To achieve peak performance and happiness, work on your mental fitness!
If you are mentally fit you can handle challenges with a clear, calm and positive mindset. You will be happier, have healthier relationships and perform better.
Your Sage or true self handles challenges through positive emotions like empathy, gratitude, curiosity, creativity, self-confidence and calm and focusses action.
Saboteurs are negative thoughts, that have you react to challenges by generating negative emotions such as fear, stress, disappointment, self-doubt, regret, anger, shame, guild or worry. Other words used for saboteurs are ego, inner critic, critical voices or gremlins.
What percentage of the time is your brain serving versus sabotaging you? Mental fitness helps you to thrive in challenging times. You can learn to intercept your Saboteurs, STOP them and rewire your brain towards your Sage instead, it is 20% insight and 80% practice.
Are negative emotions good for you? Saboteurs are helpful as an alert signal only and need to be kept in check and reality tested, or harmful if not.
How do you know when your saboteurs are talking?
Usually, our saboteurs react in defense. When we feel challenged or criticized, we react with stress or defensively to protect ourselves from embarrassment or shame. You know it is your saboteurs if it is accompanied with negative emotions and thoughts. You have saboteurs it is not your true self.
When you present a piece of work and the feedback is not what you expected, your reaction might be that you think you work with a bunch of idiots. That’s definitely one of your saboteurs making sure you’re safe from hurt feelings. Another sure-fire signal is when you are desperate to be right. Are you really making a point or do you just want to have the last say?
Some other signs are:
- You blame yourself, others or the situation when things don’t work out according to plan
- You talk about yourself a lot
- You feel jealous when others succeed
- Gossiping about the flaws of others makes you feel better
- You tend to sulk
Saboteurs are helpful as an alert signal only. When we stay in this place of being ruled by our saboteurs, we feel stressed, unhappy, angry, discontented or other negative emotions. We view others as enemies or competitors and don’t get to grow or learn from the richness of diversity around us. We also don’t grow others and are less effective. The good news is that there are ways minimize the power of the saboteurs and choose a sage response instead.
Tame the beast!
Let go of comparison and competition. You don’t have to win or be better than everyone. You only need to be the best version of yourself. Have empathy and compassion for you, appreciate and build on your unique strengths. Constantly competing produces stress and feelings of inadequacy.
Stop gossiping or putting others down. When you engage in gossip, you do so to make yourself feel better, but in fact, it has the opposite effect. It reflects badly on you and upon reflection, often we dislike ourselves for having gossiped.
Stop reacting and start responding. Instead, take a step back and look at a situation in its entirety, at the negatives and positives. We jump to react when urged by our inner critics. Sometimes just holding back and taking a few deep breaths can save us from being mean and petty before we know the whole story. Instead ask yourself do I want to do something about it? If no, let go of your negative thoughts and emotions. If yes, ask yourself: how can I turn this into a gift or opportunity?
Don’t take things personally. Not every situation pertains to you and when you constantly relate it to yourself it breaks down confidence and induced paranoia. Just accept what is, not what you think is happening. Try not to worry about how others see, or think of you because even if you do, it makes no difference.
Have empathy for others. We are all a mixed bag of our true self our sage and our Saboteurs. When you put yourself in the shoes of others, you become less inclined to judge and react. Instead, you start to understand those around you better, which leads to better relationships, problem solving and performance.
If you would like to become more aware of your saboteurs take the free saboteur test on positiveintelligence.com.
The power you give to your saboteurs or sage is what will rule your life. You are not your saboteurs, you are not your negative thoughts and emotions, they are merely a part of you. By training your mental fitness, you create awareness and let go of your saboteurs and choose to be your true unique positive self, or Sage instead. You will be a better person and leader and able to achieve peak performance, well-being and healthy relationships for yourself and the people around you.
Are you and/or your team ready to work on your mental fitness and grow as a person, leader and team? Get in touch with me for a one-hour free coaching conversation on how we can make that happen.
Positive Intelligence, Chirzad Chamine
Playing Big, Tara Mohr
The power of we, Thomas Hubl