We think we love ourselves the most, but that is just an appealing idea we want to believe. Only when we take care and nurture our hearts, bodies, and minds is when we are being our true best friend. We have been sabotaging ourselves like no one else and may not even realize it. Look around, because we are a true reflection of our environment and the people in it.

Yes, YOU! are the biggest obstacle for yourself. The villain of this movie called your life. Tony Robbins who is a renowned life coach says “Most of us have had an enemy or two, but little did you know your biggest enemies are living inside of you — and they’re called saboteurs. Saboteurs are the set of mind patterns that govern your every move. They automatically influence your beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors, and they are steering you in the wrong direction — that is, you’re sabotaging yourself.”

As much we would like to blame the circumstances or people around for our shortcomings, we play a pivotal role in cutting ourselves a bad deal. We present ourselves the greatest challenges and have the sole decision-making power to shape the past, present, and future. All of us experience situations in life which are full of disappointment, frustration, self-depreciating, heartbreak, illness, and failure, but what we learn from it, is what is extremely essential.


1) Tunnel Vision

“Small thoughts easily fit in a closed mind, big thoughts require an open one” ~Roy H Williams. Imagine if everyone had tunnel vision in this world, we would be robbed of so many great discoveries and advancements. Tunnel vision is living like a frog in the well. People with tunnel vision are resistant to change, experimenting with new ideas and exploring new boundaries. Limiting oneself is one of biggest roadblocks to exponential growth. Brainstorming, sharing different perspectives, challenging each other’s ideas, learning from various experiences, being inspired is how this world has progressed by leaps and bounds. Keeping an open mind and exploring beyond the ordinary will present more opportunities.

2) Self- Critical

It is a healthy habit to be our own critic as it helps evaluate ourselves as an individual. Although when done excessively it can be extremely damaging. Kelly McGonigal at Stanford University has found that self-criticism is far more destructive than helpful. Research that followed hundreds of people trying to meet a wide range of goals—from losing weight to pursuing academic goals and improving social relationships or job performance—the researchers found that the more people criticized themselves, the slower their progress over time, and the less likely they were to achieve their goal.

3) Taking Health for Granted

People realize the importance of good health only once they get a rude ‘wake-up’ call. Good health is a blessing and it can turn into a curse in no time. They abuse their bodies by eating unhealthy foods, bad habits, a sedentary lifestyle, and stress. This invokes a cycle of doctor visits, trying to find the cause of their illnesses, which could have easily been avoided had they taken really good care and nurtured their health from the beginning. Taking their health for granted is a choice they make every day.

4) Too Many Expectations

Sometimes people expect others to give them things that they should be working hard for. People with high expectations wait for circumstances to align or people to change their life. They always rely on others for their needs which is a recipe for huge disappointments. The more they expect, they lose control over their lives. They may always feel constantly let down, dissatisfied, lonely, betrayed and unhappy. These feelings, in turn, have a very negative impact on their mental well-being and it continues to be a vicious cycle.

5) Bad-Listening Skills

We know that annoying moment, when we shared something important, only to realize the other person was barely listening? We all have frustrating moments with bad listeners, where we never feel heard or understood. This serves as a big barrier in relationships as communicating effectively becomes a challenge. In one survey, a group of adults were asked which communication skills were most important in family and social settings, listening was ranked first. It is extremely important for bad listeners to make a conscious effort to listen and give others a chance to express without interrupting them so that they can understand them better, know how they feel and respond effectively.

6) Suffer from Lack of Self Esteem

Low self-esteem can make people do things which are very damaging to their wellbeing. They may start tolerating behaviors that are toxic, attract people who are a bad influence, start believing they are not worthy of more and constantly belittle themselves. Research has shown key differences between individuals with high and low self-esteem. For example, people with high self-esteem focus on growth and improvement, whereas people with low self-esteem focus on not making mistakes in life.

7) Easily Give Up

Quitters give up when situations get tough and are easily dejected when things are not in their favor. Their effort never matches their goal. All successful people in this world have one thing in common and that is they never stopped trying. They took failure in their stride, learned from it and started all over again.

8) Egoistic

Egoistic people are usually very self-absorbed and have an inflated sense of self. They believe they know it all and always wants to be the center of attraction. Some of their characteristics are being unreceptive to feedback, arrogance, not admitting to their mistakes, revengeful, unforgiving and selfish. Being delusional towards themselves hinders their growth and keeps people at bay due to their high-handed nature.

To stop being a Saboteur -self-reflect, develop a seeking attitude and take feedback from loved ones as these are the most effective tools for self-development. Become your best friend by first trying to understand yourself better. Focus on honing yourself into an emotionally, mentally and physically healthy individual and keep your enemies at bay!

Chin Up,

Keep Smiling,



****The discovery of the saboteurs and the sage comes from the extensive psychology and neuroscience research of Shirzad Chamine. He is a professor at both Yale and Stanford university business schools, and author of New York Times best-selling book, Positive Intelligence. **

Originally published at thehappinessvault.com


  • Anu Ramamurthy

    Learning, Living and Loving ❤ Absolutely love Dogs! Follow me on Instagram- @anu.ramm