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Today's Takeaway with Florine Mark

Nov 6, 2023

With Lisa Lapides Sawicki, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker


We frequently hear the term “self-sabotage” but what does it mean? What is self-sabotage and how can it harm us? When we act, consciously or unconsciously, in a way that prevents us from achieving a long-desired goal, that is self-sabotage. Common examples of sabotaging behaviors might take the form of missing an important deadline at work, eating a tub of ice cream while on a diet to lose weight, self-medicating with drugs or alcohol, or abruptly ending a happy relationship, simply out of a fear of being hurt. In each of these examples, the person who self-sabotages does so out of an abundance of fear that they will ultimately fail. As a result, they quit before they can be seen as a failure by others. But quitting on their own initiative feels like the safer option because it gives them the control.


What causes us to self-sabotage? We all have unresolved issues. For example, if a person has a history of low self-esteem, a difficult childhood, or an emotionally abusive relationship, these are just a few of the issues that can lead to self-sabotaging behaviors. If you haven’t dealt with your personal demons and believe you’re not deserving or worthy of success, you may find yourself creating barriers that prevent it.


A person can spend their entire life being unwilling to “put themselves out there” because of their fear of failure. But the good news is that we can learn how to overcome our self-destructive tendencies. If you want to learn how to recognize this pattern, you’ll want to listen to Florine’s interview with Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker, Lisa Lapides Sawicki. Lisa’s workshops help uncover how our thoughts, feelings, and actions direct our lives and more importantly, how we can learn to change our behavior and overcome these destructive impulses.


Please note: This episode was recorded prior to Florine’s death in October of 2023.


What You’ll Hear in This Episode:

  • Why do we self-sabotage?

  • What are some common ways that people sabotage themselves?

  • Examples of negative self-beliefs and habits that keep people stuck or sabotaging their dreams to stay safe.

  • Can self-sabotage be related to addiction?

  • People may respond negatively or in unkind ways when you set boundaries and stop self-sabotaging.

  • Is self-sabotage always connected to achieving a goal?

  • What does Lisa mean by the “monkey mind”?

  • How can we break through self-sabotage in a positive way?

  • How to deal with people who are jealous or insecure about your success or who try to sabotage your dreams.

  • How our background and childhood could affect how we think and talk to ourselves about what’s possible.

  • Why people sabotage themselves in romantic relationships.

  • What is cognitive dissonance?

  • How do we learn to stop sabotage?


Today’s Takeaway:

A fear of commitment, low self-esteem, or feeling that we don’t deserve to be happy or successful in life are just some of the reasons why we deliberately sabotage ourselves. If you’re always missing out on that dream job or if that happy long-term relationship is just out of reach, maybe it’s time to ask yourself if you are the obstacle. Are you getting in the way of achieving your hopes and dreams? There is nothing shameful in admitting we might be sabotaging ourselves. You may need help in overcoming those behaviors but think of it as an opportunity to learn and grow so you can finally be happy to live the life you desire.


Stop procrastinating. The future you dream of starts now! Set a realistic and attainable goal for yourself and go after it. Put together a “road map” outlining each of the steps along your journey to success. Instead of taking actions that undermine your progress, hold yourself accountable by sharing your progress with your support team at every stage of the journey. Celebrate every small victory and be proud of your accomplishment! If you do that consistently and enjoy each small step, you’ll be well on your way to realizing your dreams. Remember that every day is a gift and the gift we get from changing our behavior to ensure we accomplish our goals is a gift that will keep on giving. You too can realize your dreams and build the life you always dreamed of for yourself. I’m Florine Mark, and that’s “Today’s Takeaway.”



  • “Self-sabotage is when we actively, passively or unconsciously think thoughts and take action (or no action) that absolutely sabotages our success, wants, goals, or desires.” — Lisa [4:45]

  • “For some people, they have really big regrets when they don’t accomplish something that they have continued to self-sabotage their whole life.” — Lisa [5:51]

  • “I think overwhelmingness can be self-sabotage. Pressure, not focusing, being too embarrassed to share with people some of their goals.” — Lisa [7:15] 

  • “A lot of people have a fear of success, and they absolutely sabotage their opportunities when they come up.” — Lisa [7:26] 

  • “If you make your custom design plan, it doesn't have to be anybody else's plan. It's your plan.” — Lisa [8:12] 

  • “I think it’s about boundary setting with other people when you want to go through a desired goal or new behavior.” — Lisa [10:06] 

  • “There’s a lot of ways besides our goals that we self-sabotage. It’s like that monkey mind that comes.” — Lisa [11:20] 

  • “You only have one day. It’s today.” — Florine [14:03] 

  • “It’s a realistic self-awareness and a realistic response to what’s happening. It’s not just asking for a pie-in-the-sky result, but really saying, ‘I can positively handle whatever happens.’” — Lisa [14:11] 

  • “It’s not about the outside world. It’s about working with who you are and doing the big things you want to do, and not letting anyone stop how far you want to go.” — Lisa [14:33]

  • “It takes a really strong person to not fall prey to the criticisms and the judgments of other people.” — Lisa [16:43]

  • “It's been fairly recent, but it's been a process of self-evolving and self-awareness and self-coaching.” — Lisa [19:54]

  • “We are going to be imperfect and we need to accept that.” — Lisa [31:33] 


Brought to You By:

Gardner White Furniture


Mentioned in This Episode:

Lisa Lapides Sawicki

Self Coach Now Website

IG: @mycoachlisa