We really are our own worst enemies.  To be happier, healthier and more prosperous it is important that we treat ourselves with love and kindness rather than abusing ourselves with self-defeating behaviors. 

Here is a list of self-defeating behaviors that are quite common.  For the sake of our mental, physical and spiritual health, it would be best for us to eliminate as many of these behaviors as possible: 

Self-Defeating Behavior #1: Speaking negatively about your looks, or your body

We all have things we like about ourselves, and things we don’t.  Make a habit of only discussing the features you appreciate, or at least avoid picking apart your “flaws.”

You wouldn’t point out the “problem” areas in someone you truly loved, so love yourself enough to keep your mouth shut about your own.  Avoid this self-defeating behavior as it leads to poor self-esteem and insecurity.

Self-Defeating Behavior #2: Using the words “I can’t”

There’s no reason to make your struggles bigger than they are.  Be proud of what you can do, and eliminate the word “can’t” from your vocabulary.  Even if you have no idea how you are going to do something, you do not need to express this concern in such a fatalistic way.  Anything is possible.

Self-Defeating Behavior #3: People pleasing

You are the gatekeeper of your life.  If your intuition is telling you not to do something, protect your interests and say no!  It’s not your job to fulfill the wishes of everyone around you.  Besides that, there’s no amount of tap dancing that you can ever do to make another person happy, because happiness is an inside job.  Please yourself, and let others do the same.

Self-Defeating Behavior #4: Saying “no” when you want to say “yes”

Don’t let a little fear talk you out of pursuing something that excites you! Don’t let any limiting beliefs  get in the way of going after something that you really want.

Self-Defeating Behavior #5: Not getting enough sleep

Sleep deprivation is wildly common in our society and it is so detrimental to our well being.  Sleep is a time of recovery and a time of connection with your higher self.  It also helps to raise your vibration and keep you in balance.  Your sleep should be just as important as the  productivity you achieve during the day, if not more.

This self-defeating behavior will not only exhaust you, but it will create more stress and illness in your life.

Self-Defeating Behavior #6: Staying in toxic relationships

Toxic relationships weigh you down and suck the life right out of you.  If you aren’t ready to let go of one, at least distance yourself enough to be able to breathe.  If you are not sure if you are in a toxic relationship, check out this article on toxic behaviors to avoid.

Self-Defeating Behavior #7: Working too hard

Working too hard sucks the joy right out of life.  It also causes stress, which primes you for injury, disease and mental health issues.  Strike a comfortable balance between work, rest and leisure to enhance the quality of your life.

Self-Defeating Behavior #8: Pushing through the pain

When your body is injured or sore, it’s a sign from the universe that you are pushing yourself too hard.

Remember, no one’s keeping track of how many you miles you run or how many yoga poses you can do.  If your body hurts, rest and relax.  Give yourself time to heal.  Pushing through the pain only worsens your injuries, which will set you back even more in the future. Honor your body and listen to what it is telling you.

Self-Defeating Behavior #9: Trying to fit in

You are a unique individual with a specific set of talents and skills that no one else has, and that’s the beauty of who you are.  Don’t cover up your individuality to look, sound and act like everyone else.  Be yourself.  It’s the only way you’ll ever be powerful.

A fulfilling life is created with love and compassion.  Routinely abusing oneself with unkind thoughts, beliefs and actions lowers one’s vibration and quality of life.   However, by opting not to engage in self-defeating behaviors, we can choose to love and empower ourselves instead.

You deserve to have  life that is happy, healthy and prosperous, but these things are ultimately up to you.  Choose to be kind to yourself to have a better life. 

Did you like this article? Find more like it on my blog or Facebook page!  You can also find me on Twitter (@Vibration1111) or Instagram (@andrea.11.11).


Photo Credit: “Pinocchio” by Will Temple. Some Rights Reserved.  This image has been cropped and resized.



  • Brenda Riggs
    Posted September 26, 2016 10:56 am 0Likes

    Thank you for posting . Very interesting articles

  • Andrea Schulman
    Posted September 26, 2016 11:25 am 0Likes

    Thanks Brenda! XO, Andrea

  • Anonymous
    Posted April 9, 2020 5:41 pm 0Likes

    Is inferiority a self-defeating behavior pattern

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