4 Sad Reasons Why We Sabotage Our Own Dreams (& How To Stop)

If things aren't flowing your way, it's probably your saboteur in control.

How To Be More Confident, Happy, Find Your Authentic Self, And Stop Self Sabotaging Seth Doyle via Unsplash

Self-sabotage ruins any sort of confidence you already have, stopping you from going after what you want.

Sometimes, we find ourselves in a strange sort of inner pull that is actively saying, "No, I can’t", even though every other part of you is screaming, "Yes, I want it."

RELATED: 12 Common Ways People Self-Sabotage Their Own Happiness


What’s going on? Are you destined for failure? Are you on the wrong path? Should you just give up and start again with something entirely new and different? Can you learn how to be more confident and go for what you want?

You are putting in the time based on what you’ve read about what it means to be confident and successful.

You have set this awesome goal for yourself and you’re really excited about watching it manifest in your life. You know you want it. You’re making lists and checking off the boxes as you move towards fulfilling your goal.

You’re totally distraught and perplexed. It just doesn’t make any sense. You’re probably thinking, "Why aren’t things magically flowing?"


Let me introduce to you...the saboteur.

You may be asking, "What is a saboteur? Where did it come from? And why would I sabotage myself? My mind is strong, I can tell the difference between a sabotaging voice and one that is self-loving…right?"

Well…not really. There are many reasons we unknowingly self-sabotage the things we want most. At some point in our self-actualizing journey, we need to wake up to some of the things we haven’t had the ability to see before, like our own self-confidence and self-worth.

If you don’t see what is standing in your way, how can you know how to move it? If you can’t see the outgrown, unhealthy chains and shackles trailing behind you, how can you even begin to search for the key to unlock them?


Sometimes you just need someone to shine a light so you can awaken to those dark hindrances that keep you from fully awakening.

Here are four sad reasons why we self-sabotage (and how you can rebuild the confidence in yourself again).

1. Fear of failure

From the time we are children, we’re constantly being inundated with ideas and myths about success and failure. Depending on who you were around most, these beliefs were likely sucked into your subconscious like a sponge.

As a result, you cognitively carry negative self-beliefs and self-talk around with you everywhere you go. Usually, these self-beliefs are self-denying. They begin as something toxic someone said and then they become entangled in your identity.


For example:

  • "I’m not enough."
  • "I’m worthless."
  • "I’m not smart enough."
  • "I don’t deserve it."
  • "If I try, I’ll fail, just like they always said."

Amazingly, the idea of self-fulfilling prophecies is pretty much spot on. If your subconscious is constantly telling you that you’re not good enough, you won’t be.

Tony Robbins talks about the "I’m not enough" syndrome. This syndrome exists because it is pounded into our heads from an early age that we, as well as our offerings to the world, must be perfect. This opposing notion perpetuates the climb upward.

No matter how high we climb, we can never reach the top of the elusive mountain. Why? Because perfection is impossible!


2. Fear of success

Even more terrifying than the fear of failure is the fear of success.

This might sound false or even ridiculous, but the truth of this fact is out there. It’s everywhere we look. Creative people have great ideas all the time, so why are they constantly backing out of them?

Perhaps, it’s fear of failure but maybe it’s fear of success masked as fear of failure. Deep down, individuals may not want to see what actual, genuine success could bring to their lives.

What do we often hear about with lottery winners? The success was so sudden and unexpected that they end up blowing all their winnings and find themselves right back where they were before hitting the jackpot.


Maybe they feel deep down that an affluent lifestyle is intrinsically immoral because they were taught this as children. Maybe they’re afraid of the responsibility that comes from wealth.

Whatever the reason for avoiding success, there are plenty of psychological reasons for why a specific person fears positive changes in their life.

RELATED: 5 Ways You Sabotage Yourself (And Why You Do It)

3. You are disconnected from your authentic self

Self-sabotage is when you are not living your core values. I understand how difficult it is to find your authentic self. There is a myth that finding one’s authentic self is like finding Shangri La — t’s a mysterious and unclear path that may take you into strange and uncomfortable places.


I know what it is like to live detached from the authentic self, and the consequences that come with it. Physical, mental, and emotional illnesses are quick to follow the false self. This is because your soul wants you to be aligned with who you really are.

We sabotage ourselves even though we say we really want something. Most of the time, however, we really don’t know if we want the thing we say we do. Most of the time, we don’t want to do the inner work to bring it into manifestation. Why? Because doing inner work requires growth and growth is often painful.

We tend to self-sabotage because we haven’t gotten real or truly honest with who we really are and what we really want.

Getting to know your authentic self has to do with doing some fairly simple investigative work on what your top values are.


From there, you can use those as a guidepost to set boundaries and dive deeper into figuring out what is authentically you or maybe outside influences that you are confusing with your own voice.

Sometimes, fear of judgment from others gets in the way. Maybe your authentic self requires a break from people in your life who wouldn’t understand your unique path, service, business, new significant other, or radical philosophical perspective. This is where change and growth require a little bit of discomfort.

If you don’t take the steps necessary in finding your authentic voice and confidently sharing it with others, you will continue to kick yourself and be at the whim of everyone else.

4. You integrity bucket needs to be filled

For many, you’ve been doing all that is necessary for the physical realm to obtain the thing you want most. There’s even a kind of superficial pleasure derived from these processes because you’re consumed by busywork, networking, and seeming productive.


But, at the end of the day, you still feel empty. On some level, all those actions can be considered distraction from doing the honest work to go deep and find your authentic self which means uncovering your core values.

What are your core values? If you’re like most people, you didn’t spend your college years sitting in philosophy classes dissecting ethics and moral what-ifs.

If you’re like most people, you didn’t have time to dedicate to self-development or self-love. You were in a hurry — a big hurry — to get that job, that boyfriend or girlfriend, that car, that house, that perfect life!

Along the way, you missed out on the profound need to truly get to know yourself.


Integrity starts with knowing yourself and what you value most. Your values are your roadmap to being able to recognize your saboteurs and know how to quiet them.

If you really want to succeed and evolve, you’re going to need to discover your values and what being in integrity means to you. You’re going to need to look at your life purpose and understand how it was designed for you and you only.

Once this process is complete, you will be aligned with Universal Will or that which others refer to as "good luck".

When you project a wish, desire, or hope into the universe and it’s not clear, you will attract precisely what you are putting out there.


If you are consciously saying to the universe, "I want to find love" but subconsciously you’re saying to the universe, "I’m not good enough to have a loving relationship", "I’m not ready to live a life of joy and fulfillment", or "I’m not ready to do the inner work to obtain success", then that confusion is what you will attract.

In essence, instead of attracting the thing you say you want, you will be repelling it.

The solution? Dig deep and get to know yourself. Declutter your mind and stagnant emotions. Once you have a clearer view of your truths, your visions will ring with crystal clear clarity, and that’s what will manifest in your life.


Once this occurs, you’ll be in the transformative and awesome power of the flow. When you align your will with your higher purpose and goals, you’re aligning your will with the universal flow. This is a spectacular occurrence.

It can be very difficult to navigate this process of finding your authentic self alone.

In my experience, it is best to have someone guide you through the foggy trail in order to discover your highest (and mostly unseen) integrity.


Help is necessary because we’re all human, and we are extremely complex beings. We are clouded by so many levels of discernment, most of which come from outside of us. We are the products of the past, our conditioning, our environments, and the inescapable and inevitable effects of aging, illness, and death.

Life is difficult and it always helps to let someone who has gone through it before show you the ropes.

I can help individuals dive deep and explore why we self-sabotage and how to overcome it. 

Together, we can plant seeds for change that will resound in the universal current.

If you’re here and you’re reading this, your inner truth is telling you that you know you want to overcome self-sabotaging yourself and start building confidence to get what you want.


In order to do this, you’ll need to see your reflection. You’ll need a mirror to help you ponder and provide insight into your inner world, to tap into your heart in order to accelerate success in your life.

Remember, energy flows where attention goes and no one has time for regrets. Let’s move forward with zest and dedication and bring your genuine self what you most deserve. Let’s forge bravely into the aspects of yourself you have yet to discover to learn how not to self-sabotage

In so doing, we will find the key to unlocking your greatest strengths and attributes.

RELATED: If You Do These 12 Things, You're Addicted To Self-Sabotage

Jacqueline Neuwirth is a Certified Life Coach, CPCC, and Master Neurolinguistic Programming Practitioner. She helps people find love, heal from toxic relationships, boost confidence, and improve relationships.