Why We Sabotage Our Own Happiness

Dear friends,

We tend to have a bad habit of sabotaging ourselves when we’re at a good point in our life. It’s as if we’re actively searching for a self-destruct button every time when we are happy. Self-sabotage has it’s root deeply embedded into the core of every personality types. Understanding why we do this is a bit tricky, but it can be conquered and understood.

Why do we sabotage ourselves?

The main reason why we sabotage our own happiness may be difficult to hear. It took me quite a while to accept it, but once I did, I managed to end this vicious circle. It’s because most of us want for everyone to be happy, but that we are somehow excluded from it. So when happiness finds us, we start overthinking because we think we’re not worthy to feel it.

The primary focus should be to fully enjoy these joyful moments, but we choose something else. Does this sound familiar: “This is good, but I should be careful, maybe something bad is coming…” And there you have it our friends, instant recipe for overthinking. We completely disregard our own success, and replace it with overthinking and sabotaging thoughts.

I sabotaged almost every win I ever had. It doesn’t matter how meaningful it was, I always thought that something bad is looking at me behind the corner. So instead of being genuinely happy, I disregarded what I achieved, and went into caution mode to avoid any possible disappointment that may come.

Guided by my own self-sabotage experiences from the past, I want to tell you…

Be happy in the now

There’s no such thing as a small or a big achievement. Every victory you experience, personal or a business, is meaningful! Don’t rank it by size, because you will only succeed in shrinking yourself. You did it, you won, so stop there. Don’t go further. You did all you could, where you were, and with what you had. You did more than enough.

As I mentioned, in the past I always sabotaged what I did. I just couldn’t make myself to be happy for my accomplishments. However, I started nurturing myself after every win, instead of seeking what I could have done to improve it. When you reach your goal, when you just enjoy what you did, embrace it with no add-ons.

The best way I found to conquer self-sabotage is through a simple exercise that’ll only take you 5 min.

Look around you and where you are now. You’re reading this article, which means you’re safe. Nothing bad is happening to you right now at this very moment. Acknowledge that you are not in any danger, and don’t think what will happen tomorrow. In this present moment, you are good. Please repeat this as many times as you need until you remember it.

Ground yourself in your current location, because this mindset shift will help you accept the reality. You are safe, and you can be happy.

Sometimes, our biggest wins come from quietest moments.

Self-Sabotage is not your default state

As you’re looking around your room, or a coffee shop, or nature, nothing bad is happening to you. So now your mind has the space to be happy with what you achieved.

You’re probably asking yourself: “But Marko, I’m not sure what I achieved?”

Aren’t you still here? You’re breathing and your existence is making someone happy whether you see it or not. Wins don’t always come in forms of promotions, money, or career… Sometimes, they’re as gentle as reading a message from a loved one telling you how much they love you, or having that peaceful sip of coffee in the morning.

Give yourself the permission to smile about the things most people never notice. When you do, self-sabotage will never again take a hold over you, because you’ll always know what you need to do to make it go away.

So the next time when you win and feel fulfilled, close the door on those self-sabotaging thoughts. Open the window for happiness to come in. It’s your birthright to be happy and bathed with the rays of joy for who you are! 🙂



Do you tend to sabotage your success? What are your thoughts on this topic? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!

4 thoughts on “Why We Sabotage Our Own Happiness”

  1. A very nice article Marko! I think this self-sabotage has also to do just with how I am wired – wearing a bit darker-shade glasses than others. Also, as an INFJ, I feel I am in many ways opposite to others and the world – Ni comes before Se, Maslow’s pyramid flipped for me as an INFJ etc… So it’s kind of natural for me to always keep in mind “the other side of the coin”. As one hilarious fellow soul Vennu Mallesh sang in his humorous song: “I always search good in bad; I also search bad in good” 😀

    But there is definitely a point to your article that self-sabotage is rooted in fear, doubt and anxiety – not being mindful of the present moment, and lack of love. This offers hope that with practice self-sabotage can be transformed into more supportive mental habits, more joy, success and virtue in life, even if you are an INFJ 🙂

    Nice to hear from you and take care!

  2. Hi Marko. First, I just wanted to let you know how much I love your posts on Facebook and am excited to check out this website. I spent years going back and forth trying to figure out my MBTI personality type until I started to become pretty sure I was INFJ and found Dauntless INFJ on Facebook, which made me know for sure I was.

    I am excited to try this exercise to combat self-sabatoge. I’m at a point in my life where I finally seem to be breaking through and feeling really happy. While reading this article I realized I do the self-sabatoge thing alot. I’ve had a rough road the past ten years or so with depression/anxiety and trauma (which I hear are common for INFJs). And never in my life have I had a time in my life where I was truly happy, outside of maybe one season in my life a few years ago. I feel things deeply so I felt the pain deeply but now I am feeling the joy deeply. It seems too good to be true. I had a great day today and just before reading this article my mind was spinning with anxiety about tomorrow. I look forward to trying this exercise. I will let you know how it goes.


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