The Saboteur

The Saboteur


“I sabotage myself by fear of what my bigness could do.”

Alanis Morissette


The Saboteur finds different reasons and arguments to block constructive action, ideas and movement forward. Today is not a good day for it. The weather is not so nice. “You will fail anyway, why to even try? You aren’t even competent/smart/creative enough to be able to do that”. Or simply, “just because”.

The Saboteur might take different forms from the inner two-year-old consequently saying no to everything, through the rebellious and lazy inner teenager showing a middle finger to your proposals, till a sophisticated debater listing well-prepared and subtle arguments why it is not a good idea to do something. When he is around, you might feel a sudden drop of energy, be suddenly forgetful about something which you really wanted to do, or you might experience a mental blockage difficult to overcome. Often he walks together with his older sister, the inner Critic.

The Saboteur is very difficult to convince but once you got to know his ground motives and operating mechanisms it is possible to get him to relax and cooperate.

In any situation doing nothing is usually safer than taking a step or initiating something. If you look deep into his eyes, you might recognise that your inner Saboteur is the guardian of a threshold. Stepping into action, making an authentic move makes you visible, it exposes you – and makes you more vulnerable to the judgement and criticism of others. Therefore, the Saboteur is the protector of your comfort zone and sense of security.

It is not by accident that you find him in this position. He is standing at a doorstep difficult to cross. Why is he standing there? What is he guarding? What does he want to protect you from?



*What is the good intention behind your inner Saboteur? How can you respect his advice and still cross the threshold?

*How can you cross the threshold anyway?



Observe your inner Saboteur when you meet him next time. Listen to him: what does he say? What are his arguments? How does he make you feel and behave? Why does he want to prevent you from doing the thing you wish to do? What does he want to protect you from? How can you make him cooperate?