Your goal is to lose weight. You know you need to focus on eating more quality foods and must prioritize getting to the gym at minimum three days a week.

It’s Monday night and you are registered for the 5:30pm class, but you got stuck late at work. This left you with no time to run home and change. You decide to just skip the gym and try tomorrow morning instead at 5:30am. You hop on the couch and click the TV because Monday is usually the day you relax and recover from the weekend, anyway. Your FAVORITE movie is on so you stay up a little later than normal to watch it.

Your alarm goes off at 5:00am the next morning, but you hit snooze because you are just too tired. You tell yourself you’ll try to get to the gym again tomorrow. On the way into work, you stop for a coffee. You stand in line so long that by the time they take your order, you had just enough time to convince yourself that this weight loss thing is just never going to work because it hasn’t in the past. So since you already missed the gym two days in a row, you decide to just get the muffin too.

Does this sound familiar? Do you have goals that you struggle to reach?  If so, you are NOT alone. You may be engaging in self-sabotage.  Self-sabotage is any action that gets in the way of achieving your goals.  It’s basically accidentally-on- purpose shooting yourself in the foot. 

Why do we set goals for ourselves and then make them impossible to achieve with our own behavior? There are a number of reasons why people engaged in self-sabotaging behaviors:

  • Identity- Do you see yourself as unworthy or incapable of success? Many times if our identity does not align with our behavior it causes what is referred to as cognitive dissonance.  So you begin to have successes, but you still see yourself as unworthy.
  • Control- Are you scared of failure? What if you tried as hard as you could, invested a lot of time and resources and you still didn’t meet your goal? Failure is scary, so we perceive its safer to stop.
  • Consistency- Do you like routine? We do what’s familiar to us because we like consistency.  Oddly enough, we usually find comfort in what we know, even when what we know it is not in our best interest. 
  • Scapegoat- Are you unwilling to take responsibility for the things within your control? If things do not work out, it’s often easier to blame the external factors than it is to accept our own responsibility in the matter. 

Let’s recreate the scenario. If you woke up a few minutes earlier on Monday morning, you would have had time to pack a gym bag. If you had a gym bag, despite being stuck at work, you could have still made it to the 5:30pm class.

On Monday night, instead of staying up late to watch the movie, you could have decided to wait until the weekend to watch it. This would most likely result in a better night’s sleep and a lower chance of hitting the snooze button.

I urge you to reflect on the choices you make and the results of those choices.  Are you sabotaging yourself? Ask yourself if what are doing is working for you? If the answer is NO, ask yourself what you are willing to do differently? Do you need help establishing a better plan for yourself?

You ARE worthy of success. With some introspection and some accountability from your Bellum Coaches, you CAN achieve your goals. Email me at if you could use help getting there.


Dr. AP

Leave a Comment