Developing Self: Childhood Wounds; The Cause of Self-Sabotage?

Blog and Show notes

By: Simone N

Do you have any sabotaging behaviors/patterns that confuse you as to its origins?

Do  childhood wounds create sabotaging feelings and behaviors?

How much of a role does unresolved pain/trauma play in it? Is it the root cause?


Continuing on with our Self journey, it is time to speak about sabotage and self abuse. This is the prelude of three part series of the topic of  self-sabotage; as there is a lot of info to cover.

It only wise to eventuate the topic Developing Self Love: Trust, Confidence and Respect, as it is only possible to truly maintain and develop a relationship until we rid ourselves of that which blocks, or obstructs it (engaging in sabotaging behaviors and that which causes it) .

So what does it mean exactly to sabotage oneself ? Well, what sabotage means in this context is to willingly or deliberately. destroy, damage something, or this case, yourself or that which pertains to you (relationships, jobs/career,progress,success, physical, or emotional self). Many times, however, I find that when we sabotage ourselves, we unconsciously or unknowingly do it; as it is something that is so  ingrained in our beliefs and thoughts of self, that it becomes automatic in our behaviors and lifestyle that it is not so noticeable. In this case, it is something of an insidious nature. As I mentioned briefly before of how it can manifest in the many facets of our life, it can be a total life destroyer, and is something to that needs to dug up from the root within ourselves. Sabotaging is something that need to be recognized, acknowledged and ultimately healed, because to persist with these patterns and behaviors wreak havoc on life; progress, accomplishing goals/dreams, stop/hinder developing self love, destroy relationships,etc. I will delve further into how these behaviors can manifest and what to do about them in the next couple articles, but for now the purpose it to clear the reasons for them.

Now I know you are wanting to know: do childhood wounds create sabotaging feelings and behaviors? This is where I believe the mystery lies. The pains and traumas have almost everything to do with what we believe, feel, and believe, how we behave, our preferences, the relationships we choose,etc. For each of us, it depends on the experiences and our own unique reaction to them, that would create a pathology or pattern of thought that reflect the trauma or pain. Abuse, I believe, on any level, has plenty to do with a variety of sabotaging/destructive behaviors; which I give a brief overview to create a clearer picture of what I am speaking of here.

Emotional(verbal) abuse come in the form of criticisms, name-calling, harsh or unwarranted judgments (ex. You’re so stupid/ugly,no good/soft/stop being so..).Many of the times these statements, accusations, were mean, and many times untrue. These things that were said where projected onto us whether consciously or unconsciously, by those who were around us. Regardless of how it happened, it created a emotion response; a painful wound. Words hurt. Those specific things that we were indoctrinated with repeatedly, created a pattern, or belief in mind about self, and became internalized. Our ability to internalize is especially strong in childhood, as we are a lot more impressionable. As a child, we are a blank slate, to be written; many times what was written was the wrong things; distortion, lies, disapproval, insecurity. Sabotage begins as those internalized beliefs, consequently begin to recreate and reinforce them as we develop and engage in behaviors to “verify” what what was said to us. For example, to be told that you are “stupid”,  would have you doing things that are “stupid”, calling yourself “stupid”, avoid or reject opportunities that contrast that belief; as the ingrained thought of your stupidity create a cycle of abuse within


Physical Abuse, is to be mistreated physically, to be caused harm, or injury. Although the body is was it being targeted, the emotional self is also affected; as body, mind and soul are the different components to oneself. If you grew up in a household/family or culture where physical abuse is the norm, (and as I mentioned before that we are impressionable as children), we learned how treat and value our self by what we saw/ experience. Our derivative of sense of self, was the done to us by those around us. If we were punched, kicked, shoved, consistently, we think “My body is not something to be respected/honored/loved, if I’m being treated in this manner, therefore I will also do things to reflect this belief, and practice. This is where  addictions to physical harm oneself, as as well as others (cutting,substance abuse,neglect); to repeatedly hurt is a red flag, if something that needs to be acknowledged and healed.

Neglect/Abandonment is another form of abuse in my opinion. It can occur physically and/or emotionally. To be lacking in acknowledgement, attention, validation, forsaken, left behind/stepped over/cast aside (so to speak) by family, peers, or any other individual. Although it is especially painful coming from those we need support,attention, and love, from; friends, family, peers. All human beings have a innate need, and divine right to be seen, heard, acknowledged and loved.When we don’t get these needs met, in some form or the other, it is crushing to our self-esteem/worth. We develop this belief that “I’m not important” or “not enough”, not worthy to be seen/heard/loved/cared for. As a result,we develop a deep insecurity, and/or inferiority complex. In turn, because we were treated in this manner, we do the same to our selves. By neglecting or abandoning our emotional/physical selves/needs, obstructing our ability to speak/stand up in our own power, our truth, shine,  keeping ourselves small, etc.

How much of a role does unresolved pain/trauma play in this? A big one, in my opinion. Firstly, I say this because, any unresolved issues that needs to be acknowledged and healed will come out in some shape or form. Usually in some compulsive activity or pattern. Whatever you are doing that is unproductive, destructive, unhealthy toward yourself, is a big arrow pointing to  something that your unconscious mind wants you to notice, and deal with. Particularly if you are  doing something you don’t even like, are aware that it is unhealthy, and/or you seen someone else do it, yet you still fall into the traps of the behavior/sabotage, there is an issue unresolved.

We are getting deeper, now.

So, is it the absolute root cause of sabotage? Yes I believe it is the main reason of sabotaging behaviors, as the wounds we carry are of pain/trauma, thus leading to insecurity/inadequacy, and beliefs/feeling/ thoughts that we in turn seek to “validate” through our actions. While it is all true, I believe it goes a little deeper still. Of course, it depends on the severity and frequency of sabotaging behaviors, and the wound carried, so it may not apply to all cases. To sabotage yourself, whether unconsciously, or consciously, there must be fragments or a big chunk of self hate somewhere in the back of your mind or psyche. Do you remember what sabotage means? Why else would you be doing things to yourself to obstruct or destroy your success, happiness, progress, relationships, life? Something within you does not want or believe you deserve  to thrive, be happy, or successful. Hate, now, is different from insecurity. Insecurity is to not to be solid and sure within yourself; not knowledgeable of who you are( maybe I am not enough?), there is a form of ignorance about your true self. Hate is more of conclusion that is made about one self, that is negative (I suck, no good, I deserve to suffer, nobody likes me,what’s the point of trying,I am ugly/stupid). Insecurity can turn into hate, left unresolved, possibly compounded by more experiences that create more instability within the self.

I will delve deeper into this topic, more specifically in the way that sabotaging behaviors can manifest and what to do about them. Check out the next article:  Developing Self: Acknowledging  and Healing Emotional Sabotage.