Reply To: Does anyone else self-sabotage?

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Adults Does anyone else self-sabotage? Reply To: Does anyone else self-sabotage?


Fellow self-saboteur here! People often say that I am SO much more keen to help other people with their problems (often complex and challenging ones) and yet why do I not keep my own life in check? I think a lot of it comes from low self esteem and maybe not feeling that your own needs are important, or deserving of your effort, and a little bit of the novelty of other people’s problems probably being different to your own, and probably even a bit of the instant gratification you can get when someone thanks you for helping them. I think a way of making progress with this is to firstly give yourself a break, realise that other people’s expectations and standards do not have to be your own (although some are a bit unavoidable such as your health and finances of course), and work on finding yourself important. For me even before I found out about ADHD (only last year at 32 – this thread has made me at least s bit grateful that this is younger than many others diagnosed as adults (although I have managed to sabotage one marriage already 😂)) I had found that guided meditations from YouTube were very helpful for anxiety and depression (as I was treated for since I was 13 and to some extent still present, but a lot of the symptoms transpire as part of ADHD such as demotivation and disinterest in required tasks OR potentially because of it such as low self esteem due to seemingly constant failings at things other people find simple, and receiving criticism as such).

I believe that meditation is great for reprogramming some of your attitudes and it certainly helps to overcome anxiety and get better coping mechanisms for meltdown or hyped up overwhelmed feelings. It will never fix certain things but it can help you especially when guided, to have a word with yourself internally and work out what is really important to you. It can help to ask questions such as ‘what do you really consider to be a marker of success’… anything from visualising yourself in a graduation gown, to picturing yourself a calmer and more healthy person, who has paid their bills on time and is fit and well.

It can be hard sometimes (possibly especially for ADHD people) to get away from cliché definitions of success that look like something out of 80s stock photos, at first you can even find yourself picturing some Jerry Macguire yuppie figure with a suit on and money raining upon them, so you need to go deeper to see what YOUR definition of progress and eventual goals might be.

I’ve given up my corporate career in big businesses because you know what, it needed sabotaging, my priorities have changed. I used to earn quite a bit of money and I spent it all on just trying to survive, rarely having anything to show for it but a frazzled stressed brain, a body feeling just all round ill, and still never paying my bills on time. I’ve decided that a new goal is to just stick up for myself, do things that are truly manageable (and that includes holding off debt collectors for a while) and STOP trying to change everything all at once. I’m considering a lot of things to be experimental. I’ve taken on some temporary jobs and lost them, but it didn’t matter because I told myself I am only going to live in the short term but I am still going to do my best. I am shockingly bad at being on time and that is a problem for a 9-6 job. So I’m changing my goals having got to know myself and told myself that I deserve better than to feel like I’m failing at something that is set for me by others. I’m doing dog sitting on the side, I’m chasing up money that I never got round to claiming or asking for, and I’m looking into doing a little care work with people who have learning disabilities, because as a person with albeit mild ADHD and high empathy/intuition, it might be a job that helps me to thrive and not just get by. God knows maybe I’ll even feel like I’m happy to go to work, but that has worn off quickly in my experience and then the self sabotage thing happens usually starting with lateness and ending with anxiety and stress and feelings of failure and sickness.