woman in gray top sitting beside gray tea pot and cup on brown wooden table

Read This If You’re Struggling With Self-Sabotage

I see you, broken, frustrated, and bent out of shape. Your hands are up and you’re thinking to yourself, “Can I actually do this? I’ve tried so many times. I want it. That goal I’ve had for months, maybe years. I’ve done all the work. Read all the articles. Know all the things. I see people doing it, turning their situation around when they started lower than me, so why isn’t it working? Why can’t I do it? Why am I stopping myself?”

You scour the internet for every article, hoping to find something, some new piece of information that is going to tell you the magical password, that key to unlocking the result you’re craving. A new ‘miracle’ cure or solution that will whisk you away and take you from point A to point B—finally. Putting an end to this constant longing once and for all.

You have tried so many times, only to end up right back at square one. You know exactly where you are supposed to go, what you are supposed to do, and how you are supposed to get there, but somehow you keep ending up right back where you started.

You blame it on motivation, and when the ‘how to’s’ get closer, the feeling in the pit of your stomach starts to bubble up and procrastination, perfectionism, avoidance, they all take over. No matter how much you want it, how big you build up that desire to be, you can never seem to overcome the imaginary wall and actually get there.

This is self-sabotage.

The painful, icky, messy loop that becomes more and more ingrained in you. So deep that you don’t even recognize it anymore. It’s on auto-pilot and it’s running you.

The reason you haven’t been able to break free?

Fed by fear, each time you try to take the first step and maybe even the second, all alarms sound. You try to free the loop, but it’s new. It’s scary. And your body isn’t ready for it.

All cells assemble and the unrest that occurs as a result of the contradiction between your goal and your body takes over. Your body is in panic mode, and it wants to keep you safe. So it does what it does best—it feeds you what works. It knows the formulas that keep you in the comfort zone and it sends the signals out to the newly assembled army: Procrastinate! Avoid! Please-people! Perfect it! And there you are. Back to square one. No new movement, no new action, no fear addressed, and no change in what you desire.

And so you try again.

And with each repetition, the body takes over and these habits become more and more ingrained. And you stay stuck.

Self-sabotage is chemical. It’s biologically controlled. It creates an emotional monster that shows up anytime things start to get quiet—that’s when it pounces. Whispering sentiments like “you will never break free,” “you will never make it,” “you are not worthy.”

And each time we give into the monster, he grows stronger. So, how do you stop it?

How do you stop anything?

Like every good Disney princess movie has taught us, you address it head on. You beat the monster at its own game. You take the fear that’s holding you stuck, stare it straight in its face, and you dismantle it. You put an end to it. And you don’t go back.

This is how we defeat the monster that is ourselves. This is how we start to win. And this is how we create our own life of bounding energy, beauty, and inspiration.

About the author
I have an irrational fear of condiments. Follow Andie on Instagram or read more articles from Andie on Thought Catalog.

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