You have the power to change your feelings, thoughts, and actions so that you can banish self-sabotage from your life forever

How do you know if you’re involved in self-defeating behavior?

  • Your behavior creates problems in your daily life…
  • Your behavior interferes with long-standing, positive goals…
  • You’re consistently delaying the actions you know you need to take…

Self-defeating behavior causes you to take actions against yourself and your own best interests. In addition to the clues above, you may also be driving away relationships that you really DO want in your life.

You convince yourself that the things you desire don’t really matter and you don’t really want them.


Use this list to recognize self-defeating behaviors you may have. Recognition is the first step toward breaking the habit and making a change for the better.

  • Step 1. Admit to yourself that you engage in self-sabotage behaviors. Acknowledging that you’ve taken actions that derailed your efforts to live the satisfying life you deserve is the first step toward resolution.
  • Step 2. Write out the specifics of how you self-sabotage in your journal. Write about the details and the patterns of actions you can think of from the last 6 months to a year that you’ve done to sabotage your efforts at home, at work, and in relationships.
  • Step 3. Take responsibility for all of your thoughts and actions. This is a very important step; until you see that your life is entirely yours to live, you’ll likely waste time by blaming other people and situations.
  • Step 4. Journal how you’ll handle challenging situations differently from now on. This will take some thought and time, and it will help you to think through resolutions to your challenges.
  • Step 5. Share your plans to end self-defeating behaviors with a supportive friend or family member. It could be your best friend, a family member, or a mentor. They can help you be and stay accountable to your plan for change.
  • Step 6. Recognize that you’re worth the effort to change your actions. See the value you have and can bring to your own life. After all, it’s the only one you have!
  • Step 7. Believe in yourself. This is a great place to incorporate a positive affirmation that encourages your self-confidence and self-assuredness. You can do it.
  • Step 8. Make a promise to end the self-sabotage. Committing to yourself that you’ll take action is a powerful step in this process. Write the promise down in the form of an Affirmation and include it in your daily practice.
  • Step 9. Put thought-stopping techniques to work for you to interrupt negative thoughts that arise. Practice saying the word “Stop” out loud when you want to interrupt a negative thought pattern, and replace it with a positive affirmation said aloud for emphasis.
  • Step 10. Create and use methods of positive reinforcement as you decrease self-defeating actions. Reward yourself in healthy ways for your hard work – you deserve it!
  • Step 11. Acknowledge the positive feelings and experiences you’ve gained by making changes. Give yourself some credit – for your effort, consistency, and results.
  • Step 12. Educate yourself by reading self-help books about feelings, motives, and life goals. Use their inspiration to help you keep moving forward when things seem tough. Change is not always easy, but it’s always worth it.
  • Step 13. Be vigilant about self-destructive thoughts and feelings. Monitor your thoughts to ward off negativity as soon as you notice it.
  • Step 14. Empower yourself to change your way of thinking. Open your mind to the new, positive possibilities that surround you. Think outside of the box you’ve gotten used to and take a different step forward.
  • Step 15. Consider seeking professional help if your efforts to change aren’t effective. Call a counselor, therapist, life coach, or social worker to help you get unstuck.
  • Step 16. Keep at it; continue your focus to reduce self-sabotage. Persevere, no matter what – give yourself 30 to 60 days to put your plan in place and take consistent action. It took you more than 60 days to reach your current state of being – give yourself the grace of time to make the changes you’re making “stick.”
  • Step 17. Renew your commitment as often as needed to fight self-sabotage. Each day, affirm to yourself that you have the strength and the will to thwart self-defeating behaviors. You deserve to define and manifest the life you WANT to live.

As you apply these steps consistently over a period of time, you’ll be amazed at how much better your world and outlook become!

You’ll think more positively, feel more content, and embrace life with a whole new sense of excitement about the future. Banish your self-sabotaging behaviors to live your best life ever!

Affirmations to Stop Self-Defeating Behaviors

I will celebrate each positive step I make.

My failures are merely stepping stones on my path to success.

I will value my body, mind, spirit, and emotions.

I am leaving low self-esteem in the rearview window.

I am capable of navigating any obstacle.

With every small positive step, I build my confidence.

My life belongs to me and I will make the best decisions.

I cannot control the outcome, only my input.

About the Author Dianne Daniels

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and a current resident of Norwich, Connecticut, Dianne M. Daniels empowers women 35+ to uplift their Souls, build healthy Self Esteem, and deepen Self-Discovery & Self-Knowledge with the proven practices of Affirmations and Journaling.

Dianne is a Unitarian Universalist Minister and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. She's an avid reader, a lover of old houses (she currently lives in an 1850s vintage Greek Revival home with her family), and proudly serves her community as a Registrar of voters.

Dianne M. Daniels

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