Let's take a minute to talk about these inner saboteurs and how they hold us back.
First of all, everyone has some version of these inner critics to some degree or the other. The goal isn't to not have them at all, rather the goal is to recognize that they're there and get into the driver's seat so that they don't drive your behavior or hold you back.
Shirzad Chamine, author of Positive Intelligence, a great book around inner saboteurs, talks about one inner saboteur specifically that he's named the Judge. The Judge is this inner critic that looks at ourselves and others through the lens of is this good or bad. As humans we're actually hardwired to have this inner critic. The judge has helped you survive and has protected you from physical and emotional pain. The Judge can be really helpful in fact if you understand it's role. However, if the Judge is running it can hold you back from being able to show up powerfully in your work, in your relationships, and in your life.
Step 1 To Overcome Any Limiting Belief
So, how do you overcome this overuse? The first stage of any behavior change is awareness. My tip for you around awareness goes back to subject-object theory in psychology. When you can subjectify something as outside of yourself it allow you to create some space from it and makes it easier to see it for what it truly is. In the case of limiting beliefs subjectifying the belief makes it a lot easier to name it, to identify it, and see it as something separate from who you are.
Your first practice is to observe your inner voice, the patterns, the tone, the ways of thinking that show up for you. Start to subjectify what you discover by giving each element a name. It could be the judge. One that I've identified for myself is the Rigid Quality Controller, this is the inner critic that needs lots of control and needs to make sure everything is perfect.
Step 2 In Overcoming Any Limiting Belief
All right, so let's talk about what to do once you have some awareness around what these annoying little voices are all about and also how they've served you in the past. That's part of that work in stage one, is to identify them and look at how they've served you in the past.
Once you're there, now you get to be in choice. This is a really important part around the coaching model, awareness isn't enough. You now need to ask yourself, what choices do I have? The best way to really get in choice around moving forward differently is looking at the costs versus the benefits of this inner critic. What are the costs that come along with being the Judge? The Rigid Quality Controller? Whatever it is that this inner critic that you've come up with, look at the costs that it has on your life, on your relationships, and the way that you're able to show up in the world. Then, look at the benefits. As I said, most of these saboteurs are there for a reason. They've served you in some way. So, honor them. From that place, you'll be able to powerfully say thanks, but no thanks to the ones that aren't serving you anymore.
That is your second practice, look at the costs and the benefits of your inner critics so that you can choose a new way.
Once you have chosen your new way, now it's time to activate. This part takes a little bit of work, and if you're not clear on it yet it's all good.
If you aren't clear on your new way take 12 minutes to listen to this guided Future Self Visualization that can help you really tap into the type of energy that you want to choose to activate.
Just like we did subject-object with the inner critics, we want to do subject-object with who we actually want to be.
Step 3 To Overcome Any Limiting Belief
The final tip that I want to leave you with around how to break free of these inner saboteurs is around action. Again, awareness without action is useless. It's good to start to know your inner saboteurs, but then you need to do something with it. One of the best tools I have here around getting into action comes from habit research, and it's the idea of an if-then queue. If-then queues are brilliant because they take the thinking out of things. They work as a trigger. If this happens, then I do this.
How to apply this to this work would look something like this:
"If my inner saboteur of the rigid quality controller comes up, then I take a moment to acknowledge that saboteur, say thank you, and choose my new way instead."
A really helpful way to remind yourself about this or your new way is through something that I call an anchor. An anchor is something that you can see, feel, or touch that can kind of bring you back or anchor you back to your new way. For me, I wear a necklace. Having that necklace is a reminder about my new way.
We've talked about a lot here, time to recap!
We talked about three things:
First, getting to know your inner saboteurs and awareness around what's actually there.
Second, getting into choice around what the alternatives are and how they've actually served you in the past, these inner critics or inner saboteurs, how have they served you? And what choice are you making now?
Third get into action using an if-then queue and an anchor.
Don't forget to download that Future Self-Visualization it will help you get clear on what you are saying yes to when you say no to those inner critics.
I'd love to know what is one saboteur that you've identified that gets in the way of you leading that wildly successful business or living that rich and fulfilling values driven life? Comment below because remember, just naming it is the first step to getting into action here. So, you're already taking the first step by doing that, but put it in the comments below.