straight. I was confronted by this liar one day and when I saw her face I almost fainted. She was me.

Yes, you are reading this correctly. It was me. I was the liar. Now, you’re probably like, what is this chick talking about, right? Let me explain.

For the better part of my 20s, I lived a difficult life. I beat myself up and frequently lied to myself. I would tell myself things like, “I was stupid, dumb, and not worthy of happiness.”

I did this to myself because of the bad choices that had lead me to where I was at that point in time. And because I was using hurtful, unloving words day in and day out, I remained negative and stuck in that horrible, “sunken” place.

Unknowingly, I was causing more and more damage to my life. Telling myself negative things on a daily basis was bringing me nothing but pain and agony. But the truth is that even those lies were lies.

It's only human that we have self-doubt. However, we have to learn how to stop lying to ourselves about our self-worth and overcome the fear that stops us from being great. Here's how.

I’m dumb–lie.

I’m not worthy of happiness–lie.

I will never live a good life–lie.

Every negative and hurtful word I said to myself was a lie.

We’ve all done it. We tell ourselves little white lies or, worse yet, lie to ourselves about things that matter in order to protect our feelings. But self-deception can be a dangerous game. If you catch yourself in a pattern of lying, it can lead to negative feelings and behaviors that can take a toll on your mental health.

3 Signs of Self-Sabotaging

Self-sabotage can be subtle – and insidious – but it’s important to recognize the signs and learn how to move past them. Read on to learn more about the signs of self-sabotage, and how you can stop it from holding you back.

Fear of Success or Failure

One of the most common forms of self-sabotage is fear of success or failure. It might seem counterintuitive at first – why would someone sabotage their own chances for success? Fear can be a powerful motivator, however; if you’re worried about failing, you may be more likely to avoid taking risks or trying something new. Likewise, if you have an irrational fear of success (perhaps because it could mean leaving your comfort zone), you may find yourself intentionally avoiding situations where success is possible.


Another sign of self-sabotage is perfectionism. While striving for excellence is admirable, perfectionism can actually work against us by causing us to become overly critical and set unrealistic expectations for ourselves. Perfectionists are often paralyzed by their need to make everything perfect – which leads them to procrastinate or give up altogether before they ever reach their goal. Perfectionism can also make us less willing to take risks or try something new; after all, if there’s no guarantee that the outcome will be perfect, why bother trying?

Lack of Self-Care

Finally, one key indicator that you may be engaging in self-sabotaging behavior is a lack of self-care. If you’re constantly pushing yourself too hard with no rest or relaxation time in between goals and accomplishments, then your body and mind will eventually start giving out on you. This could lead to physical ailments such as fatigue or stress-related issues such as anxiety and depression. Similarly, depriving yourself of basic needs like food or sleep can contribute to feelings of burnout and overwhelm—both signs that it’s time for a break!

How to Stop Self-Sabotaging?

Lying to ourselves may seem harmless in the moment but can have serious consequences on our mental health if left unchecked. Self-awareness is key when combating self-deception; once we understand what drives our behavior and become mindful of our thought patterns, we will be able find healthier ways of dealing with life’s challenges instead of resorting to self-deception out of fear or insecurity.

Identifying the Problem

The first step is recognizing when you’re lying to yourself. This isn’t always easy because we are often blind to our own lies—we may even start believing them! To identify when you’re lying, pay attention to your thought patterns and look for cues like feeling guilty or avoiding certain topics. Once you recognize the signs of self-deception, you can begin to address the problem head on.

Challenging Your Thoughts

Once you have identified the lies you have been telling yourself, it’s time to challenge them. Ask yourself why you think these thoughts or why you feel this way about a certain situation. When we challenge our own thoughts and beliefs, we are able to get an objective view and gain insight into why we are thinking or feeling a certain way.

Building Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is key in overcoming self-deception as it allows us to understand what drives our behavior, as well as recognize our strengths and weaknesses so that we can make better decisions. Building self-awareness takes practice but is worth the effort—it helps us become more mindful of our thought patterns so that we can avoid falling into the trap of self-deception again.

“I Am” Statements to Fight Self-Sabotage

Practicing I AM statements can help you find self-sabotage. Tell yourself I am safe and I am loved. Tell yourself I am always making the best decision. Tell yourself I am a powerful creator.

Make sure when you say it you are using the two most powerful words in our universe, I AM.

I was being extremely hard on myself, filling my own head with things that were detrimental to my confidence and self-esteem. I tore myself down for so long but deep down inside I knew that life was supposed to be more.

I was not created to cry every day. I was not created to carry the weight of the world was on my shoulders. I was not created to treat myself like a piece of shit.

No, no, and hell no.

I am a creator. You are a creator. We were created to create.

Don’t be afraid when I say you are a creator. All this means is that you and I are here to live the best life we can manifest from our hearts and our thoughts.

You can either choose to continue telling yourself lies and putting yourself down or you can tell yourself the truth and become the person you’re absolutely meant to be.

Related Content: 4 Lies That Are Blocking Your Personal Growth

Know That You Are Worthy of Love

You are abundant. You are intelligent. You are worthy of love. You are worthy of joy. Happiness is your birthright. You are meant to love yourself better than anyone else ever can.

You must set your intentions on living a good life. You don’t need to try to be more positive. Just be positive. You don’t need to try to be loving and kind to yourself. Just be loving and kind.

You must put forth the effort and treat yourself better than anyone else could ever treat you in order to truly live. You may not see results right away, but keep going.  With repetition and consistency, you can and will fall in love with who you truly are.

So love the person you are right now.

You must understand that love is unconditional. Love doesn’t have stipulations. If you won’t learn to love the person you are right now, then it will be a long, hard road getting to the point of becoming the person you want to be.

Stop telling yourself lies. Build yourself up by telling yourself the truth and be loving to who you are in this very moment.

Like the Good Witch said to Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, “You had the power all along, my dear.” Everything you need is already inside you. Always speak of yourself with the highest regard.

I AM…. Beautiful, Kind, Loving, Patient, Successful, Wealthy, Healthy, Happy, Smart, Powerful, Forgiving…and the list goes on and on.

Do You Have a Better Understanding of the Signs of Self-Sabotaging?

Self-sabotage can manifest itself in many different ways – some subtle, some not so subtle. Recognizing the signs is an important step in overcoming these behaviors once and for all.

If any of these signs of self-sabotaging sound familiar, take steps towards breaking these patterns today! Make sure that your daily routine includes plenty of restful activities like yoga or meditation; practice setting realistic goals; focus on small wins instead of worrying about perfection; and above all else—believe in yourself!

With a few simple tweaks here and there, you’ll soon find yourself free from self-sabotaging behaviors—and living life on your own terms!

About the author
Lani is a busy mom of 5 who knows first-hand the transformational power of having a positive mindset. She's an avid reader of Lisa Nichols, Tao Lopez, and Bob Proctor.

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