On Your Health

Check back to the INTEGRIS On Your Health blog for the latest health and wellness news for all Oklahomans.

Stopping the Cycle of Self-Sabotage

06 April 2023

Posted in

Self-sabotage is a destructive cycle that can leave individuals feeling helpless and stuck. It involves engaging in behaviors or thoughts that undermine one's own success, happiness and well-being.

Self-sabotage can manifest in various ways, such as procrastination, negative self-talk, self-destructive habits and avoiding responsibilities. It is a self-defeating cycle that can prevent individuals from reaching their full potential and achieving their goals. The cycle of self-sabotage can be mentally and physically exhausting, but there are ways to break yourself out of this cycle and live a healthy, fulfilled life. 

Here are 6 steps in breaking the cycle of self-sabotaging. 

Recognize and Acknowledge the Behavior

The first step in breaking the cycle of self-sabotage is to recognize and acknowledge the behavior. This means being honest with yourself and admitting that you are engaging in self-destructive behavior. Many individuals may deny or rationalize their actions, making it difficult to break the cycle.

However, acknowledging the behavior is crucial to understanding why it is happening and taking steps to stop it. Without acknowledging your destructive behavior, it will be impossible to create long-lasting healthy habits that break the cycle. 

Identify Triggers

Self-sabotage often stems from underlying beliefs, fears and emotional states. Identifying triggers that lead to self-destructive behavior can help individuals understand what is causing the behavior. For example, if procrastination is a form of self-sabotage, the trigger may be a fear of failure or a belief that the task is too difficult. By identifying triggers, individuals can develop strategies to manage them and prevent self-sabotage.

Practice Self-Compassion

Self-sabotage is often fueled by negative self-talk and a lack of self-compassion. Practicing self-compassion involves treating oneself with kindness, understanding and acceptance. It means recognizing that everyone makes mistakes and that it is okay to struggle. Self-compassion can help individuals break the cycle of self-sabotage by reducing feelings of shame, guilt and self-blame.

Set Realistic Goals

Setting unrealistic goals can lead to self-sabotage because it sets individuals up for failure. When goals are too difficult or unrealistic, individuals may feel overwhelmed, anxious, or discouraged. This can lead to procrastination or other forms of self-destructive behavior. Setting realistic goals involves identifying what is achievable and breaking it down into smaller, manageable steps. This can help individuals build confidence and momentum, which can prevent self-sabotage.

Develop Positive Habits

Self-sabotage often involves engaging in self-destructive habits, such as smoking, drinking, or overeating. Developing positive habits can help individuals break the cycle of self-sabotage by replacing negative behaviors with healthier ones. Positive habits can include exercise, meditation, journaling, or spending time with loved ones. These habits can promote self-care and well-being, which can reduce the need for self-sabotage.

Seek Support

Breaking the cycle of self-sabotage can be challenging and it may be helpful to seek support from others. This can include friends, family, or a therapist. A supportive network can provide encouragement, feedback and accountability, which can help individuals stay on track and prevent self-sabotage.

Visit INTEGRIS Health Today to Learn About Our Mental Health Services

Breaking the cycle of self-sabotage requires recognition, self-compassion and a willingness to change. It involves identifying triggers, setting realistic goals, developing positive habits and seeking support. While it may take time and effort to break the cycle, it is possible with dedication and perseverance. By stopping self-sabotage, individuals can achieve their goals, improve their well-being and live a more fulfilling life.


At INTEGRIS Health, we believe that seeking support is absolutely essential when it comes to breaking the cycle of self-sabotage. We offer mental health services that will offer you a support system that will help you healthily break the cycle of self sabotage.

How Does Body Image Affect Mental Health?

Ways to Turn Negative Thoughts Around…Or at Least Manage Them

How to Start Your Own Garden