Does this sound familiar? You set goals for yourself, but somehow end up sabotaging your own progress. Maybe you’ve been told to just try harder or push through, but the pain of constantly falling short is wearing you down. It’s time to break free from ineffective actions and discover the key to overcoming self-sabotage.
Our aim is by the end of our lives we have all these badges for overcoming self-sabotage. – Samantha Leith
Mentioned in this Episode
In this episode, you will be able to:
- Discover the key behaviors that are sabotaging your progress and learn how to overcome them.
- Develop a consistent approach to achieving your goals, and unlock the power of consistency in your life.
- Learn how seeking professional help can provide the guidance and support necessary to overcome self-sabotage.
- Set clear boundaries to protect yourself from self-sabotaging behaviors and create a supportive environment for success.
- Uncover the secrets to identifying self-sabotage and gain valuable insights into why we often hold ourselves back.
- Gain practical strategies for combating self-sabotage and taking control of your own success.
- Explore the impact of self-sabotage on goal achievement and learn how to break free from this destructive pattern.
Develop consistency to achieve goals
Consistency is essential in the process of overcoming self-sabotage. This means making a pledge to oneself and sticking to it, striving to reach goals on a daily basis. As Samantha points out, even if there are occasional slip-ups, the key is to remember that each day offers a fresh start. Through persistence and consistency, we can squash self-sabotage and unlock success.
The resources mentioned in this episode are:
- Leave a review: If you enjoyed this podcast episode, take a moment to leave a review. This helps others find the podcast and allows you to share what you liked about it.
- Check out my website: Visit my website to find more resources, blog posts, and information about upcoming events.
- Sign up for my newsletter: Stay updated on new podcast episodes, blog posts, and exclusive content by signing up for my newsletter. You’ll also receive special offers and discounts.
- Join my online community: Connect with like-minded individuals and engage in discussions about personal development, self-sabotage, and overcoming challenges in my online community. It’s a supportive space to share your experiences and learn from others.
- Download my free guide: Get my free guide on overcoming self-sabotage. This guide provides practical tips and strategies to help you break free from self-destructive patterns and achieve your goals.
- Book a coaching session: If you’re struggling with self-sabotage and want personalized guidance, book a coaching session with me. Together, we’ll identify your self-sabotaging behaviors and develop a plan to overcome them.
- Attend my upcoming workshop: Join me for an interactive workshop
Timestamped summary of this episode:
00:00:03 – Welcome to the Samantha Leith podcast. With me, Samantha Leith, I have a passion for exploring anything and everything that can help us to be extraordinary. Each week, I’m going to dive into a topic and explore it extensively. Because if there’s something that makes for a better life, I want to learn about it and more importantly, share it. And hey, you may just get the odd song thrown in.
00:00:26 – There’ll be deep conversations, fun and travolta. Helpful tools for you to add to your life straight away. Random musings about anything from coffee to sex. And information that may just blow your mind. This is a podcast for dreamers, believers, action takers and achievers.
00:00:43 – It’s personal development, but not as you know it.
00:00:51 – Hello and welcome to episode 37 of the Samantha Leith Podcast, where we’re talking about breaking the habit of self-sabotage. Firstly, I want to say good morning. Thank you for joining me. Good afternoon. Good evening.
00:01:05 – Whenever it is that you’re actually listening to this podcast, I really appreciate it. And if you get a chance, don’t forget to leave a review. That would be amazing because then it helps people to actually find this podcast so you could talk about what you liked about it, what you got out of it. That’d be great. Anyway, enough of that.
00:01:23 – That’s me not self-sabotaging there, by the way. That’s me asking for something. There you go. So self-sabotage. Look, I got to say, if it was a Girl Guide badge and I had actually stuck to the Girl Guides, I’d definitely have the badge and I think most of us would.
00:01:42 – What’s funny, when I was thinking about what I wanted to talk about in this podcast, I was thinking about a badge for self-sabotage, literally. Like picturing it. Not actually picturing it. Picturing it because I’m not very good at visualizing things. But thinking the idea of all these things that we overcome in our lives in order to be the best us that we can be.
00:02:07 – Imagine if we got a badge for them. If you’re young and you’re traveling the world or if you are in Girl Guides, et cetera, and you get the little badges and you might tie them on a blanket, or if you’re in the scouts, et cetera, you put the one your ties or your scarves or your uniforms, I think can’t actually really remember. Imagine how cool it would be if we got them for all the things we overcame. So self-sabotage. Tick got the badge.
00:02:34 – Negative thought loops. Tick got the badge. Bad habits. Tick got the badge. If we just kept it going, I think that would be really cool.
00:02:44 – Our aim is by the end of our lives we have all these badges. Anyway, that’s enough of me getting totally distracted. Was that self-sabotage? No, it wasn’t. Was me just gas bagging, really.
00:02:58 – So as I said, I have been pretty good at self-sabotage if I’ve in the past, been asked to speak at something and avoided it. Why was I avoiding it? Is it self-sabotage? Did I not want to do it? Kind of thinking about why these things?
00:03:17 – One of the biggest things for me with self-sabotage would be those areas of my life that I do trying to go, don’t want to think about it. Like personal finances or in the past, looking at my weight. Some things in business building, you write all the copy for that web page and you share it with a couple of people and you think, OOH, it’s going to be amazing. And then you never hit publish. Why do we do it?
00:03:47 – Okay, I know that example for me is like, oh, if I don’t do it, maybe I’ll never know that I would have failed. It’s like a bit of a dreamscape thing, which I’ll get to in a second. So what exactly is self-sabotage? Well, the essence of it is that it’s when we actively or passively prevent ourselves from reaching our goals, and most of the time there’s like an underlying reason we’re going to do that. So it might be a fear, might be, ironically, the fear of failure or the fear of success.
00:04:18 – Equally destructive to us, my friends, could be trauma, could be a negative story we’re telling about ourselves, or a negative belief that we’re holding on to. Could be something someone said in passing that’s made us go, no, don’t do that. But we don’t actually think about it. I don’t think. Correct me if I’m wrong.
00:04:40 – Like if you think, you actually really think, oh, I’m going to self-sabotage myself today, let me know. Because in my experience with my clients and myself and people I know, just in my friend’s circle is we don’t do it with that smart, prefrontal cortex part of our brain. We don’t think about making the decision to self-sabotage. Something creeps in and our not so smart parts of our brain do the sabotaging. Okay, so why?
00:05:14 – That’s it. It’s what we do. We all do it. If anyone is listening to this podcast and goes, no, I’ve never self-sabotaged in my life anyway, because we have at all done it at some point in our lives now, how do we know we’re doing it? We’ve got to recognize the patterns and the behaviors that are happening.
00:05:45 – They may even self-sabotage may actually have become a little bit of a habit for you, and you can look at the habits that you’re doing. Yeah, it can become a habit. Really can. So some of the common signs are procrastination negative self-talk, avoiding challenges, avoiding deadlines, changing deadlines, which changing deadlines is not quite procrastination because you’re actually making a decision to change the deadline rather than just avoiding actually doing it. That’s what I think about that one.
00:06:19 – Things like almost finishing something, like almost, that would be one of my key self-sabotaging behaviors is almost finishing it or leaving something to the very last minute. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been driving to a gig, learning the song I’m about to sing, or about to jump on to a coaching call. Actually, I don’t do it with coaching calls. I never have, actually. Might be jumping onto a master class and it’s five minutes before the master class and I’m like, whoops better finish those slides?
00:06:58 – Like, that last minute thing very, very common for me. And one of the patterns that we can recognize is we go through a bit of an emotional cycle when we become aware of it, okay? So it’s like, there’s a bit of a doubt about what you’re doing. Then there might be a little bit of a fear pop up or a little bit of angst, a little bit of something happening, and then you’re going to avoid what you want to actually do. So let me give you an example.
00:07:27 – Say one of the things that you want to do is get up and we’ll just go with really common ones, okay? You want to get up and exercise every single day you’ve made that decision. You’ve put up your goal tracker on the wall. You’re like, yes, I’m going to do this. I’ve got it, yes, I got it.
00:07:44 – I’m doing that little happy dance. If you could see me. Then the first day you’ve gone to bed a little bit late the night before, not too late. So you’re kind of like, yeah, it’s acceptable. I can still get up and do what I want to do, do what I have planned to do.
00:08:00 – Then the alarm goes off and it’s a bit cold, and you think, oh, it’s cold. It’s not going to be that comfortable out there. And I am that bit tired because I did go to bed a bit late last night. I don’t think I’m going to do a good enough job if I go and do that now, I’ll start tomorrow. So you’ve had that little bit of that niggly doubt.
00:08:24 – Then you’ve had that thought about you’re not going to do a good enough job and it’s cold. Then you avoid it. It is so common. We all do it probably on one thing a day. You might be self-sabotaging yourself when it comes to hanging out the washing.
00:08:45 – Okay?
00:08:49 – Actually, the washing is a funny the washing is a funny example because we talk about fear within self-sabotage and what pops up to make us stop doing things. And it might be, oh, hang out, maybe Lorraine like, so simple. And you could stop it in its track there and then by checking the weather app. Is it actually going to rain? If it’s not going to rain, hang out the washing.
00:09:12 – But if you just, like, got that little niggly thought and you don’t hang it out, that is self-sabotage. And I give you a little bit of a quote here, and, you know, it has got a statistic, and 94.3% of statistics are made up.
00:09:30 – There’s a quote about that somewhere, and I actually can’t even remember what number they quote. But what we say about statistics, however, this is a real one. So it’s from the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy, and they do say that 85% of things people worry about never happen. Like, if had you got up and done that exercise, would you have been crap? Probably not.
00:09:52 – Would you have been your best? Maybe not, but you wouldn’t have been crap. Is it going to rain? Maybe. Maybe not.
00:10:00 – But if you’re just sitting in fearful of it rather than finding out the facts, you’ll never know. Okay, so let’s get a bit personal. I’m going to talk about my I think it’s obvious, but some people might not. My biggest personal self-sabotage my entire life, and it will probably be something that I do work on for the rest of my life because little niggly things pop up and bite me in the bottom. Okay?
00:10:33 – And it’s about my weight. So I would lose weight. I’d feel great. Then I’d celebrate, like, yeah, I’ve got this. And in that celebration, I would not get up and exercise the next day, I’d eat something I didn’t really want to be eating, wasn’t in the kind of realm of things I wanted to be eating.
00:10:54 – Or I’d drink too much or something like that, and I’d slip a bit, and I’d slip for one day, and then I’d slip for two days. Then I’d punish myself. Then I’d get back to it, and it would continue, and it would continue, and it would continue. And now I notice when those self-sabotaging thoughts are popping back up, and I’ll ask myself some more questions about why I’m doing it. Now, when I say all my life, I mean all my life.
00:11:25 – So all my life as far as I’ve been able to make decisions. So the first few years of your life, you’re not making decisions. You’re being passed the food, you’re being taken out to the garden to play, et cetera. But I started probably lying about food and what I was doing and lying to myself about things probably from the age of, like, 6567 somewhere around there. And a lot of it has to do with what happened to me and the stuff that was going on in my life.
00:11:58 – And it was a comfort and an escape and all those kind of things. Not excusing it, but it is what it was. And then I would try and do something about it, and I would repeat this pattern of feeling a bit better about myself, something happening, celebrating or lying, going back to square one, around and around and around and around. And when you’re someone who’s I guess I’m what, I say late, young or middle aged, 49, anyway, nearly 50, these past experiences that we’ve had in our life will really amplify these self-sabotaging behaviors and they will make it harder for us to stop. However, as we get older and with that growth mindset that I’m always encouraging you guys to have, wisdom comes with that.
00:12:52 – So we can recognize our behaviors, we can work on them, we can lean into getting some extra help and fix the things that are causing these self-sabotaging behaviors. Maybe we can even stop the self-sabotage in its tracks. Okay? I’m not talking about fixing us because we’re all wonderful, but we could all be a little bit better. I’m going to say that we actually all could be a little bit better.
00:13:17 – Definitely all of us, every single person on the planet. But we are all worthy and enough and amazing as we are, we don’t need to change. That’s up to us. So one of the things that I want to mention about self-sabotage is sometimes when we’re doing it, and this is an interesting one, because we live in a world where there’s these expectations on us and there’s this everybody should be an entrepreneur and everybody should be a size eight. Or if you’re in the US, a size two.
00:13:48 – I don’t know. I always get confused with those sizes. And we should have it all, and we should be able to do everything. And then we try and do these things and they don’t happen because we’re not being authentic, not because we’re actually self-sabotaging. And I talked about embracing everything you are last week.
00:14:08 – So go back and listen to that if you want, but no, actually go back and listen to it. So one of the things is about that authenticity and understanding, accepting and loving ourselves for who we are is about knowing what we want, like our visions, our values, our passions, what success means to us. Okay? Because a lot of the time I find with my clients, they are self-sabotaging because what they’re sabotaging against or avoiding doesn’t actually fit in with what they want. They think they want it.
00:14:47 – They’re like, oh, yes, I should definitely write a book. Nowhere in it, because everybody has a book. It’s like the modern day business card. They’ve heard that somewhere. So they want to write a book.
00:14:58 – They don’t want to write a book. They’ve never wanted to write a book. The idea of sitting down and writing a book, even if Chachi PT did the whole thing for them, does not float their boat. So they self-sabotage, then they’ll punish themselves for self-sabotaging, but they didn’t want it in the first place. Okay?
00:15:18 – So I really want you to become aware of that. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m just going to have a wee sip of coffee. It’s like 06:00 a.m. When I’m recording this. Coffee is good.
00:15:30 – I probably drink too much caffeine, but we won’t mention that. Let’s not tell anyone. So how do we change these behaviors. Okay, well, I’m going to give you a couple of things that I’ve probably given you many times. Many episodes on my blog, in the show, everywhere.
00:15:45 – Talk about it all the time. Journaling, journaling, journaling, journaling, journaling. If you’ve got the 90 day to extraordinary journal, you can write this in the bottom section with reflection questions, et cetera. You can just write it in the free text. Ask yourself, what did I avoid today?
00:16:00 – What did I avoid and why? And you will go, oh, avoided the dishes. Whoops. Oh, I avoided calling the tax department back.
00:16:15 – I could have avoided putting makeup on. Like, it could be many, many things. But what did you avoid today? If it’s hard to come up with something, come back to the question. Do the rest of your journaling and then come back to the question.
00:16:24 – Or maybe just take a few minutes for some mindfulness and do some deep breathing exercises. Little bit of a meditation if you feel like it. Even just walking in air, fresh air in nature can help you go back and go, oh, that’s what I tried to avoid today. A really good way to look at yourself sabotage, if it’s a big issue for you, which it has been, obviously for me in the past, is getting professional help. So it might be a therapist, which is a really safe space to unpack and work on things.
00:16:55 – It could be a coach. Friends are good for some of the stuff, but don’t lean on your friends for a lot of the really heavy stuff like this if you think you need it’s. Something that you really need to get to the bottom of with a professional, because there’s a huge difference in that. Talk to your friends. Absolutely.
00:17:14 – And I really hope you all have friends that you can talk to about the stuff, but if you really want to get into something, sometimes we do need a bit of a professional help with that. Another one is if there’s a really common thing that you’re self-sabotaging on continually, like building your business or you’ve always wanted to learn French and you’re not doing it, and you just can’t be bothered opening that app every day and doing it. Go to classes, like join a group or a club or a coaching program or something where there’s a group of like-minded people that are going to help you get over that self-sabotage. Now you’re not walking in and going, hi, I’m here to study Italian, because when I do it on the app, I self-sabotage. That may come up in conversation, but you just want to be immersed in people that are doing that with people that are doing the thing that you want to actually do.
00:18:04 – Okay, another one for self-sabotage. If it’s something really particular that you’re working on and you need dedicated time and space, et cetera, is your boundaries get better at saying no. If you wanted to stop drinking for six months because your doctor told you that it would make your skin better, I don’t know, making that up. And you have some friends and every time you see them, outcome three bottles of wine maybe and you go, oh, okay, I can’t say no. Oh no.
00:18:34 – They’ll judge me if I don’t drink. Oh dear. Better have best. I’ll just have one or then a bottle later. Don’t go or say to them, I made the decision to not drink at the moment.
00:18:46 – I need you to support me in that, otherwise I’m not going to be able to come. Okay? I want to hang out with you guys, but I need you to support me with the not drinking. So please don’t offer me any babong. Perfect.
00:18:59 – Okay. That’s what you want to do. It does get better. I promise. I really, really promise you.
00:19:07 – The minute you start recognizing where you’re sabotaging and tweaking what you’re doing, making adjustments and not doing it so often and eventually actually not doing it at all, so much happens. Like, the universe just opens her up to opportunity for you and to showing you how great things can be and what you can do and what you can achieve. Because we want that momentum. We want that motion that happens in life when we are doing the things that we want to be doing means that the waves keep going and more great stuff happens and more great stuff happens. And when we’re blocking ourselves all the time by self-sabotaging, more blocks are going to happen, more negative is going to happen.
00:20:03 – We all know that. Like, the minute you’re in with a group of friends and one person starts talking negatively and the next person but like Chinese whispers, the next person hasn’t really kind of turned it around to be a bit more positive. By the time five of you have spent 20 minutes in that conversation, you’re all feeling bad. You’re all in this negative space or this bitchy space, and we don’t want that. Life is like that.
00:20:29 – The universe is like that. So the more of the good stuff we put in, like not stopping that self-sabotage and doing the things that you want to be doing and keeping the promises that you say to yourself that you make to yourself, the more great stuff will actually happen, okay? And make sure that those things, it’s all in alignment with you getting that your goals, your visions, the idea of success, et cetera, that I mentioned earlier.
00:20:58 – Do you know one of the best things for this? Consistency. Now, consistency was actually my word for 2023. I haven’t always been consistent with consistency over that time. However, I do pick myself on it.
00:21:11 – So what is consistency? It’s the same actions, same results, and different actions, different results. We want to keep those promises we make to ourselves. If we say we’re going to get up and exercise, get up and do it. But if you don’t do it one day, you’re not a complete failure.
00:21:25 – And don’t let that make you not do it the following day, okay? Every day, you get a new opportunity to start again. Every single day. Every day. Hear me?
00:21:37 – Every day. So if you slip, get back up. I want you to repeat to yourself or know to yourself if you want to do some tapping or write it down as an affirmation or say it as an affirmation. It’s like, I’m deserving of all the things I want to do, okay? Or I’m deserving of all good things.
00:22:02 – Or I do the things I honor, the promises I make to myself. Something like that. Just keep reminding yourself. And another little tip some of you might like, might not like this, if you’re night owls is, you know what that thing you self-sabotage with the most? Hit it in the head first thing in the morning.
00:22:25 – Like that first hour or two in the morning, it’s your space. Start your day with something that’s like for a win, that’s going to make you feel great. And it might just be a little thing. If your thing is exercise, start with a five minute walk or a ten minute walk and build it, but get that done first thing in the morning to help put some stuff in the I am great to myself bank. Okay?
00:22:51 – We want to build that bank. And finally, I’m going to leave you knowing that you can do this. And self-sabotage is just something that we all do and you 100% have the power to stop it. And sometimes it’s hard, but you can do hard things, okay? It’s never too late to change it.
00:23:16 – As I said, every day is a fresh start, which is great. Imagine we get a do over every day. Freaking awesome. And I’ll give you this quote from Confucius. Our greatest glory is not in ever falling, but in rising every time we fall.
00:23:34 – So remember that next time you think, babong stuffed up, I’m hopeless, you are not, okay? You can rise to every challenge because you’re strong. So until next week, my friends, remember, you are extraordinary and you can recognize these patterns of self-sabotage and the habit of self-sabotage and stop it. Okay? Let me know how you go.
00:23:59 – Tag me in a post. I would love to see what you’re up to. And have a fantastic week. Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of the Samantha Leith podcast. If you enjoyed this episode and want to dive deeper into the world of personal development and what’s possible for you, then I’d love to invite you to join the club.
00:24:20 – It’s my monthly membership designed to guide and support you with the tools and the coaching you need to be extraordinary. Head on over to Samanthaleith.com the Club for more information. I’d love to see you on the inside close.