What Holds You Back?

In every single person there is an inner critic. A voice that second guesses. We have all had the experience now and then (or for some more often) feelings of doubt and shame for trying to live authentically. I have come to know this voice and feeling as “the saboteur”. This is the name I have given to the inner voice that comes up and tells us that "we are not good enough" or that we will "never get to where we want to go". It is the part of our mind that sabotages us and keeps us trapped in the places of fear, doubt, worry and anxiety. In our world, so many of us struggle because we have become slaves to the saboteur. Many of us don’t even recognize that our saboteur is running the show and making our decisions for us.

It is the saboteur's job to keep us in what it considers “the status quo”. In its opinion it is trying to keep us in what it feels is it’s idea of “Safe”. Unfortunately it ends up sabotaging us because it’s idea of safe means that we take no risks and avoid putting ourselves out there in the world to fulfill our authentic life purpose. It has been said that fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. Our saboteur has become an accomplished master at giving us all the possible reasons why something won’t work out, why we should not pursuit the whispers speaking in our heart, why we could fail and what we should be doing instead of following our heart’s desire. Most of the time it simply is coming from a place of fear…fall evidence appearing real. Did you know that according to researchers at The University of Cincinnati 85% percent of what we worry about never happens? Further to this, their study found out that 79% of us handle the 15% that does happen in ways that surprise us with our ability to turn the situation around.

So the question becomes how do I become aware of when my saboteur is running the show and what can I do to change it? This takes practice and deep awareness. The saboteur has so many angles and techniques for disguising itself that it sometimes even has us believe that we are the saboteur. I have found it helpful to get a visual image of what my saboteur might look like. It can be helpful to see it visually to identify when it is choosing to control your thoughts and actions. Perhaps you want to draw a picture of what it might look like or cut out some images from a magazine that represent your visual image of this sabotaging-character. By seeing it visually, you may be able to identify more clearly when it is at play in your life.

You might want to try writing down some of the common phrases and statements your saboteur says to you in your mind. Some of mine are “you shouldn’t even try cause you are going to fail”, “Are you kidding? If you really do this everyone is going to laugh at you”, “don’t put yourself out there because someone else is already doing it better then you” and the famous “you are never going to be successful” and “you will never have enough money, love and success”. What are some of your saboteurs most frequently used sayings? Simply by identifying and becoming aware of it’s patterns is a major step in breaking free from it’s hold on you.

I must remember that every thought I am thinking about is my choice. Am I going to continue to be a slave to the saboteur or will I take that risk and act on the whispers that are speaking in my heart?


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