03/30/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Trouble Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions? Uncover Your Self-Sabotaging Tendencies

At start of a new year, many people make resolutions for change. In fact, many of these are the same ones every year! Yours may be to increase your income, expand your social circle or find your dream job. But the foundation for achieving any goal is the ability to move beyond self-sabotaging patterns to create the results you seek.

In my work, I often talk about how the core beliefs and behaviors adopted in childhood affect our adult lives. Although rooted in the unconscious and hidden from most people, our core beliefs drive our everyday behaviors. And while these beliefs and behaviors allowed us to adapt to our families growing up, they often negate our adult lives. So identifying and shedding your limiting beliefs and behaviors is a critical key to success.

To better understand how your own limiting beliefs and behaviors may be sabotaging your New Year's resolutions, here are three examples of self-defeating behaviors and the core beliefs that drive them.

Avoidance: If you grew up in a family in which you were often criticized, a core limiting belief may be: I'm not good enough. Your habitual behavior might be to keep quiet--staying under the radar screen to avoid being judged. While that behavior may have helped you avoid criticism growing up, it sabotages your current success. You may avoid asking for a raise, confronting relationship issues or taking the next step out of a dead-end job.

Controlling: Do you tend to be dominating, getting angry when you don't get your way? Controlling behavior is usually driven by the core limiting belief: I am powerless and have no control. You may have had a controlling parent, or experienced traumatic events beyond your control such as a disruptive parental divorce. This pattern is very destructive. Controllers may have difficulty holding a job, alienate loved ones and waste their energy fighting with others.

Approval-seeking: Do you continually put others' needs before your own, never saying no for fear of others' disapproval? If you grew up in a family in which you were accepted only if you did what was expected--if love was conditional--you may hold the core belief: If I meet others' needs, then I'll be loved. Approval-seekers sabotage their own success by making other people's needs more important than their own.

The first step in overriding these sabotaging patterns involves recognizing what they are. Without judging yourself, observe how you behave in your life. When you start to see your self-defeating behaviors, dig down to identify the core beliefs that drive them. Then articulate and start activating new beliefs and behaviors that support you in achieving the goals to which you aspire.

Lauren Mackler is the author of the international bestseller, Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life. She is a psychotherapist, life and relationship coach, and host of the weekly Life Keys radio show on You can follow her on Twitter, watch her videos on YouTube, become a fan on Facebook, and read her Live Boldly blog You can contact her through her web site at