Self-sabotage is real, and it happens more often than you think. When you question yourself as to why you still aren’t happy with where you are, or when you feel that there’s something more out there for you that you can’t seem to reach, you may need to re-evaluate yourself: Are outside factors holding you back, or is it just you?

Dr. Lisa Firestone on Psychology Today says that “every one of us is capable of undermining our own goals because we all have an inherent inclination to self-sabotage.” Think about it – how many times have you unconsciously tried to be unremarkable? How many times have you accepted your self-depreciating thoughts as absolute truth?

One factor that pushes you to limit yourself to a state below your true potential is self-hate. You may not notice it, but self-hate is that critical voice inside of your head which tells you that you can’t reach your goals because you’re not good enough, or smart enough, or pretty enough. It instills fear in you and causes you to check and double-check yourself even if you’re more than capable of succeeding. Listening to this voice makes you miserable and lonely, and urges you crawl into that zone where you feel safest and comforted.

This sort of comfort might also be holding you back. After all, it seems counter-intuitive to subject yourself to suffering for something you’re not even sure you’ll achieve, so why even leave your cozy room, or your warm bed for that matter? You’ll do everything you can to stay in that safe zone – from denying that there’s a world outside of it, to putting off things that can actually start you on the road to success. At some point, what seems to be soothing becomes a factor of self-sabotage: Comfort tempts you to hide under your shell and denies your personal growth.

It’s not easy to watch out for signs of self-sabotage, and it’s not easy to overcome the self-depreciation that causes it. But here’s the first and the easiest thing that you can do to fight it: Show up. If challenges overwhelm you and your goals seem too far away, just take it one step at a time and be where you need to be.

Moreover, be more compassionate to yourself. Be more forgiving of your faults. Silence that nasty voice in your head with the calmness of your own resolve. I can do this. I can work this out. I’ve showed up, and I can continue on, no matter what anybody else says. Sometimes, a little faith can go a long way, and having faith in yourself can give you all the strength that you need to commit to your dreams for as long as it takes.

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