I Want to Succeed! How to Stop Self-Sabotaging Your Career

Written by Camelle Gregoire

Graphic Design by Mary Johnson

Self-sabotaging woman

During this Employee Revolution, we must face some harsh facts. Nobody wants to be their own worst enemy, but the cold, hard truth is that we often are. Making mistakes is normal, but you can’t be your biggest hurdle if you ever want to achieve your dreams! We call that self-sabotage.

But what exactly is self-sabotage? It’s when you behave or think in a way that holds you back from your goals. These goals could be small, day-to-day actions or big goals like getting your dream job. Self-sabotaging behaviors are almost always subconscious, so you first have to identify them if you want to change them. Here are the five behaviors that we want you to look out for!

Procrastination: Your Dream Job Can’t Wait

Is there a job where you desire? A dream job? Here’s a better question: Are you applying for your dream job right now?

 It’s easy to have a dream; it’s much harder to go after that dream. Many people struggle to even get started. That’s because they’re afraid to fail. People fear that they will never get their dream job, so they never apply. Bam! They’re right. They don’t have their dream job. But how could they expect to get it when they never applied in the first place? You have missed every shot that you haven’t taken. If you care about yourself and your dreams, you should go for them! Here are some great tips for getting your dream job that can get you started.

A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Self-Deprecation

Do you think negatively about yourself? When you start a task, do you go in, sure that you will fail? Not only are negative thoughts harmful to your mental health, but they can directly lead to you sabotaging yourself. If you go into something expecting to fail, then you’ll hesitate. So how do you stop doing it?

Let’s start by asking yourself, “Does this align with my goals?” Let’s say that you are considering emailing someone at a company where you want to work. You think that they might be able to help you get an interview, but, uh-oh, your brain is saying, “Don’t do it!” Well, would emailing that person help you towards your goal? Ask yourself, “Why is my brain telling me no?” If it would help you reach your dream, why would your brain advise against it? Is your worry coming from a place of genuine concern or low self-esteem? 

We all have negative thoughts sometimes; the key is to turn them around. We suggest that you start reframing these negative thoughts into something more positive. When your brain says, “I don’t know what to do,” tell yourself, “I’m going to learn.” Change your “I’m not good enough” into “I’m going to be the best.” Changing your outlook can have an effect, as sappy as it may sound. Go from self-sabotaging to self-supporting!

It Must be Someone Else’s Fault: Blame and Arguments

Do you find yourself often arguing with others at work? Are your coworkers constantly sabotaging your success? Have you never gotten along with the people at work, no matter what job? If this is the case, you might be struggling with self-sabotage. You are the core of your success. Outside forces will have an effect, but you are at the center. If your failures are always someone else’s fault, then it might be more you than them.

It’s important to take accountability.  Nobody likes to admit their faults, but you’ll never grow if you don’t. Nobody cares more about your success than you (except us, of course), so you need to take responsibility. When something goes wrong, take the time to reflect. When someone offers constructive criticism, don’t immediately go on the defensive. It’s hard to do, but you can change and be a better person for it if you continue practicing.

Running Away From Your Problems: You’ll Never Be Fast Enough

Avoiding conflict in your workplace is usually a good idea. However, it’s self-destructive to do anything to avoid conflict. We’re making this complex, we know. The key is to know when a confrontation is necessary and when it isn’t. Keep in mind, when we use the word “confrontation,” we don’t mean having a yelling match with your coworker. Confrontations can be civilized.

Let’s say you have a coworker who has a bad habit of talking over you during meetings and dismissing your concerns. The thought of confronting them makes you very uncomfortable.

Maybe you don’t want to cause trouble for your coworker or HR. But, this isn’t the right attitude to have. If you say nothing and let this continue, your problem won’t disappear. Getting a new job isn’t a much better solution. If you really want to land your dream job, then there are going to be times where you need to be uncomfortable. But this discomfort will be a lot shorter than the misery of putting your needs aside so you can avoid confrontation.

Self-sabotaging At Its Worst: Refusing Help When You Need It

Wanting to be independent isn’t bad, but everyone needs help sometimes. If you are always refusing the support offered to you, you will be worse off for it. Accepting help doesn’t mean that you aren’t capable; if anything, it’s a boon to be able to recognize when you can’t do it alone.

When someone offers you help, and you get the urge to refuse them, we want you to try asking yourself, “Am I refusing because I don’t need help or because accepting would make me feel bad?” And be honest with yourself, do you really not need any help? If, after asking those questions, you realize that you do need help, don’t be afraid! Remind yourself how you feel when you help others. Don’t you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Isn’t it nice to be appreciated in that way? We like that feeling too! That’s why we want to help you.

Before You Go

Our final tip is this; you are the one in control. Self-sabotage may be unintentional most times, but you have the power to stop doing it. Once you have identified the behavior that is getting in the way of your goals, you can begin working towards stopping them. Even if it takes some time, you can stop holding yourself back. For more tips on how to reach your career-related goals or learn more about the Employee Revolution, check out our other blogs!

Have a Super Day!

Camelle Gregoire

Camelle Gregoire

From an early age, I’ve always loved to read and write. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to make a career out of these passions, but thanks to Super Purposes I could. Now I want to be able to help others make careers out of their passions as well.