You do your best for your mental health - exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, even practice mindfulness now and again but somehow that nasty little voice of the inner critic can still sweep you away into a spiral of self-loathing, self-pity or just plain terror.
Meet the saboteurs. They may have developed in childhood as strengths, kept you safe and rewarded you but now can plague you with unconscious habits of thinking that frame every experience. Your chief inner critic – the judge – leads his team of saboteurs which feed you with unhelpful thoughts.
Check the list below and see if you recognise your own saboteurs:
The saboteurs use our negative emotions like anger, blame, guilt, shame, frustration, sadness and above all, fear, to frame every event with an inner commentary. This can create the amygdala hijack - our survival flight/fight response - which is a very powerful emotional reaction.
Becoming conscious of these thinking habits is your first step to freedom.
The saboteurs tell you lies. When we recognise this, we create new, more optimistic neural pathways and see gifts and opportunities, even when things go wrong. This is what Shirzard Chamin calls Positive Intelligence (PQ), a habit of mind that motivates us through positive emotions and promote mental fitness.
Working as a coach, I’ve found that becoming aware of your saboteurs is really helpful for self-regulation AND to see the saboteurs at work in others.
Get conscious of your saboteurs for a cool, calm, emotionally intelligent response to the everyday challenges in life and at work. Intercept them before they sabotage you!
Written by Jackie Beere OBE, Mindset Coach at Fearless.