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Self-Sabotage ‒ 3 Questions That Stop This Behavior

Written by: Wendy Crabbe, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Are you someone who sabotages themselves? Self-sabotage looks like:

  • Exercise goal of working out 3 days a week at the gym On your planned workout day, you keep hitting the snooze button until there is no more time to fit it in; and this happens 3/3 days of the week

  • A business networking goal of reaching out to 10 new people a week for 1:1 calls You decide at the last minute that you have other deadlines that need your attention; and you don’t meet your second-quarter goal for bringing in new people

  • Bring your lunch every day to work to make sure you stay on your healthy eating plan Decide in the moment that the pizza that someone ordered is a much better idea.

  • Just this once; I can get back on track tomorrow.

My definition of self-sabotage is your thoughts and behaviors, whether conscious or unconscious that cause you to get in your own way of your goals.

Your biggest obstacle is you. It’s the reason we ask the question, “What’s wrong with me?”

Let’s face it, you would never show up for your best friend, significant other, colleague or child that way. Why do we continue this destructive process?

Because our brains don’t like change; our primitive brain still thinks we are in fight or flight mode and wants to keep things the same.

The other problem is we don’t think that one time of not following the plan will make much difference to the big goal. But it matters. Making excuses often becomes a habit, and it’s like little micro quits every time.

What happens is that our primitive brain, whose primary job is to seek please, avoid pain, and do it as quickly as possible, is fighting with our higher brain, who has already made the decision to follow the plan. It becomes a tug-of-war of choices. If you are not aware this is happening, guess which part of your brain wins the fight?

Elizabeth Benton, author of Chasing Cupcakes, talked about the error of thinking that small changes don’t matter. But small changes done consistently, add up to new habits and success.

To avoid this tug-of-war in the moment and interrupt self-sabotage; the key is to ask 3 important questions.

For example, at a restaurant, you want to eat the chips and queso, but you also want to lose 20 lbs. Ask yourself and answer the following questions:

  1. Which choice moves you forward?

  2. Which choice supports your goal?

  3. Who cares? You do.

Decide that the small things you are doing to create change, such as working out for 5 minutes, making 1 phone call, or not eating from the candy jar at work, can make a difference.

Practice asking yourself these questions and answering them in the moment. Decide that your goals matter, you matter. Be your own best friend.

Connect with Wendy on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit her website for more information on obesity, gut health, mindset and hormones. Read more from Wendy!


Wendy Crabbe, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Wendy Crabbe, an oncology nurse practitioner and now expert in helping health professionals and women over 50 lose weight, struggled all her life with her weight. She wondered if she was so smart, why couldn’t she lose weight? The causes of obesity are about more than excess food intake and not enough movement. It’s also related to altered hormones and alterations in the gut microbiome. She was finally able to lose the weight with mindset coaching and adopting a science-based approach that she uses with her clients today. She is now on a mission to help hundreds and thousands of women over 50 get healthier; because when women get healthier, their families get healthier.



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