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Meet Five of Your Accomplice Saboteurs

In last week's post, The Judge in Your Head, I talked about the universal Saboteur that afflicts us all, the Judge. The Judge spends all its time judging others, judging circumstances, and, most harshly, judging you. The Judge can be quiet and wily or it can be loud and obvious - we each experience the Judge differently, but the impact and effect it has on us is similar. We are all limited, held back, and sabotaged by our Judges.


But the Judge isn't working alone, unfortunately. The Judge has a cadre of 9 Accomplice Saboteurs, each of whom judges from a slightly different angle and point of view. They're a testy crew - let's see if any of them sound familiar to you.


The Avoider

The Avoider Saboteur encourages you to overfocus on the pleasant and pleasurable and to avoid difficult or uncomfortable situations rather than facing them head-on. This might look like procrastination, denial, or a fixation on what's pleasant to avoid feelings of failure or rejection. The Avoider's messages encourage you not to get into conflict - "If I ignore it, it will take care of itself." or "No good comes out of conflict." The Avoider creates feelings of even keel but also generates anxiety about what's been procrastinated and suppressed anger and resentment.


The Controller

The Controller Saboteur is characterized by an intense need for control over yourself, others, and situations. If you feel anxious or unsettled when you feel out of control, that's your Controller. It often manifests as perfectionism, excessively high standards, or an inability to delegate tasks or trust others to handle things. The Controller's messages encourage you to take charge: "You are either in control or out of control." or "If I work hard enough I can and should control the situation so it goes my way." The Controller justifies its existence by telling you that without it, nothing will get done.


The Hyper-Achiever

The Hyper-Achiever Saboteur creates an intense desire to succeed in every aspect of your life, setting big goals and relentlessly pushing you to achieve them. However, it also generates a perpetual feeling of never being good enough, leading to an endless cycle of achievement-seeking behavior. You become dependent on performance and success for self-respect and self-validation. Hyper-Achievers tend to be workaholics with a strong fear of failure who have difficulty relaxing. Its messages drive continual accomplishments: "I must be the best at what I do" or "I am worthy only as long as I'm achieving."


The Hyper-Rational

The Hyper-Rational Saboteur wants you to prioritize logic and reason above all else in processing everything, including people and relationships. Hyper-Rationals may struggle to connect with their emotions or express vulnerability and likely discount their intuition or gut instincts, even when they can be useful. Perfectionism shows up here, too, leading to analysis paralysis. The overemphasis on logic and detachment from emotions can strain relationships, as empathy and emotional nuances of social interactions get more difficult. It justifies its existence by telling you that the rational mind is the most important thing and emotions are messy and useless.

The Hyper-Vigilant

This saboteur promotes excessive vigilance, anxiety, and a heightened sense of threat or danger - you're always on high alert, scanning the environment or relationships for potential threats or dangers. Hyper-Vigilant individuals tend to overestimate the likelihood and severity of negative outcomes, leading to a pervasive sense of fear and worry. The constant state of alertness can make it challenging for you to relax and unwind. "When is the other shoe going to drop?" and "I need to be prepared for anything" are typical Hyper-Vigilant justifications.


Do any of these sound familiar? If so, you're not alone!


There are still four more in your head, waiting to meet you. I'll share those in my next post.


In the meantime, take the Saboteur Assessment from Chirzad Shamine to find out which Saboteurs are strongest in you - and don't be surprised if they're not the ones you expected.


Want to know more? Join my six-week group coaching program on Positive Intelligence where we break down your Saboteurs and turn down the volume of the judging voices in your head.

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