The minute we decide to change something in our lives, an inner alarm bell goes off. Our tendency to keep things as they are – also known as homeostasis, kicks in and the inner saboteur raises its head, or more accurately, its voice.
That voice that says “Its too big for you to handle” or “you will never make it” that each one of us hears when we try to do something new and exciting, is our saboteur. The saboteur is excellent in taking any plan or idea we have and emphasize all the reasons why it’s a bad idea, why it won’t work, and why there is no point in bothering. The saboteur excels in taking a small piece of truth and making it look like it would seem perfectly logical to stop or never start following our new idea or path.
Doing everything he can
The saboteur will do anything in his power to stop us from changing our current comfortable and warm life. The comfort zone we are currently in is the perfect place for him to live, and he will do anything in its power to prevent us from trying to leave.
He will stop at nothing in order to convince us that everything is perfect just the way it is now. His arguments will sound completely logical and rational. He knows exactly what pressure points to press, and where we feel the most insecure, in order to instill fear so we will change our minds and give up the change we want to perform.
Since our saboteur knows us so intimately, it might prove a bit difficult at first to overcome what he tries to say and go against things that sound oh-so-true.
The good news is that all though it might be a bit difficult at first to object to all the arguments that inner voice whispers, the more we do it, the easier it gets.
What can we do?
I’m sorry to be the one that tells you this, but getting rid of the saboteur completely is impossible. However we can learn to live with it, and with enough practice, we can even train him to become quieter and accept that life is ever changing, and so are we. So he can either accept the fact that we are moving on with our decision, or rant away in some corner far from sight.
How do we do it?
Glad you asked.
Get to know him
The more you get know him, the easier it will be to understand and control him. Get to know what he has to say, when he usually appears, what frightens him the most and what he warns you about. The better you get acquainted, the easier it will be to live together. After all, his not going anywhere.
Note his point of view
The saboteur usually speaks in absolutes, and almost always exaggerates to make thing seem bigger than they really are. Things like “you never”, “you always” are common things to hear. The saboteur might also try to insult or command you, and in that case you could hear things like “you coward”, “you must”, “you cant”. An example of something you might hear him say is “You could never start you own business. You will never attract enough customers to make a living”
Consider his positive side and treat him as a friend rather than an enemy
Contrary to his name, the saboteur can be looked at from a different perspective. When we strip all of the over negative suggestions and remarks, the saboteur just wants to keep the integrity of our lives. When we tone him down a bit, we have the power to consider what he says, and decide for ourselves if what he says really makes sense, or if listening to his advice might sabotage our progress in life. If the things he says fall in the positive and constructing category, than its perfectly fine to listen to him.
Accept the fact that life has risks
When we accept that everything we do has certain risks, the question we ask ourselves
change from “Is my saboteur right or wrong regarding the change?” to “Are the risks really so high that I’m willing to loose the opportunity to gain something?”.
Just like riding a bicycle (and everything else in life) the more we do it, the better we get at
it. So the more we put effort and practice the above methods, the easier it will get to live with your saboteur and train him to be a positive rather than a negative force in your life.
You have already done this before
Now before you go on saying “of course Ido, after you start its all very easy, but making the first step in overcoming the saboteur is hard”, I want to let you know you have already done this in the past.
Think of your greatest achievement in life. remember the good feeling that you felt once you reached your goal? probably. But do you recall all the fears and doubts that went along with it before you reached your goal?
In every achievement in life, we always have doubts that our inner voice points our attention to, but we overcome those doubts and reach our goal none the less.
So yes,you have already managed to overcome your saboteur in the past, and I’m sure you can do it again.
Your saboteur was always there, and he will always be there. The trick is not so much as fight him, but more to recognize that he is a part of you and that you don’t have to automatically listen to everything he says, because most of the time, he’s just exaggerating and fearful. If you find that what he is saying is just over reacting to a change that you decide to make in your lire, just let him speak, but keep moving forward.
I hope The steps above could help you recognize and train your saboteur. Let me know in the comments how did it go.