Saboteurs are the voices in your head that generate negative emotions in the way you handle life’s everyday challenges. They represent automated patterns in your mind for how to think, feel and respond. They cause all of your stress, anxiety, self-doubt, frustration, restlessness, and unhappiness. They sabotage your performance, well-being and relationships.

Your Master Saboteur: the Judge

The Judge is the universal Saboteur that afflicts everyone. It is the one that beats you up repeatedly over mistakes or shortcomings, warns you obsessively about future risks, wakes you up in the middle of the night worrying, gets you fixated on what is wrong with others or your life, etc. Your Judge activates your other Saboteurs, causes much of your stress and unhappiness, reduces your effectiveness, and harms your relationships.


The Accomplice Saboteurs

The Judge works with one or more Accomplice Saboteurs to hijack your mind and cause most of your setbacks.


Nine different Accomplice Saboteurs have been identified through factor analysis. Do any of these seem familiar to you?


Focusing on the positive and pleasant in an extreme way. Avoiding difficult and unpleasant tasks and conflicts.


Anxiety-based need to take charge and control situations and people’s actions to one’s own will. High anxiety and impatience when that is not possible.


Dependent on constant performance and achievement for self-respect and self-validation. Latest achievement quickly discounted, needing more.


Intense and exclusive focus on the rational processing of everything, including relationships. Can be perceived as uncaring, unfeeling or intellectually arrogant.


Continuous intense anxiety about all the dangers and what could go wrong. Vigilance that can never rest.


Indirectly tries to gain acceptance and affection by helping, pleasing, rescuing, or flattering others. Loses sight of own needs and becomes resentful as a result.


Restless, constantly in search of greater excitement in the next activity or constant busyness. Rarely at peace or content with the current activity.


Perfectionism and a need for order and organization taken too far.  Anxious trying to make too many things perfect.


Emotional and temperamental as a way to gain attention and affection. An extreme focus on internal feelings, particularly painful ones. Martyr streak.

Origin of Saboteurs

Saboteurs start off as our guardians to help us survive the real and imagined threats to our physical and emotional survival as children. By the time we are adults, we no longer need them, but they have become invisible inhabitants of our minds.

Our Saboteurs’ patterns of thinking, feeling and reacting become soft-coded in our brains through neural pathways. When these neural pathways are triggered, we are “hijacked” by our Saboteurs and instantly feel, think and act using their patterns.

But are they not good for me?

Your Saboteurs claim they are good for you. For example, your Judge tells you that constantly badgering you over your mistakes and shortcomings causes you to improve and achieve.

We all know that pain is good for you. If you put your hand on a hot stove, it would be good to feel pain, so you take corrective action.

Negative emotions, similar to pain, are only helpful for a quick second to alert you. But if you stay stressed, frustrated or unhappy, you will be tunnel-visioned and not capable of finding out the best solution to the problems, which your positive brain can do.

If you are in a state of negative emotion for more than one second, your Saboteurs are holding your hand on the hot stove and complaining about why life is so hard.

Discover your Saboteurs

You cannot defeat an adversary that you don’t see or one that successfully pretends to be your friend. The first step to conquering your Saboteurs is to identify them and expose their lies and limiting beliefs.

Curious about which Saboteurs are interfering with your performance and peace of mind? Take the Saboteurs Assessment

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