Saboteurs

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For every goal there will be saboteurs. Sometimes they are people or circumstances, but most often our most dangerous saboteurs stare at us in the mirror every day. Whether we are trying to lose weight, stop smoking, get a new job, or just want to try something new, there is an inner part of us that will purposely get in the way of our goals.

You know better and you want to do better, but you won’t. Why? Perhaps it’s a fear of success. We may not feel that we really deserve the Oscar or to wear a smaller size or the promotion, etc. This may be part of the reason, but it’s not the whole story. While success in its entirety can be intimidating, what I think is completely unnerving to most people is what happens after success. It is the great unknown. And whether we verbalize it or not, our inner saboteur will say things like, “Sure you could lose a hundred pounds, but what if you gain it back? What will people think?” Or “Everyone will expect so much more of you if you get that promotion. What if it’s too much to handle?” Or “What if you reach for that star, miss, and fall flat on your face?” We don’t fear walking the red carpet, we fear having a wardrobe malfunction that people will talk about for years!

You see this a lot in the workplace. Everyone knows that something is wrong or that someone is causing a problem, thus sabotaging the goal. However, no one wants to call out the saboteur! And the reason that is most often given is, “This is what we’ve always done.” They know it’s wrong, but it’s part of the status quo so they don’t believe in changing it. This is how your inner saboteur works; its job is to keep the status quo with its “Hell no, I won’t go” attitude. It lives in our habits. At one time the habit might have served you, but it no longer does and it’s time for it to go!

Think of one goal that you’ve been struggling with and call out your saboteur! What are you doing that is getting in the way of your success? What circumstances bring up this behavior? Think about the details; the saboteur counts on you not paying attention to it. Now, you are ready to do battle. Come up with a counter action to your saboteur’s usual behavior. As a matter of fact come up with 3 counter behaviors. Every time those moments come up, do your best to stop and notice that this is where you usually falter and implement one of your new strategies.

For example: I have struggled with my weight all of my life. And no matter how careful I am about my calorie consumption or what program I followed to the “T”, without fail around 7:30pm, my saboteur nags at me to eat something else. I’m not hungry, but the thought tortures and teases me and I give in. The other night I didn’t give in. Instead I lifted weights, played a video game and texted with a support buddy. I realized that I only needed to win that one time to know that I can win whenever I choose to! I still have a long way to go, but this is a major step towards victory.

I am asking you to choose to win and conquer your saboteurs! Remember, the battle, while not easy, is well worth it! After all, an unchecked saboteur will become a thief of your dreams! Please leave a comment about what saboteurs you’re slaying today.

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