Discover Your Inner Saboteur and How to Handle It

Last December, I started a coaching series, and while I was doing my introspection analyzing my behavior, my coach introduced me to the idea of my inner saboteur.

What if I told you that you’re awesome, but there’s a high probability that you have forgotten about it, about your true self, your true potential.

This is the idea of the inner saboteurs, and it is based on the research of Shirzad Chamine. I introduced it in issue #22 of my newsletter.

The Saboteurs

Shirzad explains that we are all born awesome, but we forget how great we are while we grow up. And this happens because we have some voices in our head, the saboteurs, that usually take control of our mind.

These saboteurs are the invisible characters in our heads, the hidden lens that distorts our reality. And they secretly do sabotage in ourselves.

There are ten saboteurs: the Judge, and his nine accomplice saboteurs, classified based on their motivation and style. You could find their description on the website and also take a free assessment to discover yours.

Saboteurs | Positive Intelligence

Origin and Handling

There’s a war in your head between the saboteurs and the real and authentic self, which Shirzad Chamine names our Sage. These factions and behaviors are based in different regions of our brains; professor Chamine has Ph.D. studies in neuroscience and a BA in psychology.

The problem with these saboteurs is that they become the invisible masters (and monsters) in our heads. They pretend they are you, but they aren’t. That’s how you forget who you really are and how great we are.

Once we catch them, we could weaken our saboteurs by exposing, labeling, and letting them go.

You can’t defeat an enemy that you don’t see, or one that successfully masquerades as your friend. So the first step is to identify your Saboteurs and expose their lies to discredit them.

As we could see, there’s a relation between the inner saboteur and some of the stress, unhappiness, and negative feelings. So unleashing from it brings us to a happier and more capable version of ourselves, the true magnificent you.


If you’re interested in the topic, I recommend you to start visiting the website and taking the assessment. It is also a great idea to let Shirzad Chamine explain it in the following and short TED video.

If you’re interested in diving deeper into the saboteurs, check out Shirzad Chamine’s book Positive Intelligence: Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential and How You Can Achieve Yours.

As always happen, for every TED talk there’s a larger one-hour Google Talk.

Knowing my saboteurs

Knowing our saboteurs doesn’t make them disappear. But labeling our weaknesses is a way to clearly identify and face them on our path to change.

I did twice the free assessment, and the result didn’t surprise me at all. I knew that the pleaser would be my inner saboteur on the top. As the website describes: helping, pleasing, rescuing, loses sight of own needs.

How about yours? Did you take the assessment?

I hope you liked it. If so, please share it! Do not hesitate to add your comments. And, if you want to stay up to date, don’t miss my free newsletter, where this post began.

As always, thanks for reading.

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