I’m An Expert At Self-Sabotage


Each evening, I set my alarm for 5:15 the next morning. Do I need to get up at 5:15? Probably not. And I don’t. I hit the snooze button. I annoy my sleeping husband in increments, each with a nine minute reprieve. Sometimes I don’t get out of the bed until 6:00. There are *things* I have to do in the morning to start the day and it would be SO. MUCH. EASIER if I didn’t have to rush to do them. And I don’t. Have to, that is. But I totally wind up rushing – and sometimes, there is crying in my house before 7:00am. I don’t have babies anymore. My children are seven and four.

Full disclosure: Sometimes I am the one crying. 

I’m a smart cookie. I know what it takes (theoretically) to get everyone out of the house, in good spirits, fed and clothed in a timely fashion … but so far, the five-, nine-minute increments of sleep I’m getting in the morning outweigh any possible pay off. WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? (Might I also add that my husband is a SAINT.)

I HATE stopping to get gas in my car. Hate. It. You can see the issue, right? I need to have the gas for my car to, you know. GO. I used to have a “low fuel” light on my dashboard, but it doesn’t work anymore. I’m pretty sure it has burnt out from overuse. I know what you’re thinking – “I wonder if she’s ever run out of gas.” “I’ll bet that she’s run out of gas once and learned her lesson.”

*clears throat*

I’ve run out of gas two times (to date).

My aforementioned saint-of-a-husband rescued me both times without complaint. (A post about how I totally don’t deserve him is long overdue.) Both times, I felt so much guilt for inconveniencing him and disappointment in myself for getting into a completely avoidable situation. Yet earlier this week, I prayed to the good Lord above that I would make it to the gas station in time. ALL I HAVE TO DO is take a gander at my fuel gauge every once in a while and when it gets 1/2 way empty, stop to fill up the tank. I’d never be in danger of running out of gas again. I have yet to do this. In spite of how this post is reading, I’m generally a responsible person. These behaviors don’t make any sense… 

This has to be self-sabotage. I’m totally not this obtuse. 

I’m afraid of success and the expectations it breeds.

All throughout school, I did juuuuuuuuust good enough to get the A, but never the stand-out, never the star. That’s an uncomfortable admission. It feels super-gross to confess to that because it seems like I’m betraying feminism. Or is this me embracing it? “Be what you want!” Is this feeling-comfortable-enough-to-admit-that-I-might-not-WANT-to-reach-for-the-stars… empowering in some weird way?
Sort of.

There’s a pressure I put on myself constantly to do better, be better, aim higher, go faster, in almost every area of my life without ever stopping to ask myself if the result of that effort is what I really want.
Is subtle self-sabotage my unconsciously-chosen method of avoidance?

So, I’ve sort-of designed a little cage for myself – and in it sits one of those hamster wheels that I get on and just go and go and go. Nowhere. 
AWESOME (eye roll). 

I can look back and see similar behavior during the course of my career, too. Still, I can get so frustrated with myself when there are moments I’m wishing I’d taken a different path. My behavior can seem so incongruent. Ultimately I’m still comfortable with the pace of growth I’ve set: Slow.

 Perhaps I’m self-sabotaging in certain areas of my life because I’m uncomfortable with the choice I’ve already made. It’s contrary to what I think I *should* do. So I make excuses for what it is that I want. It doesn’t explain away all of my behaviors that don’t make any sense (I love my snooze button.), but acknowledging it reminds me that it’s okay to know what I want and to have that without punishing myself for NOT wanting more. 

Do any of you find yourselves drowning in self-sabotage?  

Kristen is still in the middle of her love story. She and her best friend of four years gave in and finally decided to date. Two years later, she was engaged. Two years after that, she was married. She’ll celebrate her 17th wedding anniversary this May. Mom to Ellen (8) and James (5), she works full time in Human Resources outside of the home. Her children have taught her that motherhood is hard. And wonderful. And HARD. A proud alum of LSU and Johnson and Wales University, she also collects college degrees. (BS in Psychology, AS in Culinary Arts and BS in Culinary Nutrition). She’s lived in Baton Rouge a majority of her life, with sojourns in New Orleans, Charleston, SC and Providence, RI. The south is clearly home. Recovering from a nearly crippling case of adolescent insecurity, she is still the most likely to have the heel of her shoe caught in the hem of her pants.


  1. I’m pretty sure I’m a great self sabotager.. Which is funny because to the outside world I’m probably very put together. But you are definitely not alone in these thoughts and I definitely was also a do just effort to get an a girl lol


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