Navigating Self-Sabotage

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Illustration of lady looking at images of herself

Self-sabotage is a common human experience, especially in the pursuit of reaching goals in your recovery and journey to wellness. The key is learning how the sabotage is related and how to deal with it. The way out of cycles of self-sabotage lies in learning to relate to it differently, work with it, and accept parts of you that sabotage rather than accept yourself.


The first step to breaking out of this cycle is to become aware of how and why you self-sabotage. What does self-sabotage look like for you? When do you self-sabotage the most? What thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and situations trigger the cycle of self-sabotage itself, and what happens after you do so?


Accepting that you have sabotaged yourself, even though you said you would not, is an essential step in ending the cycle of self-sabotage. We can often prevent further sabotage by accepting that it is a normal tendency rather than judge and shame ourselves for it. Judgment is a mechanism of self-sabotage, too. Just like recovery, unlearning self-sabotage is not linear. It is a process of learning how to work with your inner saboteur rather than against them.

Switching From Criticism to Compassion

After you have sabotaged yourself, how do you typically react? Noticing what your inner dialogue is like after an episode of sabotage can give you insight into how you tend to respond to yourself, which can be full of judgment and criticism.

You can take the power back by beginning to relate to your inner saboteur with compassion instead of judgment. This process entails getting curious about what it would be like to respond to yourself with gentleness instead of reacting to yourself with harshness. Self-compassion is like a muscle. The more you use it, the more natural and easy it becomes to use, especially when it may feel awkward at first.

Self-sabotage is part of the recovery journey. Learning how to work with sabotage, rather than against it, is what frees you from it rather than keeping you stuck in a cycle. At Avalon Malibu, our goal is to support you in this process. The road out of self-sabotage begins with awareness, acceptance, and learning to relate to yourself differently. At Avalon Malibu, our team of expert professionals can support you in discovering what this means for you. To learn more about our variety of treatments and therapies, call us today at (844) 857-5992.

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