Determined man jumping over a wooden hurdle

Clearing The Invisible Hurdle and Conquering Self-Sabotage

How to stop tripping over yourself!

Joe was a middle-aged, dedicated professional with a passion for fitness. He had a goal – to run a marathon. He had determination, drive, and discipline. But there was one hurdle he couldn’t see – himself.

Joe would set out to train for his marathon, but then he’d find himself spending hours on the couch watching TV or indulging in junk food. He’d commit to a strict training schedule but then find excuses to skip his runs. He’d start to see progress in his fitness, but then he’d doubt his abilities and slack off.

Joe’s experience is a classic example of an invisible hurdle, a destructive pattern of self-sabotage, that many of us, especially middle-aged men, fall into when we’re on the brink of achieving our goals.

Self-sabotage is like a silent enemy within us. It’s the voice that tells us we’re not good enough, the fear that convinces us we’ll fail, and the habits that keep us stuck in our comfort zones. It’s a formidable foe but not an invincible one.

Here’s how you can combat self-sabotage and stay on track toward achieving your goals. 

Recognize the Signs of Self-Sabotage

The first step to combatting self-sabotage is recognizing its signs. Procrastination, perfectionism, self-doubt, and negative self-talk are all indicators of self-sabotage. You might be self-sabotaging if you find yourself constantly putting off tasks, obsessing over minor details, doubting your abilities, or criticizing yourself harshly.

Understand the Root Cause

Self-sabotage often stems from fear – fear of failure, fear of success, fear of judgment. It’s a defense mechanism that our minds use to protect us from perceived threats. By understanding the root cause of your self-sabotage, you can start to address it.

Challenge Negative Self-Talk

Negative self-talk is a major contributor to self-sabotage. Start challenging these negative thoughts. Instead of telling yourself, “I can’t do this,” say, “I can learn to do this.” Replace “I’ll never succeed” with “I will keep trying until I succeed.”

Set Realistic Goals

Setting unrealistic goals can lead to self-sabotage. When the goals are too high, the fear of not reaching them can cause you to give up before you even start. Set realistic, achievable goals, and break them down into smaller, manageable tasks.

Practice Self-Compassion

Give yourself a break and be kind in your thoughts. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone faces challenges. Instead of beating yourself up over your shortcomings, practice self-compassion. Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you’d offer a friend.

Seek Support

You don’t have to fight self-sabotage alone. Seek support from friends, family, or a professional counselor. Sharing your struggles and successes can provide motivation, perspective, and accountability.

Like Joe, many of us have dreams and goals we want to achieve. But unlike Joe, we don’t have to let self-sabotage stand in our way. By recognizing the signs of self-sabotage, understanding its root cause, challenging negative self-talk, setting realistic goals, practicing self-compassion, and seeking support, we can break the chains of self-sabotage and move forward toward achieving our goals.

Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Don’t let your mind stop you from taking that step. You are capable, you are worthy, and you deserve to achieve your goals. So, start today, and let’s make self-sabotage a thing of the past.


Take care, even down there.

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