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Self-Sabotage in Career Development: How Can You Avoid Falling into This Trap?

How many times have you promised yourself you’re going to skip the morning Starbucks but ended up breaking that vow over and over again? The goal is to save money and use it to travel to your dream destination, but for some reason, you just can’t get yourself to brew a cup of joe in the am.

The same can be said of your career – there are some habits that may be hindering you from achieving the success that you are aiming for. These harmful activities are part of self-sabotage, wherein your body and conscious mind know what’s best for your work but your subconscious fights back and takes control of the situation. Here are ways to lift yourself out of that seemingly doomed pit:

Analyze the Situation and Understand Your Shortfalls

Reflecting isn’t usually easy, especially if you’re trying to see the things that may be harming your goals but it’s the key to addressing the problem. See your shortfalls for what they are – mistakes, old habits, and unhealthy decisions.

Fizkes/Shutterstock Reevaluate your shortfalls

Once you recognize that these habits are what’s stopping you from excelling in your career, you can now strategize. This may mean striving harder to change old activities like coming to work early or on time.


It pays to keep your eyes on the prize, but high expectations can also lead to disappointment if goals are not met. Don’t be disheartened if you have yet to reach your vision despite trying so hard.

Instead of looking at where you want to land, recognize how far you’ve come and affirm your achievements. Look at the situation as glass-half-full than half-empty – this means that you shouldn’t put too much thought into the work still needed to reach the goal rather what you have already accomplished.

Understand Self-Care Versus Self-Deprivation

George Rudy/Shutterstock Overindulgence can lead to health problems

People often feel the need to reward themselves with alcohol, vices such as cigarettes, or unhealthy foods when they accomplish something. General rule: it’s not self-care if it is wreaking havoc on your overall wellbeing. As such, this is definitely not a move to deprive yourself of godly things.

Learn, Not Endure, from Your Mistakes It’s easy to be frustrated with the situation you’re in

As cliché as it sounds, you need to learn from your mistakes. Treat it as a learning ground and make sure you don’t dwell on your failures. You could fall into the trap of self-sabotage even more.

See The Bigger Picture

It is easy to stay in the moment of defeat, but it will do you no good. Instead of dwelling on your failures and mistakes, assess your situation and look at the bigger picture.

If you look at it in a wider context, you’ll see how inconvenient and unnecessary your judgment is of yourself. This will inspire you to stand from the rubbles and work your way to your goals.

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