08/11/2014 04:41 pm ET Updated Oct 11, 2014

How to Deal With Self-Sabotage

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I have been sabotaged.

Some crazy lunatic has been saying the nastiest, untrue things about me, doing everything in their power to bring me down and derail me from my success.

Oh wait, that crazy lunatic is me!

How many times in life have you found yourself caught in the act of self-sabotage? Each day we strive to do our very best, having small or huge wins that contribute towards our overall goals of fulfillment. Our successes build upon each other, gaining momentum and we find ourselves on fire with everything we do. We are on top of the world, and then suddenly, something happens to pull the rug out from under us. Self-sabotage comes in many forms, whether we become lazy or complacent, procrastinate, or let our anxiety and fears get the best of us, bringing us to a screeching halt.

Why do we self-sabotage? When we consciously want something but unconsciously do things to prevent us from getting it, our inner saboteur is at work. This is a matter of our identity. Although we may want something badly, on some level we may not believe we deserve it, are worth it, or are capable of achieving it. That is where our inner saboteur comes into play, creating havoc in our lives to confirm these limiting beliefs about ourselves. We will do anything to defend the beliefs we believe are true, even if they are not serving or go against who we truly are at our authentic core. We will even make up things to defend these beliefs, that logistically are ridiculous, but will support what we believe to be true.

So how do we prevent self-sabotage? We need to strengthen the beliefs that are more in alignment to who we really are. Here are three actions we can take to help us strengthen our true beliefs when we find ourselves up against our inner saboteur:

1. Focus on what you want: Where your focus goes, your energy flows. If you focus on all the reasons why you will not get what you want, you are bound to see more of those reasons show up in your life. However, if you focus on what your want and the driving force as to why it is important for you to achieve it, you are more likely to see opportunities and methods to help you get what you want.

2. Be yourself: When you take away all the feelings of fear, anxiety, and unworthiness, who are you at your authentic core? Are you an individual whose purpose is to contribute towards a greater good? Are you someone whose purpose is to love those around them and teach others to do the same? Take some time to reflect who you really are at your core and use that to challenge your inner saboteur when they come around. Having feelings of doubt and fear are bound to come up anytime you are in the process of growing, but those feelings that don't serve you are not who you really are.

3. Embrace change: Change can be super scary. It means stepping out of our comfort zone and into the unknown. But the truth is, we cannot grow in our comfort zone, we have to step out! Celebrate those times you are feeling uncertain, because that is a signal that change is happening. Ask yourself, "What is the worst that could happen?" acknowledge that fear, and move on, knowing that worst case scenarios are a product of our imagination and we are often the culprits of creating our worst fears.

Self-sabotage is bound to happen anytime we are stepping into the unknown. What is important is to recognize when we are getting in our own way of what we want and ask how we can empower ourselves to get back on track.

Melissa E. Kirk is a life coach and teaches people how to master modern mindfulness in today's crazy world. You can catch up with her at or find her on Facebook for daily inspiration.