In my last blog, I introduced the concept of the internal saboteur, and asked you to start paying attention to what yours was saying. This exercise will help you to face your saboteur and tackle it head on!
Try to visualise your internal saboteur. What shape is it? Does it have facial features or expressions? Are there any particular colours? Is it a he, she or it?
Where is it? Inside you or outside you? What does it feel like when it pops up? Are there any physical sensations?
Now think about its favourite times to get chatty.
Is it when you’re about to go into an important meeting, and you’re imagining it’s not going to go well? Is it when you’re considering taking on a new challenge at work or at home, and you’re convincing yourself you’ll never stick at it? Is it when someone says something you disagree with, and you’re wondering if your view is worth fighting for?
When is it most chatty for you? Write these situations down.
Next, what are the most common phrases coming up? Write these down.
Now, look at those situations and common phrases you have written down. Challenge them. Question the evidence for them. Write down more positive alternative phrases that are based on facts. Define actions you can take that will allow you to take control of the situation.
Challenge “What will they think if I do that?” with “This is what I want and I know they just want me to be happy”.
“I don’t think I’m going to add any value in this meeting” could become “I’ve been invited because of my experience. I’ve been told I have unique input to add”.
“I don’t feel good enough for this” could be “I will attend some additional training. I can ask for help”.
“This is all too big and overwhelming for me” could become “I’m going to work out what the first step is and just do it”.
So, now you know what signs to look for and what situations it is likely to pop up, you can start to face your internal saboteur head on in the moment – challenge, question, state facts, take action! Like any habit, it will take time to get used to this. Keep going and you will learn to quieten that pesky saboteur!
Some people find it helpful to store some more positive phrases in their phone or a notepad, so they can remind themselves at key moments!