How To Stop Self-Sabotage In Its Tracks

Written by Danielle Dowling, Psy.D.
Danielle Dowling, Psy.D. is a doctor of psychology and life coach, helping ambitious, driven women achieve the financial, spiritual, and lifestyle abundance they desire and deserve. She holds a Bachelor's in Business from American University, and her Masters and Doctor of Psychology degree from Ryokan College.

Allow me to set the scene:

I’m talking to a client who has recently broken up with an amazing guy who worshipped the ground she floated over.

“Why did you walk away from him?”

“I don’t know,” she said mystified and withdrawn.

“Could it be because you were afraid of having what you wanted?” I offered.

Lightbulb. Yes, that’s it.

Self sabotage is a bitch. And she’ll cost you. We reach for self sabotage when we fear our own empowerment.

We think it’s easier to stay where we are. To dig our heels in and keep carrying on in the same ole’ comfortable (yet most likely unempowered) way.


Because subconsciously we perceive "staying put" as less painful than erecting and nurturing a new (more rich, more vibrant ) mindset.


Change can = pain.

So why push forward any.way. you can?

Because it’s worth it.

Know with every fiber of your being that what you want the most: the relationship, the career, the body, the chance– all lie on the other side of your willingness to change.

Analyze your motivations; get curious.

  • Why are you afraid to have what you want most? 
  • Why are you NOT leaning in? 

Curiosity packs the power to move you forward. Let it.

Refuse and the long term pain of sabotage has the potential to dismantle you. To rob you of who you seek to be; of where you aspire to ascend to.

Self-sabotage will snatch from your clutches:

  • Relationships
  • Excellence
  • Careers
  • Progress
  • Confidence
  • Hope
  • Curiosity
  • Dedication
  • Clarity
  • Cash flow
  • Kindness
  • Equilibrium
  • Communication
  • Aspiration
  • Commitment
  • Regard
  • Connection

How to stop self-sabotage in its tracks:

When you feel yourself edging out of your comfort zone (and then panicking and wanting to return to The Known), take a deep breath and remember: you’re not going to die.

When you find yourself engaging in sabotaging behavior – dating ‘Bad Boys,’ skipping the gym, missing deadlines, not returning the call, email, text – ask yourself “Is this getting me closer to where I want to go?”

When you’re avoiding The Hard Work you have to do to get where you want to go – the tough conversations, the long hours, the early morning workouts – say “I love myself enough to do this.”

Shelve your fear, loosen your shackles and desire a life of satisfaction more than you begrudge change; more than the pain of discoveryand the responsibility of awareness.

And then act.

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