We’ve all got life goals that we’re super serious about reaching: getting that promotion at work; starting the business we’ve been running in our imagination since childhood; saving up to buy a house; losing weight, etc. But then, when it comes time to rock that big, important work assignment, we find ourselves scrolling through our Facebook news feed, or ordering Pad Thai when we have the ingredients to prepare a fresh, healthy salad at home. This happens time and time again, which leads us to that same question we always ask: why do I do this to myself?

The answer is simple: self-sabotage. And it comes in the form of procrastination, self-medication with drugs and alcohol, emotional eating, and conflict with friends and family. In the moment, these actions feel small and insignificant. It’s just one meal, one beer, one hour. But, in time, these actions add up, digging us deeper and deeper into a pit of self-defeat of which it gets harder and harder to climb out.

So, why do we self-sabotage?

Here are six main reasons we self-sabotage and stop ourselves from succeeding:

1. We don’t feel we deserve to be successful. When we believe we are worthless, inadequate or undeserving of great things, we subconsciously try to align our actions with our beliefs and values. Self-sabotage keeps our realities in line with what we believe about ourselves.

2. We want to control our failure rather than be blindsided by it. Spiraling out of control is a scary possibility—we sabotage things in order to protect ourselves and fail on our own terms.

3. We don’t want other people to think we’re imposters. Success draws attention, and attention might reveal that we’re unqualified frauds who don’t deserve the success we’ve achieved. At times, it feels better to scroll through Twitter than go above and beyond to do big things at work, right?

4. Failure is familiar. Especially for those of us who have spent our lives being neglected, ignored, abused or exploited, it feels safe and familiar to remain in a position of insignificance.

5. We love excuses. Failing when we’ve given it our all doesn’t leave us with a handy excuse for why we didn’t succeed. “I didn’t really try hard anyway.”

6. We’re bored and want a little drama in our lives. Picking a fight is a surefire way to spice up the day-to-day.

In my book, Be the Magic of You: Tools to Transform Your Life, I explain how we can truly own our happiness. How we can get out of own way once and for all and allow ourselves to achieve greatness in love and life. The two techniques I absolutely swear by for ending self-sabotaging behaviors are emotional freedom technique (EFT) and Access Consciousness.

The following EFT exercise is included in my book, but I will share it with you here as I truly believe it will help you get out of self-sabotage and start to take control of your happiness. Don’t roll your eyes or give me the stink eye—I know that these types of therapies might seem “out there,” but trust me when I tell you they work. I am living proof! Practice this EFT script ten times a day—just for a week. I promise, you’ll be hooked!

Give yourself a chance at success and stop sawing through the branch you’re sitting on. You—and only you—are in control of the decisions you make and the destiny you achieve. You deserve greatness. Now go out and get it already!

Talk with Teri

If you’re ready to get out of your own way, take control of your success and happiness, and stand in your own power, please request a complimentary 30-Minute Talk With Teri. It’s the first step toward saying goodbye to mediocrity and realizing the magnificent life you were destined for.

About the Author

teri karjala

Teri devotes herself to being the resource people need to uncover their greatest levels of joy and fulfillment in their everyday lives. From teaching courses, keynoting powerhouse events, and being a consistent abundance advocate, onlookers cannot help but leave her presence feeling energized, equipped, and ready to live life to its greatest capacity.