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Some days, you’re forced to face obstacles that leave you feeling frustrated, upset, or even angry at the world. And for the most, there is absolutely nothing you can do to avoid them.
It's not like you purposely chose a route that had a continuous stream of red traffic signals. Nor did you wait for the exact moment a downpour would hit to go out and run your errands.
But that’s not to say we aren’t all guilty of self-sabotaging from time to time. Whether it’s binge eating just days into your new diet, or making excuses to not see friends (yet again), we can all pinpoint a time in which our behavior was harmful to our own well-being.
These self-sabotaging quotes will help you to recognize those moments. And, with a little bit of self-care, get on the right track to a happier you.
Few things hold us back in life more than self-sabotage. It’s often fed by the belief that we aren’t good enough; that we don’t deserve happiness. And we don’t deserve even the simplest of wins, like a free upgrade on our morning coffee.
Imagine turning down a free upgrade. The idea sounds crazy.
Almost as crazy as standing in front of the mirror and believing that you aren't good enough. That the person in the reflection doesn't have the right clothes, the right haircut, or the sculpted body of a gym bunny. And so they, or rather you, can’t be good enough.
Actually, it’s not crazy at all.
The ever-mounting pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect leaves a bitter taste of failure. And as life throws opportunities around, like sprinkles on a frosted cake, we do our best to avoid them. There’s always a reason, or an excuse as to why we can’t simply enjoy life, and all it has to offer.
But maybe it’s time to stop picking at your flaws like an old scar, and instead, allow them to heal. Allow yourself to breathe, to be happy. And to take the free upgrade on your morning coffee with a big old slice of that sprinkle-topped cake.
By learning to recognize your self-sabotaging behaviors and stopping them in their tracks, you can redirect your mindset to a more positive place. Journaling can be particularly useful with this, as it allows you to see the triggers, such as tiredness and stress.
Remember, you are in control of this journey, no one else. So use the energy that was once flooded with self-doubt and find what makes you truly happy.
So let's get started with these 67 self-sabotaging quotes.
- “What is required for many of us, paradoxical though it may sound, is the courage to tolerate happiness without self-sabotage.” – Nathaniel Branden
- “Sometimes we self-sabotage just when things seem to be going smoothly. Perhaps this is a way to express our fear about whether it is okay for us to have a better life.” – Maureen Brady
- “Resistance by definition is self-sabotage.” – Steven Pressfield
- “The fear of failure has sabotaged many hopes and dreams.” – RJ Intindola
- “Destruction can be beautiful to some people. Don’t ask me why. It just is. And if they can’t find anything to destroy, they destroy themselves.” – John Knowles
- “More times than I can remember I look around and I ask why the hole I’m in looks so strangely familiar. Probably because it looks a whole lot like all the other ones I dug before I got around to digging this one.” – Craig D. Lounsbrough
- “Being self-critical is good; being self-hating is destructive. There’s a very fine line there somewhere, and I walk it carefully.” – Daniel Radcliffe
- “Withholding love is a form of self-sabotage, as what we withhold from others, we are withholding from ourselves.” – Marianne Williamson
- “I decry the injustice of my wounds, only to look down and see that I am holding a smoking gun in one hand and a fistful of ammunition in the other.” – Craig D. Lounsbrough
- “I think I sabotage myself when I don’t follow through with things that are important to me. It’s always been a problem of mine. I have a hard time committing to things, even if they’re good for me.” – Britney Spears
- “Those who say life is knocking them down and giving them a tough time are usually the first to beat themselves up. Be on your own side.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru
- “People with low self-esteem are more likely to sabotage themselves when something good happens to them because they don’t feel deserving.” – Unknown
- “Be mindful of finding holes in joyful moments/experiences. Your self-sabotage ways are stealing your joy. You deserve to experience the wholeness of good moments and finally give yourself a break from your negative self-talk.” – Ash Alves
- “Nothing will sabotage our happiness and success more thoroughly than the fear that we are not enough.” – Bill Crawford
- “I am the greatest obstacle to my dreams.” – Craig D. Lounsbrough
- “The tragedy of too many people is that they cannot allow happiness just to be there; they cannot leave it alone. Their sense of who they are and of what their destiny is cannot accommodate happiness. So they are driven to find ways to sabotage it.” – Nathaniel Branden
- “Like most other creatives, I struggle with self-sabotage, self-doubt, and feeling like an imposter more often than not. I struggle with expressing myself, because it does sometimes feel easier or safer not to.” – Jeff Jarvis
- “If your parents told you growing up that you’ll never amount to much, maybe you handicap yourself so that you do fall short.” – Barbara Field
- “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie
- “Human beings invent just as many ways to sabotage their lives as to improve them.” – Mark Goulston
- “Self-sabotage is often driven by negative self-talk, where you tell yourself that you’re inadequate, or unworthy of success.” – MindTools
- “It’s not the lack of ability or opportunity that holds you back; it is only a lack of confidence in yourself.” – Richard Monckton Milnes
- “Our inner beliefs trigger failure before it happens. They sabotage lasting change by canceling its possibility. We employ these beliefs as articles of faith to justify our inaction and then wish away the result. I call them belief triggers.” – Marshall Goldsmith
- “The biggest thing holding you back is almost always… you. Start there.” – Hunter Post
- “All of our actions can signify self-love or self-sabotage.” – Sharon Salzberg
- “Managing your emotions doesn’t mean you don’t express yourself; it means you stop short of hurting others and sabotaging yourself.” – Unknown
- “Fear can sabotage your everything. It can be such a loud overwhelming voice in your head. Quiet this voice now and live.” – Christine E. Szymanski
- “We sabotage great things in our lives because deep down we don’t feel worthy of great things.” – Taressa Riazzi
- “When your heart knows it doesn’t belong there, it will continue to self-sabotage your future, until you make the choice you wanted, but found a million excuses not to pursue.” – Shannon L. Alder
- “Other people’s views and troubles can be contagious. Don’t sabotage yourself by unwittingly adopting negative, unproductive attitudes through your associations with others.” – Epictetus
- “Darling, the world’s not really against you. The only thing that’s against you is yourself.” – Unknown
- “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
- “By sabotaging the relationship, we are unconsciously building a wall around ourselves to ‘protect’ us from fears of being left behind.” – Annie Tanasugarn
- “It’s the fear of not being as good as you want to be. If you give over to that fear, it will sabotage you. As much as I can, I try to use that fear to guide me.” – ChrisPine
- “Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn’t happen.” – Alyce Cornyn–Selby
- “Self-sabotage is psychological self-harm. When you believe you’re undeserving of love, you subconsciously make sure you don’t get it; you push people away to hurt yourself. But when you remember you are worthy of love, you gain the courage to give your whole heart and love them generously.” – Unknown
Self-sabotage is psychological self-harm. When you believe you’re undeserving of love, you subconsciously make sure you don’t get it; you push people away to hurt yourself. But when you remember you are worthy of love, you gain the courage to give your whole heart and love them generously.” – Unknown
- “Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball
- “The quickest path to self-destruction is to push away the people you love.” – Cassia Leo
- “Love will never be easy, but without self-sabotage, it is a lot more reachable.” – Raquel Peel
- “We can all make powerful choices. We can all take back control by not blaming chance, fate, or anyone else for our outcomes. It’s within our ability to cause everything to change. Rather than letting past hurtful experiences sap our energy and sabotage our success, we can use them to fuel positive, constructive change.” – Darren Hardy
- “We need to ascend beyond our own petty Resistance, our own negative self-judgment and self-sabotage, our own “I’m not worthy” mindset.” – Steven Pressfield
- “The biggest disabilities are when you sabotage yourself mentally, those personal demons that get on your shoulder and you can’t shake ’em.” – Zach Anner
- “Life is so much easier when you stop getting in your way.” – Kristin Barrow
- “A critical key to achieving success lies in your ability to activate your potential to create the results you seek… start by being aware of your self-sabotaging patterns.” – Lauren Miackler
- “Just for today, I will not sabotage anything. Not my relationships, not my self-esteem, not my plans, not my goals, not my hopes, not my dreams.” – Unknown
- “I sabotage myself for fear of what my bigness could do.” – Alanis Morissette
- “The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself.” – Maya Angelou
- “I manufactured the stream of painful images because I was feeling good! Some part of me was afraid of enjoying positive energy for any extended period of time.” – Gay Hendricks
- “A long-standing history of ghosting partners and discarding relationships out of self-preservation… often backfires in a cycle of more self-sabotage.” – Annie Tanasugarn
- “Procrastination is hands down, our favorite form of self-sabotage.” – Alyce Cornyn–Selby
- “Self-doubt does more to sabotage individual potential than all external limitations put together.” – Brian Tracy
- “Our biggest enemy is our own self-doubt. We really can achieve extraordinary things in our lives. But we sabotage our greatness because of our fear.” – Robin Sharma
- “Having a low opinion of yourself is not ‘modesty’. It’s self-destruction. Holding your uniqueness in high regard is not ‘egotism’. It’s a necessary precondition to happiness and success.” – Bobbe Sommer
- “One of the first steps in addressing self-sabotaging behaviors is identifying them.” – Jennifer Chain
- “Just imagine how much you would get done if you stopped sabotaging your own work.” – Seth Godin
- “Forgiveness is mental floss! Build the capacity to forgive slowly – start with little unkind acts, otherwise you’ll sabotage yourself. When we forgive, we forgive the actor, not the action.” – Stephen Levine
- “You can have anything you want if you are willing to give up the belief that you can’t have it.” - Robert Anthony
- “Negative thinking is contagious. Do your best not to dwell on negativity, it will consume you and prevent you from becoming your best self.” – Germany Kent
- “Don’t let anger control you. Don’t let hate enslave you. Don’t let negativity overcome you. Don’t let bitterness conquer you.” – Matshona Dhliwayo
- “You can’t imagine just how much believing in negative thoughts is affecting your life…until you stop.” – Charles F. Glassman
- “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
- “Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “Focus on rewarding and praising yourself instead of degrading and punishing yourself. You’ll get far better results!” – Akiroq Brost
- “No more excuses. No more self-sabotage. No more self-pity. No more comparing yourself to others. Time to step up. Take action right now and start living your life with purpose.” – Anthon St. Maarten
- “One simple thing to do and destroy the spirit of self-sabotage is to admire the beauty hidden in ugly circumstances.” – Israelmore Ayivor
- “A common type of self-saboteur is one who finds the price of hope too high to pay for.” – The School of Life
- “The only reason I can’t jump in and engage in life is that I’ve told myself I can’t. Yet I can’t help wondering what would happen if I told myself I could?” – Craig D. Lounsbrough
The only person who can truly judge you, is you. So make sure you do it fairly. Cut yourself some slack and try not to stand in the way of your own hopes and dreams.
By keeping the self-sabotaging thoughts at bay, you’ll get to enjoy so much more of life. Sprinkles included.
And if you want more eye-opening quotes, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 71 You Are Worthy Quotes to Know You’re Enough
- 67 Stress and Tired Quotes When You’re Feeling Exhausted
- 73 Trauma Quotes to Recover from a Challenging Past
Finally, if you want to use these quotes to make a lasting change to your life, then check out and recite these 57 affirmations for success.
Rebel Jones has been writing from a young age. She first used poetry to organise words – the rhythm and flow brought peace to her chaos. But as she developed (both as a person and as a writer), she embraced her offbeat thought process and found her own style and tone. Writing is definitely her happy place and one that she’s happy to share with the world.