By Susan Anderson © Dec 7 2011, posted May 1 2012


Do you sabotage your relationships?  Your long range goals?  Your diet?  There are myriad ways we all abandon ourselves, forsaking our true needs and goals on a daily basis.  Many of our (Outer Child’s) self-defeating patterns are aimed at our love-lives; others at our careers or life styles.  


Self sabotage has everything to do with self abandonment.  


Self abandonment is what happens when you love yourself ONLY ENOUGH to give yourself immediate gratifications, but NOT ENOUGH to postpone those gratifications and give yourself what you really want.  So you fall into old habits and let your Outer Child run your life: 

  • You grab for the second piece of cake rather than delay that gratification to achieve your true goal of becoming trim and fit.   
  • You overreact with insecurity or rage toward your lover rather than postpone that impulse and remain open to a healthy, adult exchange of feelings.   
  • You run up your credit card, numb out in front of the TV, or avoid career goals.  


When you hold yourself in high enough regard, your Adult Self is empowered to take charge and lovingly shepherd you outside of your comfort zone where you take forward reaching actions that are good for you in the long run, rather than indulge in avoidance, procrastination, and other short term fixes.   As a self-loving adult you

  • remain self possessed in your love-relationships even when things heat up inside
  • stick to your diet even when tempted
  • make that awkward phone call to open up a career opportunity even though the easy road would have been to procrastinate and justify it with excuses like fatigue, unfairness, or too much competition.  


Look how many millions of people love themselves ONLY ENOUGH to take the easy road:  Eat now, diet tomorrow; spend now, pay tomorrow; cling now, cry tomorrow.  


When you practice unconditional self love, you forgo your complacency at work, your sweet tooth at mealtime, and your temper in relationships.  Instead, you build steadily toward all of your long range goals.  


Hot to reverse self abandonment?  Well, it doesn’t happen by osmosis or by reading about it, although your Outer Child will try to con you into holding out for the magic bullet.  No, you must get on the program to resolve your ambivalence toward yourself and take actions that inculcate unconditional self love (self esteem, self regard).   The program involves behavioral steps that function like physical therapy for the brain. You change incrementally, steadily reversing self abandonment and reaching your goals.    

Related Articles:


HOW TO STOP SABOTAGING YOUR RELATIONSHIPS  Twelve Tips for Overcoming Your Patterns

INSECURITY – IS IT HIM OR ME?  Is He (or She) Pulling Away, or am I Overreacting? 


  1. May 4, 2012 at 4:34 am

    I so need to read this in the morning again. What a great post!

    • May 8, 2012 at 9:52 pm

      I’m glad you like it. Feel free to post questions or comments after you re-read it in the morning! 🙂

  2. July 4, 2012 at 7:37 am

    I know one thing about my healing inner parts is that when I give voice to the authentic self we all work in harmony. There is less self-sabotage because my authentic self orchestrates which part is needed and how the many parts are affected by triggers, healing or even love.

    • August 17, 2012 at 11:28 pm

      Beautiful! Thank you for sharing these words.

  3. July 5, 2012 at 4:16 am


  4. October 15, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Great! I related to this!

  5. Val
    July 7, 2014 at 3:29 am

    Hello, I`m from Uruguay and I suffer from this… I`m very tired, I´m discovering this fear of abandonment and all the stuff… hope to overcome it.

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