Mar 12, 2018

We stay in bed for a couple of unacceptable minutes after the alarm clock rouses us from slumber on a workday. At this point, the bed makes itself extra comfy; it always does that. We think to ourselves, we deserve this even for a while. You know, rationalizing. But this isn’t part of the plan anymore and you know it. However, you still bury yourself in sheets, unknowingly (or not) sabotaging your well-laid goals for the day, sabotaging yourself.

This is why self-sabotage, a behavior that creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals, is tricky to spot. If it isn’t self-reinforcing, it would be damn easy to avoid. But it’s treacherous and it hampers our growth.


Who wants to confront their fears and anxieties anyway? So we put off writing the long overdue email or memo, or that meeting we have to set up, delaying more things to our own disadvantage in exchange for temporary relief and satisfaction. It’s a pit we often fall into over and over again.

Self-sabotage often manifests itself in procrastination among many others (self-medication, self-injury, comfort eating), according to Psychology Today. Unfortunately, there are no concrete methods how to crawl out the exhausting pit except for confronting the task and then actually do it.


However, there are ways on how to ease into it starting with going easy on yourself and changing your mindset.

  • Change your definition of self-worth from the outcomes of your efforts to the actions you take.
  • Tell yourself that failure is inevitable and part of the learning process. Then move along.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. Be kind toward all of your feelings, especially the heart-stabbing ones.

There are also behavioral therapies for interrupting patterns of thoughts that lead to self-sabotaging practices, as well as self-regulation processes. We also wrote about time management hacks.

But the easiest thing we can do now is to act now to set things right. Take care of the tasks you need to do as soon as you can and you’ll feel so much better (thanks, dopamine).


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TAGS: dopamine health and wellness mental health nolisoliph procrastination pyschology self-sabotage time management