How to combat self-sabotage

Apr 8, 2021Defeating Self-Sabotage0 comments

Light Through Clouds

How to combat self-sabotage

I picked ‘The Saboteur’ from the Rites of Man card deck today, and like any good oracle card, it is an opportunity to reflect upon aspects and values that shape our lives. This particular card represents the dark shadowy world of self-sabotage and the myriad ways in which we can undermine ourselves, ruin our relationships, destroy our potential, and cause us to suffer from thoughts of regret at what we shouldn’t have done, or could have done if we had acted with hindsight, love, wisdom, or guidance.

The Saboteur Card

Your ‘saboteur’ can lurk hidden in the background, or walk boldly ahead of you, voicing its opinions about your competence and that of others. It loves busyness and reactiveness, rather than stillness and responsiveness, and it likes to judge how well you are doing by comparing your Self to others, telling you repeatedly how great life could have been if only you had acted or behaved differently. It can come up with all sorts of reasons to stop you from breaking through your comfort zones to grow and reach your true potential or it can encourage you to jump in hastily without thinking of the consequences. It is good at finding fault no matter what you do. That is its job and that is what you and I have to recognise if we wish to overcome it and its devastating effects on the quality of our lives.

New Dawn

Self-sabotage can play out in so many ways: Self-criticism and self-doubt, arrogance, the criticism or put-down of others, angry reactive outbursts, frustration and impatience, scattered focus, denial of circumstances or behaviour, poor prioritization, distraction and procrastination. Fear can take hold and set up a permanent camp, preventing you from speaking your truth or talking courageously from your heart about your real emotions, desires and feelings.

Fear- Fatasy-Ghost-Man-Darkness

So how can you break free from self-sabotaging patterns that may be ruining your life? A good starting point is to recognise that you are run by behavioural programs that you learned in your childhood and honed over the years to navigate your world. These beliefs may have little resemblance to where you are at now, who you truly are, and what you really want from your life. Once you make a start to identify an unhealthy pattern, you can begin to heal and change it, for just as it was once freshly learned, you can replace it with a new one that is much more likely to bring you happiness and the success that you truly want. Then it is time to practice and rehearse it.


It might be helpful to bring in a therapeutic coach or a trusted friend to assist you, someone that you can trust and are able to be open and vulnerable with.  You can turn to your faith or your spiritual beliefs for support. It requires self-honesty and some compassionate self-inquiry such as: How do I sabotage my happiness? What do I really want from my life? What do I need to change ? What will help me remember this? There may be several levels to dig down into to find the underlying reasons for self-sabotage. This could lead to tears and a need for apologies  and forgiveness, to both Self and others, though with courage, determination and love, you can recalibrate your heart with our mind. You can develop an on-going awareness of the motivations behind your attitudes and actions. You can take your Self less seriously and have more fun with life in a healthy way. You can laugh more, be kinder, have more energy and vitality, and set course once again on the adventure that is your life. The Saboteur will always be there to test your resolve, but with you in the driving seat, and your happiness and love leading the way, life will be very different, and people will notice!


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