Stress and Self Sabotage - Recognizing and Overcoming It.

"When you change, the world around you changes." Niurka

Though virtually everyone experiences stress, sometimes the way we react to stress and add to the amounts is with self sabotage

Most of the ways that we self sabotage are unconscious. The characteristics that come into play are those that Carl Jung referred to when he spoke of our 'shadow' - the enemy inside your head in the form negative self talk.

Take Action:

Start by paying attention to the styles of self sabotage you favor. Once you become aware of these otherwise unconscious thoughts, you have the opportunity to challenge them.


This method of self sabotage is pretty self explanatory. You believe that your circumstances are not your fault. Whilst it's possible that there is some degree of truth in this, blaming leaves you feeling powerless. Blaming often goes hand in hand with a 'victim' mentality which is equally disempowering. Ultimately, you are the only person who has the ability to change your situation. When you begin to take responsibility, you feel better about yourself and more in control of your life.

Likely self talk: 'I can't help it'; 'It's their fault'; 'Things are just really hard for me'.


How many times do you repeatedly put off an unpleasant task? The most common are doing your tax, tidying your desk/wardrobe/garage, getting your finances in order, starting an exercise program or a healthy eating regime. Procrastination is a very popular method of self sabotage.

Likely self talk: 'I don't have the time'; 'I'm too tired'; 'The time isn't right'.

Over Committing/Overwhelm

Many people over commit themselves. They say yes to everything and then find themselves feeling completely overwhelmed (and quite often resentful). This method of self sabotage often helps you to avoid your 'real' goals (the ones that would bring you the most fulfillment if you were brave enough to pursue them) by distracting you with a range of incidental activities.

Likely self talk: 'They need me - I can't say no'; 'I'm the only one who will do the job well'; 'I just like to stay busy'.

Lack of Self Belief

This is quite possibly the most popular method of all. Like all others, it is also a self fulfilling prophecy. The less you believe in yourself, the less likely you are to take on new challenges and the more likely you are to believe you are unworthy of great things.

Likely self talk: 'I'm not good enough'; 'No one will want me'; 'I'm too tall; too short; too heavy; too unattractive; not interesting or not smart enough'.

Unclear Goals/Lack of Direction

This is a difficult area to tackle as it generally presents as an overall sense of confusion. Not being clear about what you want in life is often connected to not wanting to make the wrong choices.

Likely self talk: 'I don't know what I want'; 'Nothing interests me'; 'What if I get it wrong?'.

With all of the above methods of self sabotage, the first step is to notice your dominant style. Most of us use more than one so begin by just becoming aware of your self talk.

When you feel ready to challenge your thinking, find a way to reframe your original thought, for example 'I'm not good enough' could become 'I'm as good as I need to be to give this a go'.

What are you waiting for?

If you've been reading this blog for awhile but just haven't taken action, it is time. It doesn't matter what you do, but do something to overcome the doubt, fear, or inertia that's keeping you stuck in stress eating.

Start your Mindful Eating Coaching Program now!