Empowerment Inspiration Must Read NLP Subconscious Carl

9 Ways To Self-Sabotage Success

Aug 12, 2021

In our current environment, a vast majority of our population unconsciously sabotages their own success. They maintain finite ways of thinking and deploy responses that fail to create a resourceful outcome. Although commonplace, I trust you also can agree that few consciously wish to do so. It just seems to happen. Or does it?

It's good to recognize that you and I are mainly subconscious beings. We unconsciously move through life, navigated by our values and beliefs, accepted and rejected identities, our family dynamics, and even generational habits, not to mention society's expressions and more. What we encounter as our conscious interpretation is really just a fractioned representation of the inner working in the background, found in the realm of the unconscious. It is here that ensures our actions directly. align with our subconscious acceptance of how things are.

This, by the way, is good news! It means that if you find yourself in one of the nine patterns I present for you today, realize there is a very good reason for it, as everything has a purpose. Equally, take a moment to acknowledge that you can make changes, both consciously and subconsciously, if you choose, for a new approach to remove the sabotage to your success.

So I offer common forms of unconscious sabotage from my experience for you to explore below. Perhaps you can recognize one, some, or even all for yourself...and if so, what would happen when you changed it?

Believing In Failure

Simply said, and credited to the field of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), “there is no such thing as failure, only feedback.’  

All actions create a result. Some are favorable, some not, and others seem to have no result at all, and all offer an opportunity to learn. It’s said that Thomas Edison tried 10,000 times before creating the light bulb. Equally, WD-40 was the 40th attempt to make the well-known solution. The point is, they uncovered what did, and did not, produce their desired results, then made adjustments to ultimately achieve. 

When you look at results as information, with insight as to how to improve, you quickly realize that failure does not exist. So, consider asking ‘What can I learn from this?’ and allow your past experience to become the momentum for your progress.

Polarized Thinking

For many, it’s all or none, everything or nothing. “If I can’t have it all now, I don’t want it later.” With this mode of thought, things rarely take flight, since success is not so black or white.

While we are each entitled to perceive reality as we wish (generally), you’ll find that successful people welcome the process and are open to taking the time to reach their goals. They take steps, create actions, and gain knowledge to adjust and grow. Ask yourself “What would happen if I allowed myself to be part of the process?”

Solving the ‘Wrong' Problem

Many spend their efforts solving problems that fail to resolve their original issue. As an example, let’s say a person joins a health gym to get in shape. They have motivation and intention. Then, as time progresses, the momentum to be healthy fades, and the person no longer attends. In this scenario, most seem to take the step to cancel their membership, simply because they're not using it. Of course, it handles the growing concern of paying for something not in use, yet, canceling the membership does not solve the original desire to feel better. 

When navigating a decision, it's good to recall what the original desires were. Then, check into your actions and ask yourself ‘Am I solving the right problem?’

Too Many Open Loops

When a project is left unfinished, our energy can quickly deplete, as if having dozens of tabs open on your internet browser at once. Things just start to slow down and work less effectively.  

All actions allocate energy at a subconscious level. Open loops are considered those tasks not yet completed which are in your subconscious to-do list. Until completed, they tap into your energy reserves, running in the back of your mind, awaiting your attention. So, it’s good to complete as many as you can. Even the simplest tasks build your energetic reserves. Also, to re those open loops that fell outside of your conscious awareness, consider reflecting on the question “What have I forgotten that I need to remember?”

Focusing on the Process, Instead of the Result

While it’s valuable to focus on the journey and not just the destination, it’s also true that the steps to get there can feel less exciting than the result itself. Perhaps in time, you may find peace in your moments and an appreciation for each step, and until then, recalling the reason why you are taking action is a wonderful way to maintain motivation.

Contemplating a statement such as “What would it look like, sound like, and feel like when I achieve this?” can help you envision your grander desires.

Not Being Flexible

You will find that the person, or system, with the most flexibility, controls the situation. You’ll also notice that a fixed viewpoint is a sure sign to run into blockages, potentially unable to move past. 

While being steadfast in a decision is an admirable trait, it offers value when the perspective is accurate and resourceful. Recognize that your point of view is one option of multiple, and there’s a range of possibilities that exist. Maintaining the ability to challenge your own deductions can keep you constantly moving in a forward direction. For this, a great question to ponder is “How would I know if I am wrong?”

Focusing on Things Outside Your Control

When it comes to effort, action, and time spent, few people benefit from the energy placed on things outside of our control. True, all actions offer learnings, and as stated, there is no failure, only feedback, however at some point, one should grasp that which is within their control and that which is not.

If you’re barking up the wrong tree, bring your attention to what you do have control over and allow the rest to unfold naturally. Consider asking, “Are my focus and actions creating change?”

Limited Thinking

Our thoughts create our reality. They define the world, not describe it. Who we are, what we believe in, and the capabilities we possess all result from decisions, either from another's perspective or from our own choices.  

Consider how you would think differently if you had already achieved the success you desire. Step into the role of the person you would become, as if you were that person now, then make decisions from that vantage point.  

Successful people find continued success because their thinking deems it so. When you think small, you remain small. So, perhaps it’s time to ask yourself 'What else is possible?’


Failure or hesitation to decide breeds a lack of movement, a slowing of momentum, and a lack of results. Sure, there is time to analyze, time to plan, and too, there is time to act.  

Realize it is often better to make a decision and correct the course as needed than overly consider the possibilities and lose the wind in your sails. Albert Einstein was documented saying “life is like a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving.” How true it is in life and all the decisions we are faced with along the way.


So there you have it. Nine of the more common ways one can sabotage their success. Of course, there are others, and hopefully, you’ve not come across them. Or, if you have, you have equally found your way through it. 

Remember, each pattern is easily dealt with. When you understand the inner workings of the subconscious, along with the reasons why your choices are such unconsciously, well then, you have the exciting ability to transcend hiccups and take action to reach your finish line.

I believe in you,


About Carl Schirtzer

An internationally board-certified trainer and acclaimed master practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), Carl is a master hypnotherapist, accredited astropsychologist, and celebrated transformational coach, who commands a diverse range of modalities that Awakn™ the human spirit.  

With a passion to unlock personal potential, he works in the sphere of the unconscious, utilizing astrological axioms, universal laws, and the language of the subconscious mind, to release original wounds and Ignite Your Inner Spark™.

Through enlightening perspectives, paralleled with powerful tools and techniques, Carl advises on how to purposefully influence interactions, past experiences, and future aspirations, while sharing a behind-the-scenes look into the secret principles to master your own life story.