Discover how you self-sabotage

Self-sabotage is so common in life. As if life not bringing us enough problems, sometimes we make it more difficult by creating our own.

Our mind can take the role of our strongest ally but also our worst saboteur. It can push us forward or it can pull us back. Saboteurs come disguised as friends, each telling us a lie. As long as we do not discover them they act uncontrollably and undermine us.

Let’s have a look at the most common cases of self-sabotage.

Main saboteur

1.    Judge 🛎

The Judge is the leader of all saboteurs. We have all experienced its effect in one way or another. He makes us continuously find mistakes in ourselves, in others and in every situation. He creates the biggest proportion of our anger, frustration, disappointment, shame and guilt.

Often he is disguised as someone who is supposed to love us, without whom we would be lazy and could not achieve much in our lives.

Accomplice saboteurs

2.    Controller 🔎

The Controller is determined to control everything, from weather to the reactions and behaviour of others. When it comes to control, he has a black and white vision: you either have it or not! He cannot see the average situation or any shades of control in a given situation. His lie is that he can help us extract the best from the others.

Although his tactics often bring some short term results, long-term it creates bitterness to people around us and discourage them to give the best they have.

3.    Stickler 📐

The stickler raises the bar for order and organisation at very high levels! He makes you (and those around you) anxious by encouraging you to do too many things, all perfect. He drains all your energy by making you feel that you are never.. perfect enough! Of course, his motto is that perfectionism is a virtue!

4.    Hyper-Achiever 💪

He focuses more on criteria of external success than internal happiness. He encourages you to enter a non-stop hunt of success and performance, so that you feel you have the necessary self-respect. Often this leads to non-sustainable life situations as it makes us loοse contact with our deeper emotional needs.

Hyper-achiever’s lie is that self-acceptance requires some sort of external approval.

5.    Restless 🚴‍♀️

The restless is always on the go. He immediately checks and replies to every message that arrives on his phone. Never stops. He’s always in search of the next activity which will provide an even greater excitement. He creates a curtain of distractions that will move his attention away from all things or relationships that are important and meaningful. His cover theory is that when you are really busy you live your life to the fullest and everybody else thinks you are successful. The truth though is that in the hunt for a busy life we miss life all together which happens in the meantime.

6.    Pleaser 💜

Pleasing others is his top priority. He is trying hard to be likeable by everybody. He deceives us to believe that the only way to receive acceptance, care and affection is to please and satisfy others in every opportunity. As a result we overlook our own needs. We are usually left with a bitter aftertaste as we haven’t received as much as we have given. Another side-effect of the pleaser is that encourages the others to over depend on us. His lie is that you must satisfy the others because that’s the right thing to do, ignoring the issue of indirect plea for acceptance.

7.    Avoider 🏄‍♂️

Avoids to their extreme all difficulties, responsibilities, decisions, commitments, conflict, promises, problems and difficult or unpleasant situations. Focuses exclusively on the positive and pleasant. He will urge us to procrastinate and to put all our rubbish under the carpet. His strategic disguise is to wear a cloak of positivity over that of avoidance.

8.    Hyper-Vigilant 👁

The Hyper-Vigilant will create a constant anxiousness for all the dangers around us and all those things which can go wrong. Under his influence we will never have a moment of peace and quiet. As soon as we are about to relax he will poke us with something new. His strategy to grab our attention is to magnify dangers or even invent non existing ones, as well as persuading us that being in a state of constant alert is the only hope to get away with life.

9.    Victim 🎲

The loser. Victim of others, occasions, luck, circumstances. When the Victim is active we become emotional and temperamental in order to get attention and affection. As a consequence, we have loose significant amounts of energy, especially when the victim upgrades itself to a martyr! His deception is that victimisation is the most effective way to request care and attention.

10. Hyper-Rational 📱

The Hyper-Rational uses only cold logic, ignoring emotion and intuition. Overanalyses everything. Maintains this exclusive focus on logic even in human relationships. He never finds it worthy to waste any time with emotions. Under his influence, we become cold, remote or egoistic and arrogant. His deception is that IQ is the only form of intelligence, completely ignoring the importance of EQ.

Self-sabotage: Summary of the saboteurs of our mind

The Judge drains out all our energy creating fear, stress, anger, disappointment, guilt and shame.

The Avoider and the Restless use completely different strategies. Both of them however encourage us to avoid difficult situations.

The Controller and the Stickler make us stiff, as they discourage all those who try to help us.

The Hyper-Achiever makes us rush from success to success and ignore our relationships with people.

The Victim persuades us to stay inactive and feel hopeless.

The Hyper-Rational steals all the important information which comes through the emotions.

The Pleaser makes us focus only in what pleases the others so we can win their acceptance.

And finally, the Hyper-Vigilant lets us waste incredible amounts of energy worrying about things that will never happen!

How do we handle our self-sabotage?

Self-sabotage can be stopped. None of the saboteurs of our mind can harm us when we know them. Their main weapon is disguise so they can act unnoticed.

So all we need to do is exercise our awareness so we can spot them when they appear. We watch and when any of them appears we just call his name. This simple act is enough to disarm them.

In the beginning we may need to lurk as the cat with the mice. After a period of practice this becomes easier and easier until it just happens naturally and effortlessly.

saboteurs of our mind - snowman no sun saboteurs of our mind - sun melts snowman saboteurs of our mind - sun melted snowman

The Saboteurs of our mind are like a big snowman which melts under the light of our conscious awareness (Eckhart Tolle)

* If you want to dig deeper into the theory of Positive Intelligence, read the excellent book by Shirzad Chamine: Positive Intelligence

Read also our article: How emotionally intelligent are you?