Timesheets | Register


Executive Blog 24/11/2022

Self-Sabotage in the Workplace

Mal Stuart
By Mal Stuart
Self-Sabotage in the Workplace

Self-Sabotage in the Workplace


This needs to be in your business plan. It can be towards the bottom, as we usually like to focus on goals at the top (nice and positive). But this needs to be in your business plan.


Self-sabotage is when people do (or don’t do) things that block their success or prevent them from accomplishing goals. It can be conscious or unconscious but they have the same result.


The role that we have in our own downfalls was captured by author Jerry B. Harvey – How come every time I get stabbed in the back my fingerprints are on the knife?


Here is a list of self-sabotaging behaviours that may set off alarms:

  • Procrastination
  • Perfectionism
  • Self-doubt
  • Staying in your comfort zone
  • Avoiding opportunities to step up
  • Not saying no
  • Talking too much or not enough
  • Chronic lateness
  • Pulling out of meetings at the last moment
  • Criticising
  • Defensive when feedback is given
  • Negative self-talk
  • Giving up when things get difficult
  • Not taking responsibility
  • Taking on too much work
  • Hiding out at home (a new one)


The trick is it is much easier to identify other people’s behaviours rather than our own. When reading the above list, it is likely you were thinking of other people, rather than yourself. Our natural defences seem to have us programmed this way.


What we are uncovering, is that we all have ingrained behaviours that affect our productivity. If we want to be more successful, it is time to have a closer look.


In the next edition, we will explore how to identify and overcome the effect of self-sabotaging behaviours, to improve your success.