Are you being sabotaged?

by Dandy

In my post Self-sabotage, I wrote about the little and big things we do to sabotage our best efforts.  The negative self-talk, the excuses, the self-doubt all besiege our interests in bettering our lives.  We often work against ourselves and don’t realize it.  I received many thoughtful replies to that post and while writing it I realized that sometimes it’s not just ourselves that sabotage.  Sometimes it’s others.  It can even come from people who love and care about us.

It may or may not be intentional, but our friends and family might be disrupting our attempts to better ourselves.  Common tactics are complaining, temptation, and passing judgement.  For example, if you are wanting to get fit, they may complain that the gym  is taking up too much of your time.  Or you may be trying to get ahead at work and taking college classes for advancement, your friends may tempt you by asking you to go out with them instead of going to class.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that your loved ones may not realize their comments and behaviors are upsetting to you.  Also they may have insecurities about their own life issues and they don’t like the pressure this puts on them to take a closer look at those issues. There is also the possibility that they fear they’ll be left behind while you are making these positive changes.  They may feel the relationship is threatened.

They may also fail to understand why these changes you are making are so important to you.  It is to your benefit and theirs if you explain that you fear for your health, which is why you’re hitting the gym.  You can explain that you are unhappy with the lack of responsibility and low wages at your job, hence the dedication to achieving more education.  Your loved ones may not appreciate your reasons if they are unable to relate.

Their negative behaviors can certainly hurt and cause you distress especially if you are stumbling down the road to self-improvement.  Of course you cannot control the behaviors of others, but you can control your own.  So how do you neutralize this sabotage?

It’s important to be honest with your loved ones.  Tell them why you are unhappy with your life and how much it means to you to try to do something about it.  Ask them for their help.  If you involve them in this mission for self-improvement they will be more apt to see your point of view.  If you have support you are more likely than not to succeed.  Ask your friends to exercise with you.  Ask them to take a brisk walk with you while you catch up on the latest.  Then reward yourselves by resting at the local coffee shop over skinny lattes.  Ask a loved one to help you study, or ask if it would be ok to call them the night before a big exam to receive a dose of “you can do it” for your shaky nerves.

If your on the tail end of their passing judgement, tell yourself it’s not about you.  That it is a mere reflection of their own personal issues.  Your life is your own.  They can’t live it for you.

It’s also good to be prepared ahead of time if you know you’ll meet up with those that have trouble with you life changes.  For the person who isn’t comfortable with your health efforts by offering you a huge slab of cake, tell them, “it looks delicious and you might have some later.”  But for anyone who keeps persisting with temptations simply say, “I’m trying to make a positive change for myself and I would love and appreciate your support.”

Our journeys are our own responsibilities and you are accountable for your choices.  For those who really do want what’s best for you, their actions will speak louder than words, by helping you achieve your dreams and goals.  Only you can decide what is best for you.   The reigns are all yours!


34 Comments to “Are you being sabotaged?”

  1. I’m feeling this post. I can understand your passion, for we are all responsible for our actions. If not us, who else? rhetorical question =). So once you realize you are the lock and the key, you will one day open the door. Inside, you’ll find a exercise machine that you must assemble. Start burning that negative fat.

    I’m gone, Dandy….=)

  2. Hi Dandy,

    Many times our family, friends, or colleagues criticize us for wanting to improve ourselves. The ones who really love us want the best for us and our investment in ourselves makes them happy. Jealous people on the other hand will try to make us feel that what we are doing is not worth it. We have to listen to the people who are positive and who want what is good for us. Thanks for sharing my friend 🙂

    • Hi Dia,
      Thanks for your reply. You are right about jealous people who try to make us feel like it’s not worth our efforts to “maybe” improve our lives. I’ve heard it too. But it is a reflection of their own “stuff”. We all have our own journeys.
      Take care,

  3. Hi Dandy,

    Great post here!

    You are perfectly right in your assessment that our loved ones may sabotage us unintentionally due to their fears and insecurities. Having said that, sometimes the greatest harm can result from the best of intentions and the purest of motives. After all, since we are all unique individuals, something that works for others may not work for you.

    I feel it is important to involve your loved ones in your mission for self-improvement as you say. This helps to strengthen the bond you share with them as you work together. But in the end we have to accept that our paths may not be the same paths that others wish to follow. Preparing to walk it alone may be the only choice you have.

    I just want to point out that if you do wish to make positive change in life, it helps to have a clear and powerful purpose to motivate you when the going gets tough. With a clear understanding of “why” you want to change, no obstacle can daunt you in reaching your goals.

    • Hi, You are so right. It is important to have a clear understanding of what we want and why we want it. Inevitabley the road gets rough and our commitment to our goals will give us strength. Hopefully our loved ones will cheer us on, but if not we can still march on, and perhaps one day they will be able to see how our goals created something wonderfull. There’s always hope!! Thanks for your great reply.


  4. You are so right about the possibility of others in our lives sabotaging our efforts without them even knowing it. I’ve learned not to put the key to my happiness in someone else’s pocket. I’m keeping it for myself, no matter what they say or think. Thank you Dandy, loved your post.

  5. Hello Dandy,

    Wonderful post! I have definitely had the experience of others, unintentionally, impeding my progress. Knowing that is possible, I try to be certain that I am not impeding others! 🙂

    Ultimately, I think it all comes down to this beautiful statement you made “Our journeys are our own responsibilities and you are accountable for your choices. ” Well said Dandy!

  6. Hello Dandy
    how are you?
    i just read dias latest article and he was talking about making choices and taking actions although in a different context. hmmh! great minds think alike.
    my take home point from your article is the need for us to accept/take responsibilities for the life we live and the actions we take.
    at times it tough explaining your views to friends and family(believe me it is) but i think the way we approach it is quite important and there’s no point being dishonest or trying to gain favour at your own expense because eventuall you’d get found out, stressed, vengeful…
    although it’s worth mentioning the importance of striking a balance when it comes to expressing ourselves, because we can learn from their experience and gather support from them.
    take care and enjoy the rest of the day.

    • Hello Ayo,
      I think your reply is smart and thoughtful. Balance is crucial when we express ourselves, so I completley agree. There are ways of expressing ourselves that either draw people to us or away. It’s important to be genuine and always have a cool, calm head when speaking to someone who hasn’t always been supportive. But we have to give people a chance to support us, that’s why we need to turn to them in the midst of our life changes. Sometimes people will surprise us. I’ve been surprised before by people I didn’t expect to be supportive and I was happy I gave them a chance. Thanks Ayo!!

  7. I think it is important that we share our dreams with those who are likely to be supportive of them. We stay away from sharing with the naysayers, doubters and those who tend to be more negative. You are right! We need to walk our own journeys and take responsibilities for ourselves. Thanks for sharing excellent advice for us!

  8. Hi Dandy! Thanks for your beautiful words. Sabotage can come from many places but ultimately it comes from us. Even when we think it’s coming from someone else, we are the ones that let the words hurt us. Some times we give permission for others to hurt us. You totally correct, in the end, it’s our responsibility, no one can hurt us but ourselves.

    Thanks for an inspiring post! Loving blessings!

  9. i like the idea of focusing on controlling one’s response then trying to control the world, makes a lot of sense

  10. Too often we give others too much control over our lives. The piece of cake comment…when you can say no to anyone, anywhere and anytime you know you’ve taken your power back. Let them eat the cake.

  11. This is very important to be aware of for it is true that those closest to us are often the ones who will attempt to sabotage our growth/changes. The key is to be aware that this may happen and that it is not about us, it is about the other person. Stay true to yourself and compassionate to others and you will be able to side step sabotage with grace.

  12. One of the hardest things for me to do is to ask for help. This is my form of self-sabotage. Even though I know people will help, I sometimes lack the confidence to ask. Right now, I’m learning its okay to seek help and when I do, I’m always surprised at how people are willing to help – it’s good to see, and feel.


    • Hi Alex,
      It’s good you know how you are sabotaging yourself. I think having the realization is a huge step forward. I also have a hard time asking for help. I’m always afraid I’ll look helpless or too vulnerable. But like you I’m surprized at how willing people are, and non-judgemental too. People deserve more credit. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog Alex. That means alot to me!:)


  13. Umm…I’m pretty sure you’re in my head. You always write posts that I absolutely need to read. This is another gem.

    Also, look how many comments you’re getting on your posts!! Way to go! Wishing you nothing but the very best!

    • Hi Michelle,
      Thanks for your reply! I am overwhelmed at all the comments I’m getting on this blog! I didn’t expect it. I’ve also had on lady mention one of my posts on her blog. I am blown away at all the kindness and support people in the blogging community have given me. It’s just all positivity and good vibes. It definatley makes me want to keep going. I love this blogging thing 🙂


  14. To recognize and raise awareness of self destructive behaviour is a step toward letting it go and setting oneself free.

  15. Hi Dandy,

    You are so right! Sometimes we sabotage our own self without realizing. Due to peer pressure, temptations, etc. But ultimately it’s we ourselves have to decide as you mentioned, it’s our very own life after-all. Nobody can live for us.

    I couldn’t have explained it better.

    Thanks for sharing such a great post.

  16. Dandy,
    Judgments. Something that is so easy for us humans to do…judge others (based upon our own reality). I really attempt to focus on this…on not judging others. Still…it happens (if I’m honest with myself). And when I do that – it is truly about me and what I happen to think (without fully knowing the steps that have brought another to where they are on their journey).

    And so it is for me, then. People will judge me, too. (and you) And it is about their reality. Seeing this – I believe it’s a real key toward our own self esteem and moving down our journey (with what matters most deeply to us).

    Great thoughts to soak in today…

  17. Dandy, letting go of all that is not you simply brings you face-to-face with what soul knows, with who you truly are. This honours a timeless essence of being.

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