Ep #88: Stop Self-Sabotage

By: Dr. Sherry Price

Drink Less Lifestyle with Dr. Sherry Price | Stop Self-Sabotage

Take a close look at the actions that you routinely take.

Are they taking you closer to your goals or further away?

If your actions take you further away from your goals, then it might be considered self-sabotaging behavior.

Are you engaging in self-sabotaging behaviors? And if so, how do you stop?

Tune in this week as I talk about 10 signs you may be self-sabotaging, how these ways are impacting your life, and how to stop abandoning yourself and start empowering yourself towards your goals.


The doors to the Women’s Empowerment Retreat are now open! Learn the skills, live empowered, and achieve your goals. Click here for all the details.

Are you ready to learn the skills and tools to permanently change your relationship with alcohol? If so, I invite you to join Drink Less Lifestyle. It’s where you’ll learn how to become a woman who can take it or leave it with alcohol while creating a life you love. Join Drink Less Lifestyle here!


What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • What is important as you work towards any goal.
  • 10 signs you may be self-sabotaging.
  • How to put an end to self-sabotage and empower yourself in pursuit of your goals.

Featured on the Show:

Download my free guide How to Effectively Break the Overdrinking Habit.

If you’re loving this podcast, please rate and review this podcast and help others discover their Drink Less Lifestyle.

Full Episode Transcript:


You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle Podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 88.

Welcome to Drink Less Lifestyle, a podcast for successful women who want to change their relationship with alcohol. If you want to drink less, feel healthier and start loving life again you’re in the right place. Please remember that the information in this podcast does not constitute medical advice. Now, here’s your host, Dr. Sherry Price.

Hello my beautiful friends, how is everyone doing today? I hope everybody is doing great. To start this podcast, I want to discuss just a few housekeeping things before we get into today’s topic. And the first thing I want to talk about is the Women’s Empowerment retreat. I’ve been getting a few questions about the retreat so I wanted to address them here. Yes, there are still some spots available as I am speaking and recording this podcast. So hopefully when it goes live if you’re interested in attending the event there are still some spots available.

And some of you have asked me how to find that page. Well, you could go to my website and you could go to Women’s Empowerment retreat or you can directly go to the page itself and that can be found at drinklesslifestyle.com/retreat. Again, that’s drinklesslifestyle.com/retreat. And on that page you will find all the details about this amazing retreat. And just to highlight a few of the details. We’ll be meeting up on Thursday night, we’ll have a chance to meet and mingle with each other at the beautiful Omni Hotel where we’ll be located.

We’ll have a full day of empowerment on Friday and Saturday, and ending Saturday night, celebrating our empowered selves at an amazing restaurant. So, we will be workshopping all day on Friday and all day on Saturday doing this empowerment work which is all based around your defined goals and helping you achieve those goals. And of course, plan to have plenty of fun while we’re doing all of these fun activities together.

Another exciting announcement that I have is that I have hired a world class coach to our team. I am so excited for Heidi Lakenan to join us. She is absolutely amazing. We are currently working behind the scenes and some exciting changes that we have planned for my memberships. And so, I am so fortunate to have her as part of my team. She’s also a women’s empowerment coach and she’s downright phenomenal. How do I know? Because she’s coached me and I have to tell you ladies, I am a hard nut to crack.

I am a Taurus, I can be very stubborn and so coaching me is not the easiest. But truly she’s really helped me have some breakthroughs on issues that I was having in my life and I am delighted to have her as part of the team. I can’t say it enough how much I enjoy her coaching and in literally one session with her I had a major, major breakthrough in my life. And it really changed a key relationship for me. So, I’m delighted that we get to work together.

And so that is actually a perfect segue in today’s topic because I was doing something in this relationship that wasn’t elevating it, it wasn’t taking it to the next level, it was actually harming it. And I couldn’t see how I was contributing to that. And I know I couldn’t find a way to work this for myself and find a solution and so she’s helped me to do that. And how this relates to today’s topic is I defined that behavior that I was doing as a form of self-sabotage and that’s what I want to discuss on today’s podcast is how to stop doing things that sabotages where we want to go.

So just so we’re all on the same page I just want to define what self-sabotage means. It’s any behavior that you do that doesn’t take you closer to your goals. They are actually actions and behaviors that you take and they take you off track or take you further away from your goals. And most of the time you can see it and sometimes you can’t. And when you see it, it’s like, why do I keep doing this? Why do I keep self-sabotaging? Why do I keep doing this behavior in my life that is taking me further from the woman I want to be? It feels very disempowering.

So, if you’ve been following my Instagram in the last week I have been posting about some common ways you may be self-sabotaging. And so, you may have seen these posts, I talked about 10 signs that you may be self-sabotaging. So, I want to review those here. So, the first sign you may be self-sabotaging is you are procrastinating on your goals.

Now, I know we get into periods where we get into ruts and we’re like, “Yeah, we’re not making any traction, we’re not making any progress.” But when you keep procrastinating on your goals sometimes that pattern can last months and years. And we know that doesn’t feel good. We are actually going further, and further, and further, and further away from where we want to be. So that’s one.

Number two, you dwell excessively on your mistakes. Yes, if we make a mistake we want to think about it, we want to see how we can improve, we want to take the learnings from that but to excessively dwell and ruminate and beat ourselves up only makes us want to self-sabotage again because we get pleasure. And many of us find pleasure in some of our self-sabotaging ways.

Number three, you overindulge frequently, this can be overindulging with food, this can be overindulging with alcohol, drinking more than you want. This could be overindulging in terms of working more to avoid things in your life that need to be taken care of. This can be overindulging on TV or social media. It’s consuming more than we want to be consuming.

Number four, another way to self-sabotage, you break promises to yourself often. Okay, so the key there is often. We know we’re going to break promises to ourselves, this is not about perfection. But when we do it consistently and often and it becomes this pattern that’s when it gets problematic.

Number five, you avoid conflict and don’t communicate your wishes. You’re abandoning yourself. You’re not true on what you want. You don’t speak up for what you want. And many women do this because they are afraid of conflict.

Number six, you prioritize being comfortable over being healthy. It may be just easier to come home and sit in front of the TV rather than doing something more healthy like going for a walk. Again, if we’re doing that consistently, that’s a form of self-sabotage.

Number seven, you justify or make excuses for your bad habits or undesired behavior. Yeah, that was me for many months and years, just kept justifying this overdrinking, it’s because I’m stressed, I just want to relax. And it was a bad habit, I knew that. I wanted to take control of it and I wanted to be empowered over alcohol, absolutely. I just didn’t know how.

Number eight, you don’t set standards for yourself and others. And I talk about this more in my programs about setting standards for yourself because if you don’t you just operate on default mode. And it’s almost like society or other people are making decisions for you.

Number nine, you overly compare yourself to others and don’t feel good enough. Yes, we can do this periodically here and there. But if this is constantly where your brain goes to, it is a form of self-sabotage.

And number 10, you don’t seek out help or support to meet your own needs. If we’re in that, I can do everything, I’m a control freak and I always love to do everything for myself but there are times when I don’t have the capacity. I don’t have the knowledge. I don’t have the skillset yet and so I have to rely on others to help me. And knowing when I’m being too prideful and I’m being too stuck in thinking that I need to do it all.

That is a form of self-sabotage because I am not actually getting to my goals if thinking I have to do everything and I’m not allowing other people to help me towards my goals.

So, as I’m going through this list I wanted to put some commentary around it because I know if I just heard this list from one through ten I’d be like, yeah, that’s me, yeah, that’s me, yeah, that’s me, that’s me. And I’d go crazy thinking oh my gosh, I do almost all of these things and maybe every single one of them. And I just want to caution you. It’s not about being perfect. You know that that is one of my bug-a-boos. I was about a perfectionistic way of showing up and it just impeded my own progress.

And so, I want to caution anyone listening to this podcast, really it’s not about never doing these things, it’s about minimizing these things. It’s about saying, “Oh, yes, I see how I’m self-sabotaging there and now I’m ready to empower myself so that I stop doing that.” So, for me I may not always honor my word to myself every single day and I say, “Okay, that’s okay but is this consistent? Am I consistently making and breaking promises to myself in one area of my life consistently?”

And when I learned about the drink plan, I was all excited, I was all in, I made the plan, I followed it pretty well on most days. And then I noticed as time went on I stopped following it. I stopped following it consistently. And there was a period of time where I broke my drink plan consistently. And then I used it as a way to self-sabotage and beat me up even more. It’s like, well, why make a drink plan if you’re not going to follow it? And I did this as well with exercise.

I’d put a block of time on my calendar, I’d block it off like an appointment and said, “I’m going to go exercise.” And I did that for weeks to months and I never went. I’m like, wait, why have I been wasting time putting it on my calendar if I’m not going to honor that promise to myself? And so, what we want to do is look for these patterns of what we do consistently that is actually taking us further away from our long term goals. So, we could call those habits. We could call those bad habits. We could call those patterns.

And we’re just like, how can we minimize or eradicate these from our life? Because if we don’t, don’t these things that you just keep doing drive you batty? It’s maddening. Why do I keep doing this to myself? And that’s the conversation I was having in my head. And here’s what I find is in the past I would try to eradicate them, 100%. If I wasn’t 100% successful it meant I was a failure. But wouldn’t you even consider 90% successful, success? I mean really think about that.

And so, when I’m looking to change my habits, I want to minimize them or eradicate them in an empowering way, a way that feels good, a way that I’m not going to have such a high bar that I’m going to set for myself where I feel like I’m just going to fail right out of the gates. And most of us really think it is about doing it perfect, or there’s some subconscious programming in our brains that says, yeah, I’m all in on this or I’m not all in. And so, we want to avoid the evil thing, avoid all alcohol, avoid all sweets, avoid all your kids, just kidding.

And it really is that strategy always the best? Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. And sometimes if it’s feeling disempowering that you have to do this all or nothing, you give up before you even get started. So, I’d rather be in this empowered place where it means I’m constantly taking and making progress to catapult me forward, to move me closer to the goals I want. Because how many times have you, I know I have, have said, I’m giving up drinking and then you wind up binging the night before you have your quit date.

Or I see this with smokers too. I’m going to quit on this day and then they smoke all these cigarettes the night before because you’re trying to get it all in before there’s a scarcity. And so, you don’t want to fear your brain into scarcity because that doesn’t help the brain. That makes the brain want to overconsume, overindulge. And here’s the thing, I think you can live a life where you indulge here and there but you don’t overindulge. If it’s your birthday and you want to have a piece of cake, go ahead, no fault in indulging in that.

If it’s your anniversary and you want to have a glass of wine or split a bottle of wine, that doesn’t seem like self-sabotaging to me. That seems like indulging, not overindulging. Now, getting drunk, passing out, consistently overdrinking, or drinking more than you want, even if it’s just two to three glasses a night and you’re like, yeah, this feels like overdrinking to me. And you’re doing that consistently, that is a form of self-sabotage. And many women come to me saying, “It’s not huge in terms of quantity, but I just feel terrible about the quantity I’m consuming.”

And what I want to say, it’s not always a quantity thing, it’s how does it impact you? Because every body type is different. How sweets affect one person will be different on how they affect another. Same with alcohol. I hear women tell me, “Yeah, I don’t like beer, it’s so easy for me to stay away from it, wine is my enemy.” And then people tell me just the opposite. Another woman may come to me and say, “Yeah, I don’t even like wine, but man, beers and IPAs, love them.”

So, when you’re doing this journey, this journey is about you. It’s not about others, it’s not about comparing, it’s not about, well, at least I’m not drinking as much as that person, or yeah, I feel bad because I’m drinking more than that person. It’s not about any other person’s journey, it’s about your journey. And what do you find to be self-sabotaging and overindulgent because that’s going to be a different quantity, a different thing than what other people experience. So, comparing ourselves in this way is not helpful. It doesn’t help us get to the bottom of things.

And I have to tell you, that’s why I loved the name of this podcast so much when I came up with the idea. I wanted a lifestyle where I just drank less. Again, I wasn’t about sober, I wasn’t about abstinence, that wasn’t in my heart, that wasn’t in my soul. I just wanted to be a woman who was able to take it or leave it. I didn’t want to demonize it. I wanted to be empowered over it. For me it’s about less. And here’s the thing, my definition of less now is way different than my definition of less four years ago.

Four years ago, I was so delighted that I got to 12 drinks a week. I was like, “Woohoo, success.” And now my body most weeks feels like that’s too much. And notice I said most weeks, it’s not this hard and fast rule because sometimes rules, you just want to break them. You’re just a rebel inside and you’re like, yeah, not listening to myself and my rules right now.

And so, if I know my brain is wired like that, and I go against that and I set these rules because that’s what my neighbor did, or my friend told me to do, or what I read on a blog post and I’m not honoring who I am in my journey on this. Guess what I’m going to do? It’s going to be setting myself up for failure. And when I think of drinking less, eating less, and working less, not overworking, I feel that’s all empowering.

If I could structure my day where I get all my work done in the time I say I’m going to get it done, that’s empowering. That means I have control because honestly, that’s the truth. I have control over how I spend my time. Overeating, and overdrinking, and overworking really are all about choice and decisions that you’re making. No one makes us overeat, no one makes us overdrink, no one really makes us overwork. Those are decisions we get to make. Those are choices we get to make. And here’s where the important part comes in.

We have to understand why we make those choices and not spin out in confusion about it because if we spin out in confusion about it, what do we learn. We don’t learn anything. Or if we ask disempowering questions of ourselves we don’t really get good answers. So, one of the disempowering questions I hear a lot from women is, “Why do I keep doing this to myself?” I don’t really think the answer to that question is very useful so I will never ask it. To me it doesn’t give us any information that will actually help us solve the problem.

And it’s like one of those cartoons I read where a patient or a client comes in to a psychiatrist office and says, “I’m depressed.” And the psychiatrist goes, “Why are you depressed?” And he’s like, “If I knew I wouldn’t be here.” So, we want to ask questions that are empowering, questions that are going to give us information that is useful, that can be used so we further identify the problem so we can further figure out the solution. So, another question I hear a lot is, “Why can’t I stop overdrinking?”

And I just want to remind you, if you answer that it’s a garbage answer, meaning there’s no valuable information in that. Because here’s how I hear most women answer that question. Why can’t I stop overdrinking? Because it tastes so good. I just love the taste. Well, what are you going to do with that? You’re stuck, you can’t change the taste of alcohol. You’re totally stuck. And I’ll tell you, that’s not the real reason. I did a podcast episode on this. That is not the real reason you’re drinking. It’s a garbage answer.

Here’s another garbage answer. I just have this habit and that’s why I keep doing it. Well, people can change habits. And so, by saying, I just have this habit and it’s what I just keep doing, all you’re doing is just creating more evidence for yourself that you can’t change and that you’re stuck here. Again, garbage, so disempowering. It doesn’t give us the truth. It doesn’t give us any useful information that we can act on. And so, I get it, it’s a habit but what are we going to do about it?

That’s a more empowering question, it gets you out of the self-sabotage cycle which disempowering questions keep you in the self-sabotage overconsumption cycle. So, I’d rather empower you and empower all the women that I work with is to take action that feels good, empowering and fun. Because a lot of people make this into such work, hassle, feels so heavy and oh my gosh, draining. But let’s go to the land of reality where it doesn’t have to be so heavy, and draining, and depressing because that’ll just keep you stuck. Let’s get unstuck.

Now, I also want to bring up now because I have heard this come up a few times in the last couple of days is where we make this overdrinking a minor issue. And you know I’ve done a podcast on this in the past where if we minimize the problem too much we won’t do anything about it. So, I was just talking with a lady who called it her pesky side habit. It’s just a pesky side habit. I don’t know, maybe it’s not serious enough to address is basically the undertone of that statement. And I get it.

It may not cause much disruption to your life, you still go to work, you’re on time, you don’t feel that foggy, or that cloudy, you still come home at the same time. Your performance isn’t hampered or hindered in any way. But if you’re listening to this podcast and if you’re looking to work with me or get on a call with me and you made time to get on a call with me and schedule that, you really have to ask. It’s probably not just a pesky little problem. You’re probably listening and reaching out because you want it solved, even if it is pesky, let’s get it solved and resolved.

I remember I’d read books, listen to podcasts, read blogs and go, “Goodness, why can’t I just do this? Why can’t I just do everything in this book? What are they recommending in this book again?” I’d have to reread it. And it was almost like a form of entertainment. I was entertaining the idea, entertaining the idea, entertaining the idea, but not wanting it enough to fix and change it.

And how did I know that? Because when I looked at me, when I looked at my habits, when I looked at how I was spending my time. And I looked at that list of 10 items that I talked about at the beginning of this episode, what did I find? Number three, you overindulge frequently. Yeah, was still drinking more than I wanted after reading those books, after listening to those podcasts, yeah, my behaviors are still showing signs of self-sabotage.

And then number six, prioritizing being comfortable over healthy, yeah, I just wanted to take away the stress of my day even though deep down I wanted to be healthier. I knew alcohol wasn’t part of my wellness strategy, at least not this much. And so, I was prioritizing my old self over my new self, the woman I really wanted to be. And I was like, “Yeah, that’s a form of self-sabotage, isn’t it, Sherry?”

And number seven, I justified it and made excuses for my bad habits and my undesired behavior. Yeah, it’s a long day, it’s a hard day, it’s this, it’s that. I’ll get to it someday. The problem’s not that bad. And look, I’m not trying to judge, I’m trying to share with you where I was and to say, “Yes, that’s where I am.” And just recognize you can stay there which I did for months and years because I didn’t have a solution out that felt true to me, that felt right to me.

But I’ll tell you, once I learned that there was another way to handle this that didn’t mean abstinence, I was like, “I’m all in, I want that, that’s my goal. I want to learn to take it or leave it.” And I got excited because I knew I can end the self-sabotage and enter into that woman I wanted to be with certain skills. And that was very empowering. And so, ending self-sabotage is the focus this month inside Epic You. We are going to be walking through how to end self-sabotage, step, by step, by step.

Now, I have to tell you, I went to town on this topic and so I’m going to share some of the items in the workbook with you. The workbook that I’ve created this month for Epic You is by far the largest. It’s the most researched, it’s the most detail oriented, it’s quite frankly, awesome. And what I talk about in the first part of the workbook is there are six types of thinking styles that I found in my research that leads to self-sabotaging behavior.

So, I go into describing what these six types of thinking styles are and how you can identify which ones resonate with you. So, we talk about these six thinking styles because once you know how your brain is wired and how it works, instead of using this type of thinking against you, you want to learn to use it for you. That’s empowering. And so, it’s so powerful to know how your brain works. For me the thinking style that stands out the most for me is I’m a very black and white thinker. That’s my style. It’s either this or it’s that, you’re for me or against me, you agree with me or you don’t.

And black and white thinking is very common in people who like control. If you’re a control freak like me, and identify as that, black and white thinking is probably your strongest thinking type. And hey, a lot of times it makes life easier. Life is very easy when there’s clearcut rules, it’s easy to make decision, it’s either this or it’s that, in or out, right or wrong. And I have to say that my training as a pharmacist in healthcare really added to that black and white thinking. We think in triage, we rule in diseases, we rule out diseases. If they rule in for this disease we follow this algorithm.

I mean I’m thinking of Type II diabetes and the ADA guidelines. And if you’ve got an A1C of this we start with lifestyle modifications and metformin. And if you’ve got a higher A1C we go right to insulin. It was very black and white, very clearcut and it made it easy to navigate patients through the system. And we needed guidelines, we needed algorithms because healthcare is very complex.

So, the example of black and white thinking at work, which benefitted me professionally and it was reinforced in my chosen profession, served me well there. It didn’t always serve me well in my personal life, or with raising my daughter. She needed to act this way. If she didn’t act this way it was wrong, it was bad, it needed to be punished. And so, you either follow my rules and things are good or if you don’t follow my rules, things are bad. So, there’s black and white thinking which serves me in some regards, becomes my biggest weakness in other regards.

And I think having this knowledge changes everything. It’s like, I see it now, how I’m contributing to the problem. And my relationship was disastrous with her. I’ve talked about this on the podcast in previous episodes, it’s like my way or the high way. And so, we’re arguing to see who’s right or who’s more right, or who can outsmart the other person, or out-yell the other person. And it’s exhausting. And it left me with a relationship that was disconnected and brought me more sorrow than joy.

So, here’s the thing, if my brain is wired this way, how can I use it to enhance and empower my relationship with my daughter, rather than destroying it? So, we take that information and change it to application, how can we apply this in a way that begins serving our end game? Because look, none of us want to hinder with our efforts to get to a goal. If they’re not working, we’re going to say, “Yeah, that isn’t working, let me stop, please.” And so that’s where we move into the next phase of the workbook.

We’ll be discussing how to live more empowered, how to show up as the woman you want to be, considering your thinking style, considering what self-sabotaging behaviors you want to change. So, there’s a series of exercises in the workbook for you to identify, what takes you off track?  What takes you further away from your goals? And how we can empower you to get back on track and stay towards moving towards your goals. Because we know without a plan, your goal is just a wish.

And then lastly, we go into how to upgrade your actions into powerful actions. And I love this concept. I talked about it just recently a couple of episodes ago about power moves, how to take those power moves, those powerful actions to move towards that woman, wife, spouse, employee, whatever you want to achieve in your life, how to get there powerfully. This workbook, I have to tell you, it’s quite dense, it’s not for the light-hearted. But it really is transformational. Not only that, it highlights so many different ways that you can end self-sabotage.

And last week, I have sent out an email to everybody on my list as well as my Instagram page where I talk about the process to end self-sabotage. So, I want to go over those key components with you here so we can break these bad habits and end these cycles that we don’t want to be in.

So, the process to end self-sabotaging behaviors, number one, know what benefit you derive from the self-sabotaging behavior. Have you ever asked yourself that? What benefit do I get from this? If I’m doing this over and over again, it must be adding to my life. How is it adding to my life, I want to know. It’s such important information. It’s an empowering question because if it’s meeting a need, well, we want to still have that need met, just in a different way.

Number two, identify all the triggers that lead to the self-sabotaging behavior. For people, could be the time of day, I’m all good until eight o’clock and then I dive into the pint of ice-cream. Or I could be really good but when I come home and my children start wanting me and we start fighting in the household, I storm the fridge for a glass of wine. Or I just feel all pent up inside and I don’t know other ways to release that without turning to wine. So, we just want to identify all the ways that our body gets triggered to say, “Hey, let’s do that self-sabotaging behavior.”

And then we move into step three which is a plan to manage these triggers. We basically want to make them into things that don’t trigger us or de-trigger them. It’s so interesting, I used to get so triggered by outbursts from my daughter and tantrums. And she doesn’t do them as much anymore because she doesn’t get the same effect from her mom, me. But when she does do them, it’s not like I have the same trigger, need to storm the fridge, get my wine. I look at her and I go, oh my gosh, what is going on for her that this is happening?

I don’t take it personally. I don’t feel I have to run from it. You know what I do? I actually engage deeper with her. I used to want to avoid and run. And now I see it as a tender moment that she’s sharing with me and I’m wanting to run towards it. It’s no longer a trigger. And so that’s what we do in the step number three, plan to make these non-triggers for you, these triggers to being non-triggers.

And then four, use tools, not food, not alcohol, not work, not screens, not TV to manage our emotions. Some of us just get overwhelmed by other people’s emotions. I used to, not everybody’s but certain people in my life, I used to get very overwhelmed. It’s like, okay, how else can I manage these emotions? What tools can I use? So, what do we do with all these emotions? We need to manage them in a way that’s helpful, in a way that’s not sabotaging our end game.

And then five, take different actions while you’re upgrading your thoughts about the triggers. This process takes a bit of time. And so, we want to make sure we’re still making power moves until we’re able to reprogram our brain, until we’re able to do that work where our subconscious programming is changing. So, this is the process that gets it done my friends, these five steps, it’s how you rewire your subconscious programming so you can free your mind from wanting and desiring these habits and behaviors and start new ones.

So, you can try this process on your own, or if you want my help come join us inside Epic You this month. We’ll be working on this exact process the entire month because it’s one thing to know it and it’s another thing to be doing it. Alright my friends, that’s what I have for you today. Go out and live as your empowered self and I will see you next week.

Thanks for listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle. If you’re ready to change your relationship with alcohol, check out my free guide, How to Effectively Break the Overdrinking Habit at sherryprice.com/startnow. That’s sherryprice.com/startnow. I’ll see you next week.

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