3 Ways to Stop Self-Sabotage In Your Career

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According to Psychology Today, self-sabotage is any action that gets in the way of your intent. Many people associate self-sabotage with dieting or relationships, but it can happen in your work life, too. Some individuals who are frustrated with their lack of career fulfillment are totally unaware that the disease of self-sabotage is at the root of their work-related problems.

Why “I Hate My Job” Can Be a Self-Sabotage Statement

“I hate my job” is not at all an uncommon thing to hear. Anyone, no matter how content, can utter these words in moments of extreme frustration. But when someone says this phrase over and over about a variety of jobs, he or she is suffering from one of two things:

1. The person accepts jobs he/she is ill-suited for — Sometimes people just don’t have a knack for knowing what jobs to apply to. They invariably fill positions that are wrong for them. These types of job seekers may lack self-awareness and would benefit from the services of a career counselor or coach.

2. The individual sabotages his/her career success unintentionally — No one would purposely sabotage his or her career success, but it can be easy to do on a subconscious level. And it’s never done for the sake of being plain mean to one’s self. A person who indulges in self-sabotage is usually trying to protect his or herself. In the case of career self-sabotage, it is protection from success at work.

“One of the things that may help you understand your self-sabotaging behavior is to recognize that you are actually trying to protect yourself rather than sabotage yourself.” — The Huffington Post

Stop Self-Sabotage with These 3 Tips

Are you guilty of self-sabotage in the area of your career? If so, here are three tips to help you turn things around today and start creating the work life you want:


  1. Say “no” to shame — If you struggle with self-sabotage, you are in good company — so do lots of other people. It’s important to recognize that this is your pattern, but it’s equally important to let yourself off the hook for self-sabotaging all these years. The quicker you do this, the quicker you’ll be able to stop self-sabotage in your work life.


  1. Find out why you’re protecting yourself from success — Self-sabotage is really just self-protection in disguise. If you do this, ask yourself, “Why am I protecting myself from success?” Maybe you are scared to outshine or outearn your partner. Or perhaps you simply don’t feel worthy of success, financial security, promotion, etc. It could even be that you’ve been somewhat programmed to think you shouldn’t be successful in your career. Finding the “why” behind your self-sabotage will help you with the next step: build a new belief that supports your career goals.


  1. Build a new belief — Once you know that what you believe is holding you in the prison of self-sabotage, your next step is to build a new belief that will support your career goals. For example, if you believed that it would be destructive to your relationship to earn more than your partner, challenge that belief. Ask him or her if there is any truth to it. Chances are you’ll discover that earning more money would be beneficial, not destructive, to your relationship. When you know the truth, you can construct a new belief. The key to doing this effectively is keeping it simple, something like, “It’s OK for me to earn more than my spouse.” Repeat this to yourself until it begins to sink in (and it will).

Career Success Can Be Yours

Self-sabotage is an easy thing to do. Remember that it can happen in one’s career as readily as in any other area of life. If you can’t seem to find career success, ask yourself if self-sabotage could be the reason. If it is, don’t forget to:

  • Let yourself off the hook for sabotaging your success at work.
  • Find the reason why you block career success.
  • Build a new belief that supports your career goals.

What is one effective way you’ve dealt with self-sabotage in the past?  

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