Episode 27 Reeling in the Saboteur

March 3, 2023

I am really irritated with someone. I need to have a hard conversation and I’m looking for the grace of understanding, which is basically to say I wonder how can I use my gifts to empower this person instead of sabotaging the conversation?

I don’t want to shame him. He’s younger and I want to frame it as a learning opportunity for him. My anger is coming from a place of it’s all about me and he did me wrong, and I know what he did was a mistake. As his mentor, I know it’s my responsibility to use it as a learning opportunity, but that takes work on my part and I need to craft my thoughts. Anyway, I called my friend to ask for some advice. I explained there was no malice intended. I think he should have done something that he didn’t do.

My friend was telling me the story about how he had turned down an opportunity – when he was the same age – to take a job in Paris, and he said to me I can’t, for the life of me figure out why I didn’t take that job. And I said, Oh, that’s easy. You didn’t have self-confidence and you self-sabotaged.   So we got into this conversation about self-sabotage and the conversation led me back to re-listening to a lecture by Carolyn Myss about the archetype of the saboteur. I remembered that it had a lot of nuggets in it, so I went back and took the time to listen to it this morning.  I want to share a few pieces from it.

I will be referencing my notes from the lecture, so these are not my words. This is coming from Carolyn Myss.  If you’ve never heard of her, she is a medical intuitive. She no longer works as a medical intuitive, but for many years she did expansive work alongside a Harvard doctor by the name of Norman Shealy.  She’s a spiritual leader now, and her language is very powerful. She’s super intelligent.

In this lecture series about archetypes, she says the saboteur is an archetypal pattern that everybody has. It’s universal. In this context of self-sabotage – and our journey to becoming empowered and how we sabotage that along the way – this is what the saboteur is about.  Life is about becoming comfortable with our creative source and the force of our power.  The first phase of our power relationship with life is about accumulation and education and stuff – money and power in our job titles and our positions.  But the journey of self-esteem is about our capacity to truly hold ourselves in esteem and to live by that. It’s about recognizing our own power. So the saboteur is not an external force. It’s really an internal mechanism that activates every time we have the opportunity to empower ourselves or someone else.

In this lecture Carolyn talks about how you can answer a question when someone asks you truthfully or – what we tend to do is – default to what we think the other person wants to hear. She talks about how that is a mini sabotage of ourselves. It’s a betrayal of ourselves.  She talks about how we sabotage ourselves in our relationships because we don’t have a fully formed sense of self and we don’t have strong enough self-esteem to fully be ourselves. So we start to become a reflection of the person we’re in a relationship with. We do whatever it takes to keep the other person happy and that’s how, behind the scenes, we engage and activate resentment, self-loathing, and the passive aggressivity that happens in relationships.

It was a super interesting lecture and initially, I went back because I was looking for nuggets on how to use the proper language in this difficult conversation I must have. I don’t want to sabotage him. I want to bring something positive to the exchange.

I’m super struggling with the writing and I want to say I’ts because I’m really busy with Dear Constance, but its me shooting myself in the foot and I’m able to look at that behavior and say ‘stop it.’  In this lecture she says the more empowered you become, the more confidence you have, the less access you have to easy excuses and why you can’t do things. When you can’t be a procrastinator and you hold yourself accountable. It really becomes about not betraying yourself. And that’s hard, as we all know.

So, the saboteur clings to the blame and the excuses, and when you take on the saboteur awareness kicks in. And you name things and decide to push through and decide to honor your dreams. And self-esteem is when you take yourself on – when you take on your inner saboteur – you challenge your own patterns and you become aware of the patterns that you tend to give into.

I quote her directly here. She says, as you develop this sense of self and this commitment you make to yourself to not allow the saboteur to get to you, you are truly able to access capacities within yourself that you didn’t even know you had because you had blocked your access to your own potential. Your own unlimited inner strength.

So, where are you pointing the finger and blaming others? Where are you betraying yourself? Where can you see a pattern of self-sabotage and perhaps peel back that onion and bring it back to reinforcing your self-esteem and deciding not to betray yourself. It can be in your relationships, it can be at work, it can be in something you’re trying to accomplish, as in my case, the writing and as in most important and beautiful things in life, it is not a once and done. It’s a practice and a process. That is a great note to self.

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Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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