The Saboteur

Why you are never good enough…

The Saboteur, the devil on your shoulder, the pain body, doubts, ‘the reality check’
Therapeutic, spiritual and religious teachings all mention this familiar voice or feeling
that finds its way in to our thoughts when we least need it.

Have you ever had a wonderful idea, something truly inspiring that had the potential
to be life changing? You began to map this idea out, investigate the possibilities and
what would be required to make it work. You became excited and energized by the
prospect of doing something meaningful to you, only to find that two days or even
two hours later you are talking yourself out of it…

Its not that any of the variables have changed or you miscalculated along the way, it’s
more like a reminder from your supposed rationale thoughts that whatever it is your
are thinking of changing, it won’t work.

This is not the work of your logical mind; this is the saboteur in you.
Saboteur - a person who deliberately destroys or obstructs something. It
comes from the French word, saboter, which really and truly means to kick
something with an old-fashioned wooden shoe.

While we all want to have more positive change and fulfilment in our lives,
subconsciously we are very much against change.
This prohibiting feeling can come in the middle of a very productive business
planning session, 3 weeks in to your change routine, or even after you achieve your
milestones with messages like ‘You will not be able to do that again’.

Acknowledging and overcoming these feelings is the single most important exercise
you will do that will have a lasting impact on how you view challenges in all areas of
your life.

Familiar examples…
Yes but I can’t do that.
That’s too much hard work
That will take too long
I will never be that successful
It won’t work for me
Maybe later

From my own experience the saboteur comes out when I am at my weakest, if I break
a diet I was set on maintaining on a night out the next day I hear “there’s no point
sticking to the diet today after last night”. These are the moments when you need to
refocus on why you are enduring a difficult time, and how good you will feel when
you get there.

The saboteur will always seek short-term comforts that stop you from changing,
whether its ‘this CV writing is hard, your current work position isn’t that bad’. Or in
the form of reinforcing unfounded negative views about your self to remove
confidence, such as; ‘that particular lifestyle would never work out for you’.

I am not suggesting that you cannot debate choices you have made, but if you find
yourself debating between short-term fun and long term happiness you maybe under
the influence of the saboteur.

What do I do when this feeling grips me?
Acknowledge the fears and doubts don’t shy away from them, and remind yourself
that this is not you.

Ask yourself how much progress, success or long term happiness do you stand to gain
by listening to the voice of doubt, and let that serve as a reminder as to why you may
have to persevere past that moment and get back to your momentum and focus.