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Stop self-sabotage

Does self-sabotage happen to you? Have you lost been on a diet, only to gain more weight?
How about smoking? Or drinking? We can be ‘good’ for just so long – and then something just happens and we’re back where we started – Self Sabotage – let’s talk about it.

Here are some reasons we destroy our success:

Habit: Getting drunk, binge eating, smoking -- you’ve developed these habits and it takes time to get rid of them. We need patience.

Failure: How many times have you tried to quit? Many. So every time you’ve tried and failed you lose confidence. Subconsciously, you say to yourself ‘why would this time be different?’ so you stop trying.

Self-esteem: When you have low self esteem you may feel that you aren’t worth it.

Confidence: Things are going well, so you tell yourself ‘now your fine’ – just 1 cookie, 1 drink etc and one leads to another, and so on……and you go right back to where you started.

No one consciously wants to sabotage their success, but deep down, as uncomfortable as you may be with your behavior, you’re used to it. And as much as you hate it, you’re familiar with it and this is what you KNOW.

So if you’re used to self-sabotage, these tips can help.

1) No excuses: Stop justifying why you did or didn’t do something. The fact is that you did it. Take responsibility. If you give yourself an excuse, you won’t change. We always can come up with a reason.

2) Perfectionism: You don’t have to be perfect, but that doesn’t mean if you deviated you have to entirely let go. So if you have a setback, don’t make it a ‘total’ setback.

3) Compliment yourself: Don’t be hard on yourself. Change isn’t easy. So if you have a slip, encourage yourself to keep on going. You’ll never change if you are negative about it.

4) Evaluate the slip: Was it a 50% slip, 10% slip? Ask yourself what you did right? Often there are emotions that go along with it. Do you know what they were? What was really going on?

5) Keep at it: Don’t ‘start over tomorrow’. With that thinking, tomorrow will lead to another tomorrow. If you’re resolved to make a change, why wait for tomorrow? It may not have been a ‘perfect day’, but remember that we’re not aiming for ‘perfect’. We’re just aiming to change.

Communication is the Key to Assertiveness

We don’t mean to sabotage ourselves. It’s not a conscious decision, but if you’re used to sabotaging yourself, this is what you know. And here is where you must change your thinking Don’t think that you ‘can’t’ or you’ll ‘never’. Today is tomorrow, so get back at it. Start right NOW!!

Q & A


My sister is an alcoholic and when she drinks she slurs her words and becomes verbally abusive, saying horrible things to her son like "Nanna is a bitch" and "I'll punch Aunty if she takes you to Nannas’ ".

She can go on benders for days. She is in her 30s and has a 5 year old child. Before she had her child, I was more than happy to cut her horrible, manipulative ways completely out of my life.

She has driven our family away -- she's just that horrible. When she needs something, she claims that she wants to get help. My mother usually supports her in this, giving her money etc only for my sister to continue her bad behavior. After my sister threatened to kill my mum, mum has had nothing to do with her. The Child told me that mummy drank wine and didn't make anything for dinner. He watches my sister and her "boyfriend" have drunken fights. Her flat is a mess and she is a mess. I have to stay on her good side, so that I can have access to her son. He never wants to go back home.

The authorities have been alerted, but they don't care unless he is physically hurt. I hate having to be so deceitful, but no-one can bring it up without significant abuse from her and I know she would ban me from seeing her son.

Is it OK that I pretend to like her for the good of her son? His time with my family is the most stable, peaceful time he has. Should I challenge her on her behavior or simply carry on playing make believe?



This is a difficult situation, because no one can remove the child from the home unless it reaches a 'crisis' -- and unfortunately having an abusive drunken mother does not qualify.

You and your family are a positive influence on this child, so, for his sake continue what you've been doing. You can also offer her as much 'baby sitting' as she needs etc,

Don't bother challenging her alcholism because it will only lead to war. Your sister is in denial and will defend her behavior to the end. If she reaches a low point, however, you can suggest that she goes to AA meetings, but don't get into it. Only the alcoholic can choose to make changes, and right now she has no intention to do so.

It may also be helpful for you and your mother to attend Al-Anon. The members are in similar situations and you can get ideas from others who are coping with this dysfunctional and abusive behavior.

Have a question?.

Are you an emotional eater? How can you help?

What's your codependency advice?.

The featured story of the month..

Everyone has a story. Tell yours Telling your story helps you by getting it off your chest, but it also helps others by reading it -- and of course you can be anonymous if you like.

On The Site

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Next Month

Self-sabotage. Why do we do it. Get tips to stop.

Thanks for your input and keep those questions and suggestions coming.


Return from Self-Sabotage to Stop Being Addicted

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