How To Stop Self Sabotaging Thoughts

Self sabotage means you take action that leads to a result that you don’t want.

For example, let’s say you want to get married.

Self sabotage looks like you “taking a break” from dating because it’s really hard.

Self sabotage doesn’t mean you’re engaging in destructive behaviors, necessarily.

Self sabotaging thoughts can sound innocent enough. But what happens is this behavior leads you down a path you didn’t intend. It leads you in the opposite direction that you want.

Self sabotaging thoughts move you away from your deepest desires.

This applies to anything in your life, too. You can self sabotage your goals, your marriage, your money, etc.

And the truth is—it’s not your fault.

It’s not like you’re going around thinking, “I’m going to self sabotage today!” Far from it.

Instead, it sounds innocent and responsible, like “I’m going to take a break.” That is your brain tricking you. Your primitive brain doesn’t like to do hard things. It thinks you’re going to die. It would much rather you feel comfortable.

Most people just don’t understand what self sabotage is. They think it’s intentional. What I’ve found with my clients is that on the surface, it’s the opposite.

Here’s the problem: your extraordinary life is on the other side of uncomfortable.

To create that life you want, that’s more amazing than you’ve given yourself permission to believe, you must first get a handle on your self sabotaging thoughts. Here’s how…

How To Stop Self Sabotaging Thoughts

While there are many ways to stop self sabotaging thoughts, I’ve come up with a list of five that will serve you best.

Here are my top five tips to help you stop self sabotaging with your thoughts…

Tip #1: Become Aware Of Your Thinking Patterns

Breaking the cycle of self sabotaging thoughts starts with awareness.

To really find out what you’re thinking that could be leading to you self sabotaging, answer these questions…

  • What are you thinking?
  • Is what you’re thinking true?
  • What if the opposite were true?
  • How does that thought feel?

If you do this exercise as a daily practice, you’ll exponentially increase your awareness (specifically that your thoughts create your results) and stop self sabotaging.

You have a critical voice in your head that’s talking to you all the time. It’s your thoughts. You are not your thoughts. With this exercise, you’ll see you can choose your thoughts. You will gain insight, perspective, and understanding about your thoughts and that choice is what takes you from sabotaging to winning. Choices are the decisions and actions you take.


Tip #2: Get A Handle On Your Stress

Stress is one of those sneaky emotions that will lead to self sabotaging if you’re not careful.

You may think your stress is a problem and avoid it at all costs. But that’s not true.

Stress is only a problem if you think it’s a problem.

Instead of pushing stress away and avoiding it, you can welcome stress, befriend it like any other emotion, and process it through.

When you do it this way (processing stress instead of avoiding it), you won’t engage in self sabotaging behavior (because when something is hard and you feel stress, you won’t make that mean slow down, take a break, or quit).


Tip #3: Learn To Love Incremental Improvements

Learning to love incremental improvements will help you stop self sabotaging.

Even if it’s the old “two steps forward, one step back” (where you’re failing forward), you’re far better off.

This means you don’t need to know all the steps required in achieving your goals. Instead, you just need to know one step forward that you can try.

This means you truly learn to love the journey. You’re not in a rush to achieve because you know it’s not “better” over there. You get to be happy here and there. Goal setting is for fun. To increase your capacity to live an amazing life. But you’re not a better person for having done it.

Tip #4: Schedule Time To Reflect

Scheduling time to reflect is an excellent way to stop your self sabotaging tendencies.

I prefer to take time in the morning (even if just for five to 10 minutes) to coach myself. Starting your day with the right mindset makes the rest of the day so much better. (More on that in my How To Start The Day With A Positive Mindset post.)

The reflection you will gain from pouring out what’s in your mind onto paper is nothing short of a life changing experience.

It’s like cleaning out a closet and putting everything into one pile in the living room before putting anything back. You get to take it all out and only keep what you want.

In the same way, if you put everything you’re thinking about one area onto paper, you “clean out the closet.” Then you can reflect on that information (separating out the thoughts and from the facts, as we do in coaching), and ultimately decide on purpose what stays and what goes.

Only through self reflection will you gain the perspective you need to create an extraordinary future. Without this, you’ll repeat more of your past.


Tip #5: Intentionally Choose How You Think About Yourself

The truth is that if you spent one day with the little voice (errr roommate) inside your head, you would never want to see her again.

That’s because that voice in your head is a visitor who never leaves and is quite harsh (at best) and downright horrible (at worst).

You may think that voice in your head is just a monologue of the truth, but that’s not true at all. That voice is simply your unmanaged mind that doesn’t have the best intentions for you, although means well.

So, when she tells you “you should be further along” or “you really need to lose some weight,” she means well, but she’s actually creating harmful stories for you.

To stop this roommate from self sabotaging, you can decide exactly what you want to think about yourself.

You can direct your roommate to think different thoughts. You can also watch her go on rants without making them mean anything.

Answer this question: how do you want to think about yourself?

You can think whatever you want about you. There’s so much beauty and power in that.

Here are some feel-good thoughts to borrow…

  • It’s not your job to like me; it’s mine.
  • I love me anyway.
  • I’m a good friend.
  • I’m doing my best.
  • I’m intelligent.
  • I’m failing forward.
  • I’m so much stronger than I think.
  • This is all happening in my favor.
  • This is a gift, even though it doesn’t feel like it right now.
  • I’m beautiful.
  • I make the best coffee.

Big or small, you get to decide what to think about you. And when you do this on purpose, you’ll get out of self sabotaging and into creating your future.


Positive Affirmations For Self Esteem

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I am not a fan of positive affirmations in the traditional sense.

If you repeat sentences that you don’t believe, your brain knows this, and will actually guide you in strengthening the opposite thought.

For example, if you go around repeating “money is easy” and you don’t believe that one bit, your brain is smart enough to know that and it will practice the opposite thought, “money is hard.”

BUT there’s a caveat.

Affirmations work if you believe them.

So, like I do with my of my students in Grow You, I want to offer you “thoughts to borrow” as I like to call them. Try on the thoughts that you like. Make sure they feel good. If they don’t feel good and you can’t imagine believing them (even though you wish you did), forget them.

Below is a list of “positive affirmations” to improve your self-esteem and combat self sabotaging thoughts.

  1. Small changes right now lead to long term benefits later.
  2. My life is always happening for me.
  3. I give myself permission to feel good right now.
  4. The sabotaging habit I’m in is just that—a habit. And like any habit, I can change it.
  5. Who better than me?
  6. I love my body.
  7. Life is so much fun.
  8. It’s all rigged in my favor.
  9. I can create an overflow of money.
  10. I am open to receiving my desires.
  11. My capacity to have is so great.
  12. Discipline is self love.
  13. I decide what I do and don’t deserve.
  14. Impossible is temporary.
  15. The measure of my growth isn’t how easy my life is; it’s how easy I am on myself when life is hard.
  16. I’m deeply loved.
  17. I love giving.
  18. I’m proud of me.
  19. I love all of me—the good and the bad.
  20. I have my own back.


A Final Note!

Taking your personal development to the next level means not judging yourself when you find self sabotaging thoughts.

You don’t realize this at first. You may think, “UGH. Another one.” You may be hard on yourself.

But what’s really magical is when you approach your mind with openness and curiosity. When you say, “Hmm, I wonder why my brain thinks it’s a good idea to think this way?”

You have your own back. You lean in. It takes a lot of intimacy with yourself to do this. To lean into the mess and love yourself through it.

Only then do you gain the necessary insight you need to live authentically and extraordinarily.

The post How To Stop Self Sabotaging Thoughts appeared first on Natalie Bacon.

Active vs. Passive vs. Portfolio Income: What’s the Difference?

If you’re not quite sure of the difference between active, passive, and portfolio income, this article is for you.

It’ll help you understand what makes each one distinct and provide insight into which income source or sources to target.

Active, Passive, & Portfolio Income Explained

The main distinctions between these income types are how you earn your money and how those earnings are taxed.

Active Income aka Earned Income

When you perform a service for payment in the form of salary, wages, commissions, or tips, you’re earning active income. You’re either an employee or self-employed and time quite literally equals money.

If Diane clocks in at the office from nine in the morning to five, her employers pay for her time and effort. This means that her paycheck counts as an active income. The same goes for Sandy, the realtor, Stacy, the food service worker, and Michelle, the bank manager.

They all actively work for a profit, paid as a direct return on their performance of job responsibilities. 

Regular compensation is one nice perk of active income. You might also be rewarded for your work efforts with a benefits package to go along with it.

The downside is that these kinds of occupations may leave people feeling burned out and stuck with limits of earning only as much as you can by exchanging time for money. 

Passive Income

When you collect income from a business venture in which you’re not actively involved, you’re passively earning income.

You can also earn money passively as rental income, interest on savings accounts and certificates of deposit, or winnings from a lottery, for example.

Passive income is money you regularly receive without performing active work. Or it can be income such as a pension or book royalties you receive sometime after active work was conducted.

Most people find earning income from passive activities appealing because it seems like less effort.

You might also be able to sell a business or investment later for a nice payout. Or you can continue collecting passive cash flow to help pay your expenses and invest it further to earn even more.

If you’re a creator or thought leader, you might consider writing and selling an income-producing asset like an e-book or online course. Yet this isn’t passive income initially. But it can eventually generate revenue that surpasses the value of your initial time investment and continue bringing in further passive earnings for years.

While passive income may call for less effort overall, its main downside is risk. And to make a substantial income, you’ll likely have to invest a lot in advance. 

That can mean a large financial investment, a time investment when you’re willing to do some unpaid work upfront for a chance at passive income later, or some combination of both.

An online course may require minimal cash to set up, but you’ll likely spend considerable time preparing and organizing the content, marketing the course, and providing customer service.

Another example is buying rental income properties. It can be mostly passive for one investor who hires a property manager and predominantly active for another who manages the rentals herself.

Portfolio Income

When you invest for your retirement or other long-term goals, you might consider purchasing stocks or other investments that don’t require you to actively perform work to earn money. 

Any dividends, interest, or capital gains you earn from these investments are considered portfolio or investment income. While investment income is often considered passive income, there may be a difference in how they’re taxed.

Portfolio income is not subject to Medicare or social security taxes, and portfolio losses can offset capital gains.

Which to Focus on: Active, Passive, or Portfolio Income?

Depending on your lifestyle, you might either prefer the security of active income or the freedom passive income earning seems to provide.

But regardless of your preferences, one might be more realistic for you than the other right now. 

For example, Stacy might marvel at the idea of leaving her current job in pursuit of passive income. She’d be able to spend more time with her family and enjoy more of life.

However, she hasn’t saved a penny of her paychecks in the five years she’s been employed. She has no financial capital to invest, and she doesn’t have the time nor expertise to create a profitable asset to sell

Her active income job is more realistic right now, but that doesn’t mean she’s stuck there.

It merely means she needs to use this as inspiration to plan her finances better, save money, and invest time in developing expertise in a profitable niche. 

That said, is it more realistic for you to focus on passive or nonpassive income? It all depends on your priorities.

Reliable Income

Do you have family or dependents to support with your income?

Do you have outstanding debt?

If so, then a reliable type of income needs to remain a priority for you.

While that may sound simple enough, it comes with a disadvantage. Your income will only flow as long as you put in the work for it. If you’re not actively working, you’re not earning.

Also, while reliable income doesn’t automatically mean you need a 9 to 5, it’s wise to make sure that any income stream you pursue is predictable and lucrative. 

A passive income could be reliable, but a lack of preparation can cause devastating financial drawbacks. Until you have enough money or time to lay the groundwork for passive income, stick with the reliable income source. 

Once you have an adequate emergency fund and at least your high-interest debt eliminated, you can consider investing your discretionary active income in creating streams of passive income.

Wealth Building

Another priority that many people value is wealth-building or the process of amassing financial capital and long-term income. 

Are there any opportunities for upward mobility on the career ladder at work? Do you see options to scale your solo business? 

If you’re a freelancer who wants to build her wealth, turn some of your efforts towards doing more than offering services. 

Some next steps to consider are:

  • Branding 
  • Selling profitable assets
  • Growing your client base
  • Outsourcing gigs
  • Starting an agency

If you don’t see a way to scale your freelance business, that’s okay! Instead, you could create an EBook or online course and use your client testimonials as social proof of your expertise. 

Initial Investment

The last factor to consider is whether you’re willing (and able) to make the initial investment. 

Are you willing to put forth a lump sum of money or time today in exchange for long-term income tomorrow, which doesn’t come with a guarantee?

Be sure you have a solid financial foundation established before investing money.

Do you have more time than money to invest right now? 

Just remember, while a time investment might be all you need to kick things off, you’re not making any less of a commitment than someone who invests money. 

Earning an income from books or courses comparable to income generated from investing in real estate rentals for passive income could take months (maybe years) of work upfront.

How Forms of Income are Taxed

An important component in choosing between income approaches is taxing methods. You’ll be taxed differently, contingent on your source of income.

Active Income

As mentioned earlier, any income you earn through services or material participation in a company or business is considered active.

For clarification, here are the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS’s) definitions for material participation: 

  • You work 500 or more hours per year for a business 
  • You do the majority of the work for a business
  • You work more than 100 hours per year for a business, and no staff works more hours than you

Note that although selling digital assets online might be considered a passive income stream (which can be lucrative), it’s technically a service your business provides, and therefore ordinary income. 

With active income, your taxable income is either from being an employee or a self-employed individual.


Employees, or people who are material participants of someone else’s business pay income taxes plus the employee half of Social Security and Medicare employment taxes.

You’re probably already familiar with income tax rates, but the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act shifted them, so make sure that you’re still in the bracket you think you are. 

RateSingleMarried-JointHead of
10%$0 – $9,875$0 – $19,750$0 – $14,100
12%$9,876 – $40,125$19,751 – $80,250$14,101 – $53,700
22%$40,126 – $85,525$80,251 – $171,050$53,701 – $85,500
24%$85,526 – $163,300$171,051 – $326,600$85,501 – 163,300
32%$163,301 – $207,350$326,601 – $414,700$163,301 – $207,350
35%$207,351 – $518,400$414,701 – $622,050$207,351 – $518,400
37%More than $518,400More than $622,050More than $518,400
2020 Income Tax Brackets (for 2021 Filing)


On the other hand, self-employed individuals — people who earn income through independent ventures like freelancing — face self-employment taxes on top of their income tax. 

In short, the self-employment tax is the sum of Social Security (12.4%) and Medicare (2.9%). Instead of your employer paying a portion, you pay all the tax yourself.

This particular tax only affects your net earnings or profits. Like any other business, you can write off most expenses involved in providing the services that earn your income.

In contrast, earning income without material participation is considered a passive activity by the IRS. Some examples include:

  • Property investments
  • Dividend stocks
  • Limited partnerships

This income is taxed by category — short term or long term. 

Short term investments are assets you’ve only held onto for a year or less. “Capital gains” refer to the profits you earn from selling an investment or property, and they are taxed at the same rates as income tax. 

Long term investments, on the other hand, refer to assets you keep for over a year. There are only three income bracket rates: 0%, 15%, and 20%. 

If you file “single” and report less than a $39,375 profit from long-term investments, you’ll pay $0 in taxes that year.

Now, this can change, as policies often change with the administration. But it’s clear that holding onto your investments for a longer period of time can usually be better from a tax perspective.

Finding The Right Balance 

Is it possible to have lucrative active and passive income streams? What does it look like to have both? 

90% active income 

Almost all of your gross income comes from an active role in a business or company.

Despite offering financial security, this regular income arrangement can feel constricting, as you have very little power over your financial growth and future.

60% active income 

The major percentage of earnings is from a full-time job or self-employment based. But with some passive activities, you’re getting a taste of freedom from the additional stream(s) of income.

50/50 active and passive income 

Your upfront investments are beginning to pay off, and the excitement is setting in.

You receive half of your income through a reliable source, such as your part-time corporate job position. You’ve also invested in a couple of rental properties using property management and receive significant cash flow from renters every month.

This is the sweet spot for anyone working on building wealth and supporting a family. There’s income you can depend on, and you’re building equity in those properties for financial freedom.

90% passive income 

Once you’re here, the active form of income is essentially a fun hobby. You pay bills with income from dividends and other passive investments and activities.

You’re excited to go to work 10% of the time and do what you want the other 90%.

However, this is also where your income is least reliable. Your financial survival almost entirely hinges on investments, which can either pay off or…not.

The key is to figure out where you feel most comfortable financially and go from there.

Article written by Lyric

Active vs. Passive vs. Portfolio Income: What’s the Difference? as published on Women who Money