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Self-Sabotage: How to Stop Holding Yourself Hostage



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It was easy to put the blame on “2020” but now we are here in a New Year…so how long are we going to use that line? While the turbulence of last year certainly shook things up, it’s not a license for us to no longer hold ourselves accountable. At the end of the day, choices and perspective can make a huge impact on the trajectory of our lives. So…is it time for you to assess whether or not your decisions are the ones actually holding you back? 

The first step begins with an honest look at behavior. After all, if you can identify self-sabotaging behaviors that are fighting to take up permanent residence in your life – you can also kick them to the curb. The key here is recognizing what is happening and taking action to change the pattern – which will lead you on a different path – and not keep you stuck in an endless cycle of delivering exactly what you don’t want.

The Self-Sabotage game is a vicious vortex that keeps pulling you away from the success you desire, moreover that you deserve, despite your dreams and goals because it’s habitual and in habits we find comfort. Why do we do this to ourselves?  Chalk it up to our subconscious desire for drama or the fact that change comes with a degree of discomfort which pushes us to retreat right back to the vortex. 

“Self- sabotage is the smartest thing you can do if you’re sabotaging a self that is not really you.” – Armand DiMele

We stay in the familiar – even if it isn’t what is best for us – to avoid the pain of change – which is almost always what we need to get to the next level. The wrong hard wiring can – without a doubt – steal your future. So the sooner you can understand what self-sabotage is, how to spot the behavior, and how to address it head on – the sooner you’ll step into living the life you desire.

Here are 8 ways in which you may be self-sabotaging yourself and your goals: 

  1. Do you make social media comparisons to your love life, business life, home life, and compare your real life to the highly unrealistic, overly photoshopped, and aggressively managed messaging on social media posts?
  2. Are you a perfectionist who often feels everything isn’t “perfect enough” to move forward towards your goals? 
  3. Are you triggered by past traumatic experiences in your childhood, that you subconsciously allow, which control your actions in your present adult life?
  4. Are you so busy managing day to day life and feel like you need an abundance of time to work towards your goals but don’t have it so you quit them completely?
  5. Do deadlines put you in a tailspin so much so that you wait until the very last minute to get started? 
  6. Do you allow one bad moment in the execution of your goals to change your total outlook on your plans and micro-goals for the day…ultimately causing the whole house of cards to crumble? 
  7. Do you take any constructive criticism as a failure, and “a sign” to stop trying to achieve your goal?
  8. Are you a master of the blame game? Do you blame everyone else for things you should actually be accountable for?

If this sounds like you – any part of it – this is your wake-up call. It’s time to take control back from your alter ego who has been calling the shots. Sustainable change begins with recognizing behavior – and is then followed with intentional choices that allow you to remain on a positive and productive path.

“Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn’t happen.” – Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby

If you are ready to create real change – here are three simple steps you can take to put an end to self-sabotage and leave it in the “2020” file – for good.

First, don’t run every choice you make or step you take by others. Learn to trust your gut. Don’t look for validation from others – they aren’t you and they don’t have the perfect playbook on how to get you where you want to go in your journey. You do. Trust that. Second, eliminate the dream killers and naysayers from your life. They will find a problem for any solution you have. Add in mentors that you look up to, positive friends that support your goals – and clap LOUDLY when you achieve them. 

Your circle is largely your success factor. Lastly, focus on progress, not perfection. You are striving for growth and as long as you continue to move forward, you will continue to grow. If you try to hold yourself to unrealistic ideals of perfection you will continually feel as though you have failed on one level or another. Take risks, make discerning choices and be excellent in how you execute them as the execution – not the perfection – is what will help you rise higher. 

Janene Verabian, CHt, CLC, CWK is Southern California’s Premier Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Relationship Expert. Specializing in past trauma healing through Clinical Hypnotherapy and Relationship coaching, Janene has earned a reputation for results through over twenty years of personalized guidance for men and women. Consistently strengthening her professional “toolbox” she regularly pursues advanced education and holds additional certifications as a Wholistic Kinesiology Practitioner, Certified Life Coach, and Gottman Institute Certified Level Two Couples Therapist. Janene can often be heard saying, “I don’t talk from the cheap seats.” She focuses on creating a safe space for her clients to speak openly without judgment while she listens – to extract the root issues and identify the core elements that the client is seeking to remedy. Her goal is to see each person make progress in an intentional way – creating sustainable change for the future they desire. Connect on LinkedIn or

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The Imbalanced Problem with Work/Life Balance

Balancing is for your checkbook, gymnastics, and nutrition; not for your people’s work/life ratio.



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Balance…it requires an equal distribution of value between two or more subjects to maintain steady composure and equitable proportionality. (more…)

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How to Find the Courage to Start New

Change is scary, but it’s a normal part of life.



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It’s 2023, a new year, new you, right? But how do we start over? How do we make the changes in our lives that we crave so much to see?  (more…)

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Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.



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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma



Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.


Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:


1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.


2. Persistent Pain

Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.

4. A strong need for control

It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
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