What is Self-Sabotage?

Many of us living with addictions and mental health issues share patterns of self-destructiveness that drive our actions. For many of us, this can occur as self-sabotage. What does this look like, and why do we do it?

Self-sabotage can take on many forms – interrupting our healing progress, choosing unhealthy relationships and behaviors, physical self-harm. We mentally, emotionally and physically block our growth, limit ourselves, and hold ourselves back. We might consider therapy, professional treatment or other help and then stop. We might start to do things that are good for us and then discontinue. We might choose the relationships and behaviors that we know not only don’t serve us but have the potential to really hurt us. We might postpone taking action on our goals. We might consciously or subconsciously cause ourselves more damage. We may be moving forward only to derail our progress by stalling it with the things and people we know aren’t good for us.

What causes us to sabotage our forward progression and hold ourselves back? For many of us, our self-destructive urges stem from deeply rooted feelings of unworthiness. The traumas we experience and the losses we sustain have a way of making us feel as though we are inherently inadequate as a result. We internalize them and blame ourselves. We think the bad things that have happened to us are reflections of our worth. We take them personally and allow them to direct our feelings and actions moving forward. Deep down many of us hate ourselves. Our lack of security and our low self-esteem cause us to sabotage the things that can help us to accomplish what we want. We stop ourselves from becoming the person we want to be, because we don’t feel capable or deserving of being that person. Subconsciously we believe that we don’t deserve success, fulfillment or happiness. Given that our subconscious minds direct the majority of our thoughts and actions, the beliefs that we hold about ourselves drive us in our daily lives, and as a result we do everything we can to keep ourselves from realizing our potential, reaching our goals, making our dreams come true. We stop ourselves from making the changes we need to make. We stay in toxic relationships. We don’t get the help we need.

Breaking our patterns of self-sabotage means first changing our beliefs about ourselves and deciding that we are worthy and deserving of the lives we want.

In recovery ourselves, we’ve been there, and we’re here to help. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information on our treatment programs.