Maybe you’re sabotaging yourself, but you do not know

Do you always “get lucky” and see the wrong person? Do the jobs you apply for turn out to be worse than the previous one? Do you spend time saying “everything happens to me”? Are you more convinced each day about your bad fortune? If the answer is yes, there are many chances that maybe you are the cause of all that. Are you sabotaging yourself?


“What did I do to deserve this?”

Has it ever happened to you that when you achieve what you have been waiting for so long, you suddenly become depressed or lament it because it is not “exactly” what you wanted or how you wanted it? Have you ever thought that you might have some responsibility in what you attribute to your (bad) luck?

A characteristic of people who sabotage themselves, psychologists agree, is the inability to see their own responsibility in the events of their lives. Instead, they choose to blame the luck or the others for how bad it is going. And once they do well, they do not accept that fact either, they expect the worst or distrust that what has been achieved is something really worthwhile.

Of course, there are unfortunate events such as accidents, tragedies, unexpected illnesses and certain turns of life that can be attributed to chance.

But, honestly: How many of those things happen to you or have happened to you? Are there irreparable events? How many have you faced? My mother always tells me: “The only thing that has no solution is death.” And she’s right.

Are you in”sabotage mode”?

The problem is that when we are in “sabotage mode” we do not realize that and we only see the impossibility.

Before an opportunity to do something to improve our lives, we do not see a possibility, but something else that will not work, the experts agree: “It can not be done”, we say, and even having achieved it we say: “It will probably not last”.

To find the one who is responsible, look in the mirror.

People sabotage themselves for several reasons, one of the most common reasons is easily traceable: low self-esteem.

It is also related to the comfort of not taking charge of what happens to us (better to claim that it escapes our control, right?). On the other hand, sabotaging can be so subtle that we do not notice it right away.

Here are three examples:

  • When I was studying Journalism at the University, I had a partner who “accidentally” got drunk the day before a final. Thus, he arrived to the exam with a hangover, blaming the poor state he was in. However, and as obvious as it seems now, he did not notice the mechanism of his sabotage that made him abandon the race.
  • The sister of a friend with whom I have quite close with, told me for years about her “misadventures” with love. She wanted to fall in love, marry, have children, and in all the conversations we had (months apart) she told me how bad it was because “again” she had “crossed” paths with a bad man. Her stories always had a tragic tinge of events beyond control, such as having fallen in love “once again” with a man who was already in a relationship with another person.
  • A roommate with whom I lived in Barcelona lived in conflict with her employment situation. She had a degree in photography, but she had always worked as a waitress and that anguished her. It is understandable, of course, if one had to pay the bills and had no other possibilities. But that was not the case: more than once I witnessed opportunities to do some photography work and she rejected them because it was not “exactly” what she was looking for, or because it seemed too amateur for her (who, paradoxically, had no experience in the matter beyond his title).

If any of these examples sounds familiar to you, you may be so involved in sabotage that you have not even noticed.

Advice? Do not blame anything or anyone else for your fate: you are responsible for transforming an opportunity, the good and the bad that happens to you. And do not forget my mother’s sentence: “The only thing that has no solution is death.”

Tell me your experiences with this topic: in what aspects do you feel that you are self-sabotaging?


Translation from the original in Spanish: Vanessa Sirias

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