Everyone has saboteurs that bring them down, whether they know it or not. Positive Intelligence, a global community of coaches, entrepreneurs, scientists, designers, engineers, and passionate servant leaders, gives an explanation of the effects of saboteurs:
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, wellbeing, and relationships.
There are ten saboteurs that any one person can have. The most common is the Judge, which everyone has. The Judge saboteur compels one to constantly find flaws in themselves and in others. It is the cause of much anxiety, stress, anger, disappointment, shame, and guilt. Along with the Judge, there is also the Avoider, Controller, Hyper Achiever, Hyper Rational, Hyper Vigilant, Pleaser, Restless, Stickler, and the Victim. Each saboteur provides one with a set of habitual mind patterns that uses its own voice, beliefs, and assumptions that work against one's best interests.
Saboteurs begin to form between the ages of 15 and 20, and they help one survive emotionally. The brain is wired to pay attention to the environment in one's early years and adjust accordingly to bear emotional strains everyone encounters. Saboteurs were friends who helped through the emotional minefield that is childhood.
Many people are unsure of what saboteurs affect them most and believe that what the saboteur says is what they actually believe. If you're curious about your own saboteurs, take the quiz here: https://www.positiveintelligence.com/saboteurs/
Along with internal saboteurs, there is also the Sage. One’s Sage represents the deeper and wiser part of them. It can rise above and resist getting carried away by the saboteurs.
To weaken your saboteurs, one must strengthen their Sage. Ways to strengthen Sage are to (1) explore with curiosity and an open mind, (2) empathize with yourself and others and bring compassion and understanding to any situation, (3) innovate and create new perspectives and outside of the box solutions, (4) navigate and choose a path that best aligns with deeper underlying values, and (5) activate and take deceive action without the distress, interference, or distractions of the saboteurs.
With time and practice, identifying negative thoughts caused by saboteurs becomes easier. One becomes more mindful of how they feel and think. Unwanted and unnecessary thoughts, anxieties, and stresses diminish. Saboteurs are designed to bring one down, but it doesn't always have to be that way. Focus on addressing your saboteurs and what you can do to strengthen your Sage and positive intelligence.