Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Women's Health

Font Size

Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?

WebMD Feature from "Good Housekeeping" Magazine

By Hallie Levine Sklar

Good Housekeeping Magazine Logo Maybe The Reason You’re Not Reaching Your Goals Is…You. How To Know, And Simple Ways To Stop Sabotaging Yourself

Last week, I hit the supermarket and loaded up on all my favorite junk foods: Krispy Kreme donuts, frozen pizza, and Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey ice cream. It's not for me—it's for my husband, I rationalized, as I pushed the cart up and down the aisles. Never mind that my husband was going on a business trip the next day, or that I work from home and am prone to mid-afternoon snacking. Oh, and did I mention that I'm on a diet?

I spent that hour of shopping in complete denial. Experts would argue that my actions are a clear sign of self-sabotage, preventing me from achieving the much-desired goal of fitting into my skinny jeans. "Everyone knows someone who does it—the coworker who whines about not getting a promotion when she's chronically late, or the woman who complains she's not getting enough attention from her husband even though she's constantly sniping at him," says Carol Kauffman, Ph.D., assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. "These people are forever working toward some goal that seems elusive. In fact, their own actions are sabotaging them—they've become their own worst enemy."

While it may seem obvious to everyone else, the person engaging in this kind of behavior is usually clueless. "Most of the time, we don't even realize it," says Jay Jackman, M.D., a psychiatrist and career consultant in Palo Alto, CA. "We unconsciously respond to stressful situations in ways that hurt us." A study published by Dr. Jackman and his wife, Stanford economist Myra Strober, Ph.D., in the Harvard Business Review found that people tend to sabotage themselves in five major ways: denial, brooding, jealousy, fear of feedback, and procrastination. Sound familiar? Read on.


This means that "you're unwilling to face reality, whether you just blew your diet by eating 1,000 extra calories or your family's monthly budget by spending $500 on clothes," explains Pauline Wallin, Ph.D., a psychologist in Camp Hill, PA.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Today on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Test your knowledge.
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
birth control pills
Learn about your options.
Is it menopause or something else?
woman in bathtub
bp app on smartwatch and phone
estrogen gene

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Blood pressure check
hot water bottle on stomach
Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror