Once you have control over your mind, anything you want is possible.”– Unknown
As much as you’d love your mind to be your best friend, you may find that it sometimes isn’t.
Not when it’s repeating nagging, worrying thoughts at 3 in the morning.
Not when it’s imposing impossibly high standards that cause you frustration.
And not when it’s compelling you to say “yes” (when you really want to say “no”) just to avoid having difficult conversations.
So, why do our minds not act in our best interest?
Well, it has to do with “Saboteurs” — the automatic mind patterns developed early in childhood to survive perceived physical and emotional threats.
For example, the Hyper-Vigilant Saboteur (which creates constant anxiety about possible dangers) was likely born out of childhood experiences that made life appear threatening or unreliable or where the primary source of safety and security (a parent/guardian) was unpredictable and unreliable.
As we grow into adults, we no longer need these Saboteurs, yet they remain in our minds undetected, often sabotaging our efforts.
Of the TEN Saboteurs (as proposed by Shirzad Chamine in his book “Positive Intelligence”), the ones we end up with are determined by our personality, the way we were raised, and outside circumstances.
Here is a breakdown of the Saboteurs to help you identify which ones occupy your mind:
1. The Judge
Now, the Judge is the master Saboteur we ALL have.
It generates feelings of stress, anxiety, frustration, disappointment, regret, and guilt by making you judge yourself, others, situations, or outcomes.
That voice that keeps badgering you about a mistake you made? It belongs to the Judge.
The judge typically works with at least one accomplice Saboteur (any of the remaining 9 Saboteurs).
2. The Stickler
The Stickler takes its need for perfection, order, and organization too far, causing you and others around you to feel anxious and frustrated.
Because it often compels you to take extra measures that aren’t necessary, it drains your energy and that of others.
3. The Pleaser
The Pleaser urges you to help, rescue, flatter, and please others as a strategy to win acceptance and affection.
It often makes you place others’ needs ahead of your own, resulting in them becoming overly dependent on you, and you feeling resentful toward them.
4. The Hyper-Achiever
The Hyper-Achiever makes you believe that self-acceptance and self-validation are dependent on achievement.
It compels you to focus on external success and validation which often leads to unhealthy workaholic tendencies and neglect of deeper emotional and relationship needs.
5. The Victim
The Victim encourages you to feel emotional and temperamental so as to gain attention and affection from others. It does this by focusing on painful emotions.
As a result, you end up wasting mental and emotional energy, and others around you feel helpless and guilty over not being able to keep you happy for long.
6. The Hyper-Rational
The Hyper-Rational wants you to focus on processing everything rationally, which makes you perceive emotions as being unworthy of much consideration.
This Saboteur can make you come off as intellectually arrogant, aloof, and cold – especially when you end up intimidating less analytically-focused people and disregarding others’ emotions.
7. The Hyper-Vigilant
The Hyper-Vigilant causes you to feel intense, continuous anxiety about possible danger and all the things that could go wrong.
Because it makes you constantly vigilant, perceiving the “dangers” around you to be larger than they are, it can wear both you and others down.
8. The Restless
Always looking for greater excitement, the Restless doesn’t allow you to feel much fulfilment with the current activity you are engaged in.
Under its influence, you busy yourself with one distraction after another and lose focus on the important things.
9. The Controller
Driven by an intense need to take control of situations, The Controller invokes anxiety and impatience in you when it isn’t possible.
It prevents others from exercising and growing their capabilities, causing them to feel resentful toward you.
10. The Avoider
Focusing solely on the positive and pleasant, the Avoider makes you stay away from difficult or unpleasant tasks and conflicts.
As a result, you fall into patterns of procrastination and conflict avoidance, which causes delays in getting things done and sudden eruptions of suppressed anger.
So, which Saboteurs do you think you have?
And how often do they get in the way of your best interests? We all are subconsciously controlled by our saboteurs. But is does not have to be that way.
I offer help in the way of programs or consultations to help you manage and overcome your saboteurs. You are the main creative force of your life, not the saboteurs. Don’t you think it’s time to claim that?
Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a WhatsApp message if you would like my help in identifying your top Saboteurs and their origins.
Let’s unveil these Saboteurs and weaken their power so that you can tap into your full potential and shine like the star you were born to be.
From my heart to yours,