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From Self Sabotage to Empowerment
End Self-Criticism Martyn Carruthers 2009

Online Help: Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

Do you want to end self-sabotage or self-criticism?

Online coaching, counseling and Soulwork training

Do you damage your happiness and hurt your success?
Do you want to untangle difficult emotions or relationships?

Also see: End Self-Criticism, End Depression & Emotional Incest

 Do you Sabotage yourself?

When things go well, do you throw away your success? Do you sabotage your friendships, potential partners, income or projects? Do you avoid being happy? Do you suffer from impulsive laziness, procrastination or psychosomatic symptoms?

Do you justify self-sabotage by calling it self-sacrifice?

"It's too difficult! I just can't! I don't have enough money! I don't have the time!
I don't know how to do it perfectly! I just distract myself."

Do any of these apply to you?

  1. I feel stupid if I work hard.
  2. Success should be easier.
  3. I pretend to be a good person.
  4. I start projects but I don't finish them.
  5. I don't express my talents or abilities.
  6. I make less money than I could make.
  7. I usually feel like I'm not doing enough.
  8. I settle for less, although I can do better.
  9. Being nice is more important than success.
  10. I read self-help books but I don't change anything.

Do you recognize some of these? Are you sabotaging yourself? Do you want to change self-defeating thoughts or other habits?

How does your self-talk or internal dialog affect your life? We can help you explore and change self-criticism, defeatist thoughts, difficult emotions and relationship issues.

How do you sabotage yourself?

You sabotage yourself when you:

  1. obsess about past errors
  2. avoid planning your future
  3. avoid solving your problems
  4. avoid coaching and mentorship
  5. tolerate endless internal conflict
  6. pursue goals you don't really want
  7. not practice activities you want to improve
  8. not stay current with important developments
  9. remain addicted to a thing, an activity or a person
  10. consume things that you know make you fat, slow or sick

Why Would You Sabotage Yourself?

Do you have thoughts like: "I don't stick to my goals; I don't finish my work on time; I deserve to feel miserable"? Although self-sabotage often manifests as negative thoughts and actions, the underlying causes are usually unpleasant emotions.

Many people believe that self-sabotage is associated with low self-esteem, low self-worth, low self-love and low self-confidence. We find that self-sabotage usually reflects a person's past relationship problems.

I built many businesses to a certain level of success, and then watched them collapse.
I repeated this all my life. During our third session, I realized that I could never let
myself be more successful than my mother. We changed that.

The most common cause of self-sabotage are childish parts of a person that continually remember or relive difficult experiences. Other examples of what really causes people to sabotage themselves include:

  1. Secondary gains - does failure have nice benefits?
  2. Identity Loss - are you present, conscious and awake?
  3. Enmeshment - is it OK to be happier than your parents?
  4. Transference - does your partner object to your success?
  5. Identification - Are you compensating for someone's death?
  6. Complex conflicts - do parts of you fight about your success?
  7. Identifications - are you responding to someone's victimhood?
  8. Belief-bonds - have you limiting beliefs about yourself or your world?
  9. Guilt - do you feel undeserving of success because you have hurt others?
  10. Emotional incest - are you bonded to a parent as a substitute for a partner?

If you don't change, you stay the same. Do you repeat try-cycles in which you try to resolve your issues - until you give up? We can help young "parts of you grow up.

When do you Sabotage Yourself?

Do you avoid making or implementing plans? Do you daydream instead of work? Becoming conscious of when you sabotage yourself can help you end the cycle. You can also notice where, with whom, how and how often you sabotage yourself.

Dissolving self-sabotage is usually a huge step towards living the life that you want! Changing self-defeating habits can bring you closer to your goals than any amount of complaining, blaming, self-criticism or willpower.

Adult Self and Child Self

We can help you explore those parts of yourself that you may call inner saboteurs or gremlins, etc; and those parts of you that you may call your inner mentors, or intuition, wisdom, high self, etc. Here is an interesting summary.

Inner Saboteur (Child Victim) Inner Mentor (Adult Creator)
I cannot do that

I focus on my fears

I feel powerless - I am stuck

My energy is low - I feel hopeless

I must avoid my fears

I can only fight or run away

True power is outside me
(I often feel disappointed.)

There are many ways I can do that

I focus on my values

I feel powerful - I can change

My energy is up - I feel excited

I want to achieve my goals

I can create or confront problems

True power is within me
(I often feel satisfied.)

We can help you resolve the emotional and relationship blocks that sabotage you. We can help you find a personal compass for self-direction during conflicts and decisions.

I told you that I wanted to destroy my self-sabotage. We discovered that it was a
young stressed-out part of me from when my parents blamed me for their divorce.
You helped me mature and integrate that side of me. It's over.

Contact us for help managing unpleasant emotions and ending self-sabotage.

Online Help: Coaching, Relationship Counseling & Systemic Therapy

I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 2009-2018
All rights reserved.

If you like our work, please link to us. If you know someone who might benefit,
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For online help, email us at:

Soulwork systemic coaching in America & Hawaii


Soulwork systemic coaching in England, Wales & Scotland

Soulwork systemic coaching in Croatia & Serbia

Soulwork systemic coaching in Poland



Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email