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Understanding Self-Sabotage

Updated: Nov 30, 2021

Andy: “Over the past few decades, the concept of self-sabotage has received more and more attention. It is not only the concern of sociology or psychology, but also high school teachers, counselors, and diet health consultants, and other professionals. It presents a difficult challenge that must be constantly addressed in work with students, clients, patients, and so on. No matter what, it is challenging to correctly consider the dangers and reasons behind self-sabotage. In different countries, it can even be said that its nature and manifestation, as well as the behavior it creates, can differ. It is different amongst different peoples from different language groups and different cultures. So now I have some questions related to self-sabotage:

· How can we better solve related problems?

· How can we establish a better understanding of its causes?

· How should parents and students deal with this mental health phenomenon that seems to exist somewhere between the margins of our social collective and individual minds?

· How to overcome its overwhelming hidden force?

· Why on earth do we hinder ourselves from realizing our own potential?

· What do you have to say about this?”

Esther: Well, first of all, I think this is a very interesting and difficult problem to solve. I think most people and most parents don't even think about it, they don't even know about it. I'd say most teachers don't even know about it. And they should. So with self-sabotage, the origins are basically in your self-image. What you think about yourself, matters a lot. And people don't even think about that. I mean, they don't realize that they can hinder their own success, by their view of their capabilities. So for example small children, they don't really know yet anything about it. But as they get older, what they're doing is playing into those “tapes” they heard when they were younger, about, “Oh, you did this really badly!”, “Oh, you know, you're just not going to amount to much”. Or, “you know, I wish you would stop doing whatever it is you want, because, you know, it's really embarrassing.” And so what this does, is gives kids this image of themselves as not really being capable. And so when they go for something really hard and want it, then these tapes play in the back of their mind, put out without them even being conscious of it, and lead to basically self-sabotaging. And, when they do poorly, they basically say to themselves, not to the world: “See, I told you, I'm just not capable of doing that. I can't learn all that math you want me to learn.” Or, “I'm just terrible at languages. “Or “you know, my third-grade teacher told me that, and it's true.” And so that's how you self-sabotage. And it goes on, unfortunately, most of your adult life, unless you can recognize it, and then stop it. And, that's so important for everybody to know.

Andy: “Is there one book you would recommend for self-sabotage?”

Esther: “Well, there are multiple books on Amazon, and I'm sure wherever you are in the world, there's an online bookstore. But books can have titled like self-love, or how to love yourself, or how to get rid of the demons in your background. I don't have a specific book that I can recommend to you. But I can tell you that one of the number one speakers here in the United States, who talked about this all the time, is Tony Robbins. And people pay $5,000 a weekend to listen to him in large groups, I'm telling you, you know, 1000s of people together. And they all have the same issue. And, that is they're sabotaging themselves. Some people are aware of it, but many people are not. And so what he does in that weekend, is trying to help you understand yourself, and how to love yourself. I mean, it's, it just sounds almost like most people's like, oh, that's crazy. But it isn't crazy. A lot of people, when they get something wrong on a test or when they do poorly, they are playing into this feeling that they're never going to be able to do it anyway. And that's self-sabotage. So I would go online and look for books about self-love. And then you will find a lot of them.”

Andy: Thank you!


ABOUT THIS SERIES The Harmony Plus WOJ Corner Series is dedicated to inspiring students and parents to keep searching for their inner power based on the guiding principles and educational activity of our dean Esther Wojcicki.



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