7 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Success (And How To Stop)

ways you're sabotaging your success
Stop standing in your own way. Stop making excuses. Stop talking about why you can’t. Stop sabotaging yourself. Decide which direction you are going in and take action. One decision at a time, one moment at a time.
Akiroq Brost

Are you sabotaging your own success?

I do. All the time. 

Like when I started my first blog. I was spending my time studying what the big bloggers were doing, wishing I had their big audiences and 6-figure revenues.

I was so envious, I convinced myself they had it easy. They probably had rich parents who paid their rent and tech boyfriends who helped them out with photos and videos…

I didn’t have all that money. Or a boyfriend willing to double up as a photographer. There was no chance for me to ever reach their league.

Envy and victim-playing were my flavours of self-sabotage, the excuses I told myself to avoid doing the hard work that would make me achieve my goals.

If you don’t nip them in the bud, these excuses become your truth and sabotage your success. 

How do you stop that happening and achieve the success you deserve? Here are the 7 most common ways you’re sabotaging yourself and how to overcome them:

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1. You Envy People Who Have What You Want

What if I told you that envy doesn’t have to be a negative emotion?

Envy is a spy, a tugging feeling that lets you know what you want to have, do, or be. It’s meant to show you what’s possible for you, too.

Problem is, you often don’t believe the same is possible for you. And so, you start criticism that person.

“Look at that woman! I know how she got that job!”

“She always looks so well put together. I bet she’s really shallow.”

“She just released another online course. I bet it’s a scam.”

Every time you say something negative about the people you envy, you’re sabotaging your own success.

Think about it. Would you like it if people said the same nasty things about you? Of course not!

Your brain wants you to be safe above all else. It perceives any criticism you’re dishing out as a threat. 

Next thing you know, you come up with all sorts of excuses of why you can’t have what they have. Guess what? You never will.

Instead than criticising the people you envy, admire them. Say positive things about them. Wish them plenty of success. 

It’ll send a message to your brain that it’s safe for you to go after your dreams, too.

Related: Why Going After Your Dreams Isn’t Selfish

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2. You’re Playing The Victim

You’re probably not aware that you’re playing the victim. You just think you’re very unlucky.

“I can’t find a job in marketing right now. The economy is so bad.”

“I can’t start my business, yet. I don’t have enough money.”

“I have no choice. I need to stay in my soul-sucking job to pay the bills and support my family.”

It’s true there’ll always be situations in life you have no control over. You can’t do anything about the economy, for example.

But in every situation, there’s always something you can control: you. 

You can stop focusing on other people’s behaviours and external circumstances, and focus on what you can achieve.

So the economy is bad. What can you do to stand out at job interviews?

So you don’t have enough money yet. What can you do to make that money?

So, you have bills to pay. What can you do to start doing more of what you love without quitting the day job, yet?

Stop giving your power away. Use it to make your dreams come true.

Related: Should You Follow Your Dreams Or Be Realistic?

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3. You’re Focusing On What You Don’t Want

Have you noticed that when someone asks you what you want in a career (or anything else for that matter), you start telling them what you don’t want?

“I don’t want to work in a corporate office.” 

“I don’t want to work on weekends anymore.”

“I’m tired of being micromanaged by my boss all the time.” 

Same if you’re thinking of starting a job, writing a book or pursuing any other dream.

“I don’t have the money to start my business now.”

“I’m too busy to write a book at the moment.”

“I don’t like the way I look, why do my thighs have to be this big?”

When you focus all your energy and thoughts on all the things that you don’t want, you don’t have any left for the things you do want.

If you’re focusing on lack of money, you’ll feel too depressed to do anything about it. But if you focus on the business that you want you start and the why behind it? You’ll find a way to make it happen.

You get what you think about. Your thoughts influence your mood. Your mood influences your actions.

If you want your dreams to come true, focus all your energy on what you want and take action to get there.

Related: What To Do When You’re Feeling Discouraged About Chasing Your Dreams

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4. You’re Not Allowing Yourself To Receive

Do you find it easier to give than to receive, too?

You’re spending your evening listening to a friend complain about her boss for the umpteenth time. 

You’re focusing your energy in taking care of your family and making sure everyone has what they need.

You’re sharing your foods/clothes/books/whatever with anyone who may need them.

But when it’s time to ask for help, you don’t. Heck, you often don’t even accept help when it’s offered to you.

“No, thank you, I can do it on my own. I don’t want to inconvenience you.” 

The problem with this mindset? You spend all your time helping other people build their dreams, you have no time chasing your own.

Before you know it, you’re burnout, resentful, and at war with the world. You’ve got nothing left to give. You can’t help anyone anymore, not even yourself.

It doesn’t have to be that way. 

Life is all about give and take. Just like you feel the need to help your loved ones, they feel the same need to help you. 

Ask for that help. Allow yourself to receive it. The more you receive, the more you can give back.

Dreams aren’t built alone.

Related: 4 Ways To Prevent Burnout While Chasing Your Dreams

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5. You’re Not Creating SMART Goals

The difference between a wish and a goal?

A wish is vague: “I want to make more money.”

A goal is specific: “I want to make an extra $1K a month by offering social media services to small online business owners.”

Can you see that difference? When your goal is too vague, it seems so unreachable, you won’t even know how to get started. So you won’t.

Vague goals let you off the hook. When you fail, it won’t be because you didn’t put in the effort. The goal simply was too big and vague.

If you want to make your dreams happen and achieve everything you want in life, you need to create SMART goals instead. SMART goals are:

  • Specific: What exactly do you want to achieve?
  • Measurable: How will you know you’ve accomplished this goal?
  • Attainable: Do you have all the tools and resources you need to achieve this goal? If not, can you get them?
  • Relevant: Is it a priority in your life right now? What’s your why for doing this?
  • Time-oriented: What is the deadline?

Now you know what you want to achieve, when, and how, and have a way to measure your success, go do it, gorgeous!

P.S. Now that you’ve got your SMART goals, break it down into small steps and add them to your calendar. If it’s not scheduled, it doesn’t get done.

Don’t like using a physical calendar? Click on the image below to download the Weekly Planner. It features a digital calendar + productivity tips to help you make the most of your time.


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Related: 4 Ways To Stop Worrying And Start Taking Action Towards Your Dreams

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6. You’re Not Surrounding Yourself With Positive People

You know what they say: you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

Are the people you spend the most time with encouraging you to follow your dreams? Are they giving you the emotional support you need?

Making your dreams come true is hard. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll fail. You’ll feel like giving up a thousand times.

You need people around you to keep your spirits up when you feel discouraged and to motivate you to get back up and try again.

If you don’t have anyone in your life right now, go out and find them. Join a Facebook group. Enroll in a class. Listen to podcasts (virtual mentors count, too!).

Build your tribe. It’s the best investment you can make.

Related: 3 Things That People Who Have A Job They Love Do That You Don’t

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7. You Don’t Believe In Yourself 

This is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you don’t believe you have what it takes to do something, you won’t.

So how can you start believing in yourself?

You need to trust that you wouldn’t have that dream if you couldn’t make it happen. All you have to do is take one step at a time. 

If you’re thinking of starting a business, why not read a business book or go to a networking event for entrepreneurs?

If you want to write a book, just sit down and write one page.

If you’re dreaming of becoming a social media manager, ask a friend if you can help her with her account.

You don’t have to climb the entire staircase today. Just take the first step. Before you know it, you’ll reach the top.

Need help to silence your Inner Mean Girl, that inner voice that always puts you down? Click on the image below to download the “Silence Your Inner Mean Girl” cheatsheet to turn your inner critic into your biggest supporter.


Silence Your Inner Mean Girl For Good!

Sign up to the newsletter to receive the free cheatsheet + tips on how to discover and fulfil your life purpose.

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Related: How To Find The Confidence To Follow Your Dreams

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How To Stop Sabotaging Your Own Success

Now you know in what ways you’re sabotaging your success, be aware of your triggers. 

Whenever you find yourself focusing on what you don’t want, for example, ask yourself, “Wait a minute, is this thought/behaviour serving me? Is it moving me towards my goals and dreams?”

Once you become aware of your thoughts and feelings, you can let them go and take the right action towards your goals.

You’ve got this, gorgeous.

Over to you, now. How are you sabotaging your own success? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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