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It’s Not Your Fault: Set Boundaries and Put a Stop to Self-Sabotage
October 29, 2023

Coping habits in early childhood often become self-defeating strategies in adulthood, says trauma-informed coach Laura K. Connell, whose own upbringing in a dysfunctional family led to self-destructive habits in her adult life. She turned to traditional therapies such as behavior modification and thought control, but found that any changes were only temporary.

“It didn’t create a change in me or a transformation. It just sort of worked as long as I was policing myself, and then I would just fall back into the old patterns,” Connell said in a recent interview. “If I wasn’t acting perfectly and following all these instructions on how to behave, I would just go back to being myself because myself hadn’t changed — it was just the behavior that changed.”

So Connell took matters into her own hands. She spent 12 years studying the dynamics of dysfunctional families, and she learned that her habits of self-sabotage were her inner child’s way of keeping her safe — a misguided form of self-protection that prevents far too many people just like her from living their lives to the fullest potential.

In her new book, It’s Not Your Fault: The Subconscious Reasons We Self-Sabotage and How to Stop, Connell helps readers uncover the subconscious reasons they hold themselves back and explains that these blind spots were often created in childhood as coping mechanisms in response to trauma. But rather than teach tactics that ignore or give surface attention to adverse childhood events, Connell lovingly guides readers toward a deeper understanding of the ways in which these negative childhood experiences have impacted their lives and fed into the problem.

“Those who have been let down by traditional therapeutic techniques know that behavior modification doesn’t work for everyone,” she said. “Simply doing things differently while staying the same on the inside might help in the short term, but before long, old patterns emerge.”

Throughout her book, Connell walks alongside the reader as a trusted guide who has been where they are now. She provides the tools and anecdotal evidence to show readers how to overcome the pain of self-sabotage and create the lives they desire.

“We are sometimes our own worst enemies, sabotaging our success and with it our chance for lasting happiness,” she added. “Readers will be relieved to discover that it's not a lack of willpower that has held them back, but a lack of self-knowledge instead.”

Laura K. Connell is a trauma-informed author and coach who helps her clients uncover blind spots that lead to relationship struggles and self-sabotage. She writes about healing dysfunctional family dynamics at her website.

Her guest articles have further reached millions through personal development websites Life Hack, Pick the Brain, Dumb Little Man, Thought Catalog, Highly Sensitive Refuge, the anthology Chicken Soup for the Soul, and national newspapers The Globe and Mail and Toronto Star. She hosts popular multi-speaker online retreats that have helped thousands heal from dysfunctional family trauma. She has been featured on podcasts such as The Love Fix, Adult Child and A Date with Darkness.

To learn more, visit or follow the author on Instagram (@laurak.connell) or Twitter (@laurakconnell).

This article is part of our "Life Matters" series. If you would like to submit an article for possible inclusion in this series, please email it to

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