Catching and Transforming Sneaky Habits that Silently Sabotage Creative Progress


Raise your hand if self-doubt, fear, or outdated habits sometimes sneak in to sabotage creative progress in any area of your life.


[Pauses to raise hand, and gently returns it to the keyboard.]


As entrepreneurs and creatives we all work through various layers of naggy little self-doubt buggers along our self-growth journey. We are trying to put ourselves out there, clarify our voice and vision, and “do all the right things” to build success through our passions. This combination of elements can easily spark a feeling of vulnerability and doubt, especially when we are in the process of practicing trust in our talents and ourselves.


To say we are pretty distracted by a lot of equally important things to create what we envision in our heart is an understatement. Which means the unseen habits that sabotage our creative progress can jump in, undetected, and skew our perception of everything.


Often we don’t even realize it’s happening – until the inner friction we feel gets nice and loud – which leaves us with two choices. Keep on keepin’ on, or decide to do a little digging to find the roots of the sneaky habits that silently sabotage our creative progress.


Shining a Spotlight on Sabotage Tendencies Starts With Exploring When We Say “Yes”


Deep rooted patterns aren’t easy to call out specifically because we’re unable to see them outright, and they have built strength and momentum over time. Outdated sabotage habits also creep up when we are already scared, frustrated, or feeling less than, making them challenging to single out while they are in progress.


Willingly making time and space to look at the way we feel, react, and connect with our habits is the first step towards actually noticing their unique “brand”. However, when tapping into deeper habit discovery and exploration, our initial reaction tends to be self judgment or defensiveness before self-compassion and understanding. As a result we internalize a feeling of being “bad” or “wrong” that sticks with us, and flares up each time to fall into a certain habit or thought pattern.


PRO TIP: If this sentiment rings true, it’s a big clue we’ve stumbled across one ; )


The good news? Awareness opens a door that enables us to shift into practicing a more supportive mindset and exploring new self-care tools.


Imagine this scenario – instead of saying “yes” to having the same old reaction, take a breath, sit with the sneaky sabotage habit to feel into what it means to you, and give it a name. For example, someone who tends to always think the worst as a reflex, no matter what, can name their habit “Debbie Downer Syndrome”. Now, when they start to feel low, focus on the worst case scenario, or use negative focused language consistently, the habit is much easier to spot and understand. Instead of a random collection of feelings and thoughts that are confusing, a pattern emerges.


Then comes the final part – saying “yes” to shifting a reactive habit into something healthy and supportive to build on. It starts with giving yourself permission to have healthier habits and with food, relationships, work, self care, etc., blended with forgiving yourself for all of the times you followed those old mental and emotional grooves that no longer serve you. The most important thing to remember is that we all have these tendencies, as well as the power to change them with patience and consistent practice.


There’s no “right way” to do it, so just start with acknowledgement of outdated habits, and create a clearing/forgiveness process and affirmation to move into a new, healthier practice. Use meditation, yoga, walking in nature, spending time on a hobby – anything that creates a space to disconnect from the mind and simply be in the moment. It’s in these still moments where we feel clear and confident, that we can also be kind to ourselves and see simple, powerful ways to build stronger habits that serve us instead of tearing us down from the inside out.


Treating Sneaky Sabotage Habits As Windows to Growth and Self-Acceptance


Every human has habits that can stand in the way and silently sabotage creative progress. They come in many forms, and don’t have to be related specifically to career or creativity to impact the way we create or see our potential and worthiness.


The most important part about habits is that they show us our:

  • Wounds
  • Coping mechanisms
  • Learned behaviors
  • Expectations
  • Fears
  • Self-doubts
  • Family patterns


The habits we create in reaction to these aspects, or to soothe or heal these aspects within, are normal human behaviors. We need to choose whether to let them have power over us, or decide to take a deeper look into how to shift habits and reactions that do not support the creative path we want to build moving forward. We need to say yes to honoring a new, updated version of self-supportive habits that truly support our well-being.


Interested in reading other blogs on similar topics? Check out Are you Pushing a Creative Agenda and Ignoring the Insight of the Moment or Creative Friction is the Gift you Never Knew You Wanted. Like podcasts? Check out mine, Flirting With Enlightenment. Want some support to help with habit shifts, creative pain points or to move past long-standing blocks? Connect with me for a 1-1 consult or join my Creative Mastermind Online for group coaching with other creatives and entrepreneurs from around the world.