21 Forms Of Self-Sabotage That Keep You From Living Your Best Life
Health and Wellness

21 Forms Of Self-Sabotage That Keep You From Living Your Best Life

Understanding how your own mind fights against you, so you can fight back.

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21 Forms Of Self-Sabotage That Keep You From Living Your Best Life
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Mental health is extremely important to maintain, and a major part of that is emotional health. There are many different external things that can cause emotional stress, but it can also come from within. These sources of stress are called self-sabotage, and they can be dangerous to you if not dealt with properly. Therefore, I think it's important to identify the many forms of self-sabotage. Here's a list of some of the forms of self-sabotage that can harm your emotional well being.

1. Procrastination

Learning to not procrastinate is one of the most valuable things you can do for yourself. I still have trouble with this one. The more efficiently you learn to use your time, the more awesome you will become as a human being.

2. Ignoring Problems

It’s not a crime to be cautious about things that affect your emotional stability. If you don’t have the time to address your problems, make the time.

3. Lack of Self-Control

If you can practice discipline over yourself and your actions, not only will you feel like a stoic ninja master, but you will feel more confident about yourself.

4. Overindulgence

Sometimes your mind can take things that are fun in moderation, like food or alcohol, and trick you into overindulging in them to try to bury your pain, fears and frustration. Neither food, alcohol or drugs (not including prescribed medication) have any positive effect on your emotional health.

5. Emotional Repression

Your emotions are a part of you. They are not your enemy, and they are never invalid, EVER. Do not repress them, but confront them and work to understand them.

6. Comparing Yourself to Others

Always a difficulty, since humans are such social creatures. Just remember, you matter more to yourself than anyone else does.

7. Cynicism

I’ve tried it. Sure, it can be comforting in the short-term to be cynical, but in the long term, it got me nowhere. Cynicism is empty weight, so I highly recommend switching it out for some degree of optimism.

8. Giving in to Anxiety/Depression

Anxiety and depression are serious and complex diseases. It’s very difficult to prevent them and even harder to fight once you have them, but please remember that there are ways to combat both. You just have to equip yourself properly.

9. Denying Help

I get it, sometimes people that want to “help” you don’t seem very genuine about it. But if you know someone is genuinely trying to help you with your problems and you refuse their help, you are only succeeding in isolating yourself when you most need them.

10. Lying to Yourself

If there’s one person you have no reason to lie to, it’s yourself. Being honest with yourself is how you remain objective and in control of your reality.

11. Self-Criticism

You are usually going to be your own harshest critic. Make sure to also be your biggest supporter to balance things out. You’ve spent a lifetime learning to do the things that you do, so it’s okay to be happy about them.

12. Denial of Your Potential

Have you seen the incredible things humans can do? Humans are amazing! They can do anything--and you’re one of them! The only things you can’t do are the things that you believe you can’t do.

13. Taking on Too Many Tasks


Understand your current limits and work within them. There’s nothing wrong with not being able to do as much as others. Take life at your own pace; you may find that you'll enjoy it a lot more.

14. Too Much Self-Deprecating Humor

Look, I love being edgy too, but the way you talk about yourself matters. The need to publicly put yourself down for laughs is a defense mechanism to mask your own insecurities, but you aren’t defending yourself by attacking yourself first.

15. Isolationism

Sometimes people can be really scary. I know. But I promise, with over 7 billion people in the world, there’s definitely at least a few that want to know you and see you and talk to you and laugh with you.

16. Martyrdom

More specifically, making unnecessary and undeserved sacrifices for people that don’t deserve it, because you are unconcerned about the consequences. Again, you matter more to yourself than anyone else. Most favors to a friend are not worth chipping away at your own life.

17. Avoiding Enjoyable Experiences

Please don’t punish yourself. It’s okay to make mistakes, that’s what life is about. You deserve to be happy.

18. Failure to Assess Personal Needs and Desires

In order to have a healthy relationship with yourself, you have to get to know yourself. Sometimes, taking care of yourself means making sure the people around you know what you want and need. This will not hurt your relationships; more likely, it will strengthen them.

19. Willful Ignorance

It’s impossible to know all the things. But avoiding learning new things is an active refusal to grow as a person, which can lead to emotional stagnation.

20. Self Harm

Please don’t. Whatever you’ve done, you don’t deserve to be hurt for it. Seek the help you need if you feel the urge to self-harm, even if it’s only a small urge.

21. Maintaining Toxic Relationships

No matter how in-control of yourself you are, the people in your life have a lot of power of your emotional health. Be sure to entrust that power with people who will not abuse it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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