Self Doubt: The Saboteur's Realm

When faced with a choice point, that in your bones you know will change the trajectory of life as you know it, what happens for you?

The funny thing about choice is that it is our greatest lever of change and it’s the one place where we’ll often forget ourselves.

Where we feel we have no other choice. Maybe we see only two options and fail to consider the power of the infinite possibilities that lay before us. Maybe we can’t see any options at all.

What if’s can open up our thinking AND What if’s can activate self doubt.

Let’s open up some space!
What if there were unseen forces at play for all of us in our dance with choice? What if the power of positive thinking alone is but only one pathway, and most often not the sustainable one to truly support you in creating sustainable change? What if your experience isn’t saying you need to push on, to get more confidence, get your sh..t together? What if your experience, right here, right now, held a potent nugget of growth for you, just awaiting your willingness to welcome it?

Who among us hasn’t experienced the deep dark crippling feeling of not being able to get out of our own way?

Consider, taking a breath. Hop up on the balcony of life and take a long, wide view at your current experience of life, leadership & service. What do you see? Are there any wash, rinse repeat patterns at play for you? Sure, maybe the context & characters are different, and yet you can feel into a familiar taste, smell, sound, touch experience of being at a very familiar crossroads.

For those of us at a certain age…the patterns are pronounced. For moi, approaching my 50th, I can attest patterns are a worthy place to be looking. They’re a rearview mirror reflection activity. And, for those earlier on in Your journey, it’s helpful to think about what you want to set-up.

Deja Vu

Maybe you’re in a relationship, that at the beginning held such promise, now revealing issues that echo from the past. Maybe you’re leading a new team, one that started out as invigorating and exciting in its new-ness, only now to see the fractured experience that lived in your last team. Maybe you’re mid way through a project (at work or in your business) and are stunned at how things are stalling in a very similar place, as they did last time. Maybe you’ve started a new wellness practice and you’re losing interest, you’re wondering if you’ll ever see real results.

Whatever you’re seeing, I want to invite you to reflect on these five questions.

  • What is familiar for me here?

  • If I were to describe what I am seeing, without the story of who, what, where, when & why, how else would I language what is going on?

  • Take a few deep breaths and ask, What is the one choice I feel deep inside that is calling me to make that has me pulling back, distracting, waiting at the door?

  • What wisdom does this familiar experience have for me to own?

  • What is one wild choice I could make that would defy logical, habituated thinking here?


This my friends could be the dance of your saboteur in play. Who most often, doesn’t play alone. You see for all of us, our psyches from a very young age awoke to the dance of survival. In Caroline Myss’s work, she identifies four core survival archetypal patterns that ground our experience of esteem and our dance with change. These patterns are inherently neutral, although I would add they’re also very intelligent responses. Patterns whose sole mission is to help you to survive (this is where the personal comes in to these impersonal patterns). To conform, to get in line, to not lose through risk, to attempt to please enough so that you remain safe. To keep the image of security that was painted for you but another.

Wired to thrive

Here is the thing. I believe we are wired to thrive. We all seek to. We believe on some level we can. And yet, we are creatures of habit. Habit isn’t all bad. It’s our built in pathways of being able to master skills like driving, cooking, riding a bike & structuring our days.

The question is, where are habits influencing your experience of yourself as a leader in your life, work and relationships that truly aren’t helping you to thrive. It’s a worthy exploration to bring attention to habits, with LOVING kindness. Not judgement or blame with ourself or other(s). Standing in a place of recognizing we’re each living out our dramas, whether conscious or not. We’re each on a hero/heroines journey of becoming.


Habits are a cascade of responses, reactions and actions that are driven from the past. They are activities we’ve employed time and time again. It takes discipline to form a habit. They result from repetition.

This is kind of like a superpower we’re all endowed with. It is part of the human condition.

How might this super power be used for good and not evil?

There are many innovative approaches to work with our mindsets these days. Designed to support us to practically work with ourselves, consciously.

In the upcoming four week workshop: Liberate Patterns of Esteem, we’ll be exploring some of these.

Power of NEW information.

But our first stop requires new frameworks rich with information to expand our view. To support us to truly rise up onto the balcony of our life, leadership & service.

Why is new information is required? Well it offers new possibilities to emerge. For you. Not as scripted by another, rather, possibilities that emerge that are congruent with who you are.

Being open to new information invites new considerations. New considerations lead to greater awareness.

Power of awareness.

Awareness is the first step in any change trajectory. It however doesn’t stop there. What we often try and gloss over with good practical training and coaching of accountability, leaves us at the end of the day, finding ourselves in a very predictable and familiar state.

Coupled with awareness, a beautiful question emerges, WHAT ELSE is possible here? This I have found a more important inquiry to precede the, “how else”. It’s grounded in an even larger question of becoming. Who do I HAVE the potential to become here? This speaks to a shift in identity. One that transcends behaviour and choice on a practical level.

Power of action. Choose something new.

The question then becomes when we see, and gain the awareness we’re there/here again, we must then decide to decide. We must ask ourselves what do we choose?

Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to require the most from you.
— Caroline Myss

Power of pause. Breath, Body & Stillness.

What I have come to deeply appreciate in my own journey is that with awareness, I must have a willingness to sit with what’s happening inside. Employ new considerations of what lives inside of the resistance, that most often looks like it’s happening out there. Awareness of the pattern is like a woo hoo that invites a next step. A choice point that welcomes, versus denies and or seeks to manage and control it’s presence.

Snapshot profile of the saboteur.

With all archetypes there are impersonal profiles of pitfalls and wisdom.

For example. The Saboteur governs a deeper dance of self doubt. This pattern seeks to keep us small and safe. It’s quite brilliant really. Having obtained a masters degree in managing the status quo so as to not upset the apple cart too much. Short term, through life, we may reap benefits of this patterns. Eventually however, we begin to see, if we’re willing…..the disruption, havoc and pain that has ultimately resulted. The saboteur can wear many disguises. When exploring these, too long, we can get lost. Being aware of the saboteur is important, and spending time hanging out analyzing it can actually be a shadow way it keeps us stuck.

It can sabotage your efforts to be happy and successful if you are not aware of the patterns of thought and behavior that it raises in you. It can cause you to resist opportunities. The Saboteur is the mirror that reflects your fears of taking responsibility for yourself and for what you create.
— Caroline Miss

This one (of four) archetypal patterns of survival is most often grounded in the fear inspired by physical survival.

It’s wisdom can become our greatest allay when we’ll inevitably face another choice point of activation. It can offer us a direct pathway to awaken and develop a strong relationship with our intuition. It supports us to make decisions. To leverage the super power of habit through choice that helps us to grow and thrive, versus sole survival.

Ultimately over time, we heal. We have the opportunities abound in our relationships with others and change to integrate and transform the past, in the present. We discover how to live beyond wounds of betrayal and disappointment.  We learn to liberate ourselves from habits of low esteem that prevents us from feeling truly empowered.


Why spend time shining a light on these forces?

Well, if not, we may continue to replicate a habit. Re-enforce a pattern (through repetition) that is actually keeping us from thriving. This is a journey of opening up new inner conversations with yourself. It will not only influence you (the ME), it will profoundly open up new considerations of your relationships with others (the WE).

It is a journey of relating to ourselves differently so that we might genuinely become guiding spirits who love leading in community.

You see, as much as we each feel the ME is a cave of growth, from a meta physical level the WE is our greatest mirror. Our place of connection & growth that honours our innate nature of community.

The saboteur, like the other three survival archetypes are here I feel on a very primal level to help us thrive. And…until we take their keys from them and choose to drive our own car of becoming, they will keep following the habits set forth from the past. Life clucks along, offering us a never ending opportunity to choose again.

I hope you’ll decide to decide to join me for the upcoming four week experience.

In closing, I would love to leave you with an amazing talk offered by Mel Robbins. She is in my world a k-a woman leader who decided to decide to re-direct her life, leadership & service from the inside out. Her light in the world and her wisdom offers is all a practical and effective consideration for how to work consciously with our saboteur in our sojourn of becoming.