Why Do We Unconsciously Self-Sabotage?

It's not uncommon for us to self-sabotage in order to avoid the stress that comes from others' expectations. This type of behavior occurs when our conscious mind is in conflict with our subconscious mind, which is known as the anti-self. This inner voice can slow us down and undermine our efforts and best intentions. People can hinder their progress for a variety of reasons, both consciously and unconsciously.

These causes can range from childhood issues to the effects of previous relationships, low self-esteem, and cognitive dissonance. Common self-sabotaging behaviors include procrastination, self-medication with drugs or alcohol, comfort eating, and forms of self-harm such as cutting. These behaviors can prevent us from achieving our goals and dreams, despite our own desires and values. Self-sabotage can be rooted in childhood models and patterns, such as a parent who lacked the confidence to succeed.

For example, a parent who constantly warns a child to be careful on the playground may cause the child to internalize the world as unsafe and avoid exploration. It's important to understand why we self-sabotage in order to break this cycle of destructive behavior. Identifying the underlying causes can help us to develop healthier coping mechanisms and build our self-esteem. We can also learn how to recognize when we are engaging in self-sabotaging behavior and take steps to stop it.