“You will look like a fool.”
“You’re not experienced enough for that job.”
“It’s too much work.”
“I’ll start it after the new year.”
“I don’t know how I can fit it into my busy schedule.”
Have you ever heard an inner voice telling you these things, or something like, it when you are thinking about trying something new, whether it be a job, a new endeavor, a new hairstyle, an exercise regimen, etc., etc., ad nauseum?
If you have, then allow me to introduce you to your Saboteur. Your Saboteur is that inner voice that rises up whenever you try to step forward to make a change in your life, be it a big change or a small one. Some of us are so familiar and used to our Saboteur, that we don’t even recognize it, and sometimes we even think it’s our “intuition” protecting us from getting hurt. It’s not protecting you, it’s preventing you from achieving your dreams or moving your life forward in a positive way.
Your Saboteur is not your friend, and it is a very powerful force within you. Another way of looking at the Saboteur is to think of it as homeostasis – the tendency to maintain the system or status quo. Homeostasis is a strong, universal force and any attempt to make changes in your life will certainly put a wrench in the well-oiled machine that is homeostasis.
We all have self-sabotaging inner voices that hold us back. Preserving the status quo is part of the Saboteur’s job. Is it any wonder that when you decide to move your life forward in a positive way, your Saboteur is awakened like a sleeping giant? The bigger the dream, the louder the voice of the Saboteur becomes.
The Saboteur has many reasons ready for why your plan to move forward in a positive way is a stupid, dangerous, hopeless, unattainable, difficult, ridiculous or ill-advised course of action for you. The Saboteur is really good at taking a small piece of the truth and stretching, twisting and distorting that truth until you have a very powerful argument against continuing on the path of transformation.
The first step in conquering your Saboteur is to recognize it. Hear it when it speaks to you. Acknowledge it, but don’t give into it. The Saboteur creates dissonance in your life. Your Saboteur is not your friend. Don’t give it the energy it needs to sabotage you, but recognize it when it rears its ugly head. Recognizing your Saboteur is the first and best step to being able to move forward and improve your life.
Gina Zappariello-Illescas is a professional coach at Pathfinder Professional Coaching.