When you are trying to remove self-defeating behavior from your life, the first step is to know that you have a problem. I have previously explored some of the different strategies that you could apply to help you recognize whether or not you had self-defeating behavior. Once you have recognised your self-defeating behaviour, it is time to assess the extent to which your actions have had an effect on other people besides yourself. Think of it this way, your self-defeating behaviour is a tool that you are using to get something you need, an unfulfilled need. This tool at one point in time might have been successful but at some point in time it became self-defeating. So the second step in recognising this and knowing that every action that you take has consequences.
Many people, when they discover that they have a behavioural problem, shy away from examining the full extent of the damage that this behavioural problem has caused. They are afraid of what they might discover but whether they choose to look, or not, the problem will have done the same damage. Clearly, a problem exists and it needs to be resolved. Avoidance is not an effective problem solving skill, therefore, the best way to tackle the problem is to be honest and take on the challenge of eliminating the behavioral problem.