You are on your way to a job interview and you begin imagining a whole frightening crisis scenario. The interview in your imagination is where you hear yourself answering horrifically with multiple stumbling mistakes. You vividly see and hear the interviewers telling you, right away, why they don’t think you are qualified and that you are not getting hired. This is your saboteur speaking.
The saboteur is the voice inside that tries to sabotage what we are setting out to do. No, you aren’t schizophrenic! Everyone has this; it’s a part of being human.
The saboteur voice stems from our experiences. Each person is unique. Your saboteur may express itself differently and in various frequencies depending on your experience. It appears when we are unsure of what is going to happen. The saboteur often arrives when we feel like we might fail. It can get in the way of achieving our goals and moving forward.
The saboteur actually serves as a protector. It is there to keep you safe. Our brain creates a protection mechanism before we do something unfamiliar or new. In addition, it arrives when we feel uneasy or afraid. We want to feel comfortable. We love feeling confident and assured that ‘everything is okay’.
There are numerous ways to take control. The first step towards acquiring power is to be aware of your saboteur. Notice what happens when you saboteur is present. It’s possible to experience it; go ‘inside’ of the feeling. Observe where it is in your body. What does it look like? Feel like? Sound like?
Self validation is another tool to utilize. Take care of the saboteur as it were your child instead of wishing it away and hating it. Give yourself love, acceptance and frequent understanding.
It also may help to create a name and/or image for it. I have heard it called “The Little Devil” or “The Gremlin”. It is more meaningful to create a metaphor or image that works for you. It can be anything; an animal, a person, an object or even a fictional character from TV. Once you recognize that your saboteur is speaking, you can, for example, imagine yourself putting your saboteur outside of the door. Or send him or her to the babysitter while you go and take your exam.
You have the magic and the power to connect inside yourself and re-focus. Take this opportunity to imagine yourself in the new, more spectacular scenario. Furthermore, if you are present and in charge of your situation, you can create a new, wonderful scenario for yourself. Refocus and ask, “What do I truly believe about myself?” and “What am I capable of?” This is a time to construct a space of courage. You now have an opportunity to face your fears head on. Isn’t it great that you can powerfully do and be anything you set your mind to? It allows you to have more clarity for your next decision. Imagine what you will conceive with your new potential.
In addition, before bed, think about how your day went and then replay it the way you wanted it to go. Be grateful for the positive things you did. Trust and believe in yourself; stick with your ambitions.
Lastly, do what works best, what resonates, fits and feels right for you. You have the gift within you to change this. Take charge!
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Bonnie is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach through Coach Training Institute (CTI) and an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation (ICF). She has 30 years of experience in the field of Child Development and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from George Mason University. She is the Owner of Smooth Path Coaching and specializes in coaching educators, leadership and life coaching. Bonnie also conducts group coaching for businesses in the area and teaches workshops to those in Education.