Are You Self-sabotaging Your Career?

Do you often feel like something bad is going to happen to you at work? Have you changed jobs because of this negative belief but the feeling still lingers? Do you think you are a fraud in your job? Do you feel that you are not good enough in your role?

If you say yes to these questions, you may be self-sabotaging your career. Sad but true, I have known plenty of my former colleagues who will knowingly sabotage their own career.

You may deny this but down below are the things you need to know about it and why you need to break out from it.

What factors may cause you to self-sabotage your career?

When we talk about self-sabotage, it means that you are pushing for something positive but you end up doing the worst thing you can do. Sometimes, we don’t mean to do it, but our subconscious often drives us to do things we don’t want without us knowing.

Here are some factors you need to consider when it comes to self-sabotaging your career:


We are always scared to fail, especially if the task before you is important and many people depend on you. As a result, we are afraid to jump into challenges and think out of the box. If we have failed before, the fear increases further.

Low self-esteem

If you are not confident with your skills, you may find yourself not pushing for things that is good for you. You push yourself down even if you are indeed capable of doing the job. You will end up pushing away opportunities and promotions.


If you are unhappy with your job, it does influence your outlook. You will think negativity even though things are looking good for you. You carry with you a heavy burden of negativity and unhappiness on your shoulders until it weigh you down and you no longer feel any desire to improve your situation.

How to Stop Self-sabotage?

It is crucial that you stop self-sabotage when you realise that your outlook is pushing you down. Here are some things you can do to stop self-sabotaging your career:

Know your mindset

If you want to understand how you are self-sabotaging your career, you need to understand how you are doing it.

Ask yourself if you are thinking too much on the negative things you have done, relying too much on bad work habits or listening to negative assumptions.

Write all the negative thoughts you may have on paper so you can review it later on.

Change your mindset

Once you know what is affecting your mind and causing you to self-sabotage yourself, it’s time to change it.

You need to know that there is room for improvement and your behaviours can affect you professionally. Remember, change doesn’t happen overnight but it can happen eventually if you put your heart and mind to it.

Your mood will affect how you view your tasks, your body language and even your tone of voice when you talk to your colleagues.

Find a better workplace

If you think your workplace is not inspiring you to do well, maybe it’s time to find a new workplace. Especially if your current workplace is a toxic one.

Look for a workplace that matches your goals and personality. Some workplaces may offer the flexibility or opportunities you need to succeed in your chosen career.

If you are unable to change your workplace, look within your company to switch departments or teams. It may take longer to grant your wish but at least, you are putting action in motion.

Change your work ethic

If you tend to fall on bad work habits, you should change your work ethic. Schedule your tasks wisely and set deadlines you can work on.

Aim to get toughest tasks completed early in the morning when you are the freshest and leave the easy tasks at the afternoons when you have the least energy and focus.

Seek help

For those negative thoughts that won’t go away, you can seek the help of a mentor or a therapist to go past these problems. They can help you understand how you can get rid of these negative thoughts and focus on positive goals.


Our outlook towards work can influence how well we can move forward. If we tend to undermine our efforts, it will definitely cause us to fail. But, if we recognise our negative outlook and change it, we can definitely improve our performance and learn to love our work.

To increase your productivity level in 2020, check out these helpful articles:
How to Use Your Morning Commute to Be Productive?
Being Productive @ Work: What Are The 5 Time Wasting Things You Do At Your Desk
How To Make Hard Decisions At Work?

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23 Comments Add yours

  1. Hilary Tan says:

    I self sabotage clinical practice. Idk why I do it but I know it needs to stop. I always think my instructors are out to get me, and I usually screw something up like sleeping in etc. I told myself that I won’t miss any clinical practice days unless I’m severely sick/contagious. This term I’m taking responsibility for everything even though it means I need face my past. I also tend to view myself as the weakest link thus adding to extra stress around clinical practice. 🙇‍♀️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Kally says:

      Good luck to this term. It is commendable that you recognize your issue and you are taking steps to resolve your issue. Take small steps. Keep talking to others about it. Reflect on your actions. All these can help tremendously.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. foodzesty says:

    This was me last year..Thinking that I was not very good as a food blogger.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Kally says:

      You are an amazing food blogger!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. foodzesty says:

        Thank you Kally, You are truly very kind but I am still having a bit a hard time believing it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yernasia Quorelios says:

    ♡ If You ARE “Self-sabotaging” AnyThing then that is a message; it’s Crystal Clear Clarity that The Universe, Divinity or whatever You CHOOSE!!! to worship is delivering that message EveryOne


    Liked by 2 people

  4. J says:

    Really looks like this can be applied to our daily life.
    Useful post, thanx!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kally says:

      Thank you and welcome to MiddleMe!!


  5. surabhi19 says:

    Nice post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kally says:

      Thank you and welcome to MiddleMe!


  6. Unique Tales says:

    No, I try Always to be Positive.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kally says:

      Good for you!


  7. Wow!

    GUT’s with Wisdom.

    Way to go Kally

    “We are our own worst enemies” (But that is our choice; it doesn’t have to be that way, COMMIT to being better and you CAN achieve greatness.

    God Bless,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kally says:

      Well round up! Thank you, Patrick.


  8. Thank you for your like! Good article. Trying to be a pair writer but not knowing how to do it is a problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kally says:

      You’re doing great! Just keep the words coming.


      1. Sorry for the typos that should have said paid it’s a question of Time versus Money!. I don’t really have the time to blog 3 times a week if I’m going to get my book published and pay the bills. I may have to stop blogging as much. A study ProBligger’s showed that only 4% of bloggers really make a living off of it. I do enjoy writing and when I’m able to communicate with others like you. Thanks.


  9. Good analysis, Kally!

    Your thoughts are spot-on, about low-self-esteem making one hesitant to suggest necessary changes.

    The only difference in my case is that the exact inverse is true, thus proving your point. As far as my job skills go, at least, I’m good at what I do, and I know it. As a result, I’ve had no problem arguing for (and winning!) crucial reforms from my boss and from my boss’s boss.

    OK, after that chest-thumping, back to much more reasonable humility, but it just goes to show what one can accomplish when, as you suggest, he/she overcomes uncertainty about job performance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kally says:

      Certainly! I wouldn’t hesitate to argue my points across when I know I’m right. That’s what I am hired for, to do my job correctly and efficiently.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Good tips to work with!. A good mindset is key too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kally says:

      Thank you, Herry!


  11. Interesting how most of these tendencies are related to self-criticism. I’ve come to realize that even though we’re told not to boast or be full of ourselves, it is equally destructive to constantly expect failure or doubt ourselves. The ideal lies between extremes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kally says:

      I try not to do that. Whenever I start to doubt myself, I’ll stop and ask myself why am I putting myself down?

      Liked by 1 person

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