Little Known Ways We Self-sabotage Our Dreams

The following two tabs change content below.

Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

Latest posts by Catherine Hughes (see all)

Little Known Ways We Self-sabotage Our Dreams

Dr. Larina Kase defines self-sabotage as

“a state of mind and state of being which damages our belief in ourselves and our abilities to achieve that which we want to achieve. It is extremely common and it affects everyone in some way, shape or form.

If you have not achieved everything that you want to achieve, it is likely that some type of self-sabotage is responsible.”

What has me thinking about self-sabotage is how far off of healthy eating and exercise I went for a holiday.

I know we all do this self-sabotage thing. I was curious as to why, so I went out on a little research quest for those of us who ate too much stuffing, ignored the need to move our bodies, or anything else we did (or didn’t do) that got in the way of where we really wanted to be.

Dealing with old pain

Some experts think this type of behavior goes all the way back to childhood from a perceived hurt or injustice we felt powerless to change.

One example might be that we were never allowed to be in charge of our own money growing up.  When faced with a choice to spend or not spend as an adult (even if we shouldn’t), a little voice in our mind says, “I deserve this. No one is going to dictate how I spend my money.”

Not realizing that there isn’t anyone really stopping us, but our child from the past has shown up in the present to derail our best laid plans for financial freedom.

Another example might be a child who grew up in a house where the parents were very strict, especially if the mother was very controlling, and when it comes to food this child as an adult either starves herself — or overeats.

Food is the one thing in life we feel a battle to control.  Control over food = control over that old childhood uber-controlled situation. Once again, we don’t see that we are now grown-ups, capable of controlling our environment without the crazy eating.

But these patterns can be so subtle that we often don’t see them when they occur, and are left to wonder afterward why we keep repeating the patterns over and over.

Is this why I ate too many of the foods I should stay away from this week?

Is it unprocessed pain?

No time for fun

It has been such a long time since I have taken any time off for fun. I cannot begin to tell you the last time I went on a vacation. The last time I took more than 4 days off was when I broke my ankle — over two years ago — and I had to stay in bed with my foot in the air!

Is too much stress without any fun at the root cause of my self-sabotage?

Debbie Ford believes we self-sabotage because we do not embrace our weakness, flaws and shortcomings as a natural aspect of being human. If we did, we would ask for help when confronting self-sabotaging behaviors.

Well holy left-over-turkey-sandwich-with-coleslaw-and-cranberry batman, I think she’s on to something.

I am terrible at asking for help.

Why is that?

Is it perfectionism?  Fear?

Any video help?

I went on a little search for a video about self-sabotage and found this by Psychotherapist Pat Pearson, who calls self-sabotage our internal glass ceiling –


I guess I’ll be back at dance class tomorrow night.  Without bread. Or cake.

How about you?

How do you self-sabotage your dreams?

Keep dreaming –


  • So glad to hear you went to dance class Cath – absolutely the best cure sometimes, just getting out and “doing it!”

    I agree with Rachel and also think you deserve a vacation!!! Glad that we are here to help you market the site – Speaking for myself, I know I could still do a lot more, and I commit to stepping up to help more in the New Year! (have been so busy getting ready to meet my writing coach this week and turn in my first chapter and still need to do more marketing on FB for us, etc.!).

    We’re a team :-) and we’re here to help… Glad you asked us for help and hope you’ll remember to do so in other areas of your life. None of us are in this alone.

    Great research info on self-sabotage BTW – thanks for sharing!


  • Catherine

    Well in spite of trying to talk myself out of it all day – I went to dance class and now feel great, which goes to show that our “feelings” about things are not always correct and sometimes we should “just do it.”

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Rachel – your comments are often poignant and spot on – and it’s true that I deserved the indulgence – it’s just hard getting back on the exercise bad wagon. Thank you for your comments.

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Adam – I will check it out – you are always so great about checking in and saying hi. I need to get over to your blog and catch up too!

  • Hi Catherine!!! Long time no seen! But I know you are always honoring inspirational blogs, so I have a suggestion for you, check this post:

    Adam (

  • Rachel

    I don’t know… does 4 days of self indulgence, for someone who hasn’t taken a vacation in ages, count as self sabotage? It sounds like got to relax some, got a good reminder of the price of over-indulgence, and are back on track now. Enjoy the dance class, and be ready to take those lessons into the rest of the holiday season. I’ll bet you’ll be feeling better by tomorrow if you’re not already.

  • Remy G

    Thanksgiving night, my father and I meet each other in the kitchen at 10pm for a turkey sandwich and small slice of pie. We pretend that no one knows that we do that. Oh well, I guess that means I’m owning it now. And, I’m still full. Rem

  • Holidays are all about self sabotage – like eating more at your mom’s home when you are already full because she insists you have seconds – even though you are a 45+ man who still doesn’t want to hurt a mom’s feelings.

    Own it girls.

  • Catherine

    What’s more surprising is that I am not sick of turkey yet.

  • TC

    Yeah but the Turkey, stuffing, potatoes and all is so good – self sabotage away!

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention » Little Known Ways To Self-sabotage Our Dreams --