How We Self-Sabotage

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

The Saboteur Assessment is your first step to conquering your Saboteurs — identifying them to expose their lies and limiting beliefs.

Take the Saboteur Assessment
Saboteur Intro

Meet the Judge, Your Master Saboteur

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 Judge

The Accomplice Saboteurs

The Judge works with one or more Accomplice Saboteurs to hijack your mind and cause most of your setbacks. Do any of these seem familiar to you?

  • Avoider


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

  • Controller


    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.

  • Hyper-Achiever


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

  • Hyper-Rational


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

  • Hyper-Vigilant


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

  • Pleaser


    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


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

  • Stickler


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

  • Victim


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

Origin of the 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 mind.

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

Saboteur Origin

But Aren’t They 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.

So if you’re in negative emotion for more than one second, your Saboteurs are holding your hand on the hot stove and complaining why life is so hard.

Saboteur Aren t They Good For Me

The Three Muscles of Mental Fitness

To conquer your Saboteurs, you need to exercise and build three mental muscles.

Saboteur Interceptor Muscle

Saboteur Interceptor Muscle

If you’re in negative emotion for more than a second, you’re in Saboteur mode. Label your thoughts and emotions in that moment as Saboteur and let them go. To be able to do that, you need to have studied your Saboteurs and discredited their lies and limiting beliefs.

Self-Command Muscle

Self-Command Muscle

10-second PQ®️ Reps are powerful ways to command your mind to quiet the region where your Saboteurs live, and activate the region where your Sage lives. So every time you intercept your Saboteurs, do PQ Reps in order to pause and choose a Sage response.

Sage Muscle

Sage Muscle

Your Sage is the one in you that handles challenges with a clear and calm mind, and positive emotions. It uses the 5 primary powers of Empathize, Explore, Innovate, Navigate, and Activate. Once you’ve activated your Sage brain through PQ Reps, you’ll have access to these powers.

Discover Your Saboteurs

You can’t 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.

Take the Saboteur Assessment
Saboteur Assessment animation

Conquer Your Saboteurs

Our app-guided PQ Program guides you step-by-step in building lasting new positive habits that transform your performance, wellbeing, and relationships.

Explore the PQ Program