At this point I hope you have a pretty good sense of who the Saboteur is and why he (or she) does what he (or she) does. To benefit from the information he (or she) is trying to provide (obstacles and issues you would need to address in order to get to the next level), let’s now turn to how he (or she) operates.

The place to start is with this four-step process:


As we have seen (Episode IV: A New Hope), this is what starts the whole thing rolling. Opportunity, potential, inspiration. It’s what we are looking for, what we are working so hard to uncover. For most of us, sadly, our ego and our nervous system are not necessarily on the same page. New possibilities will take us into the unknown, out of our comfort zone.

This could look like an exciting new idea, a promising client prospect, or even the day with a whole lot of potentially productive, undedicated time. To our conscious mind this seems like good news, which makes it all the more confusing at the end of the day when it doesn’t work out like we hoped.

That’s because we –


Now this doesn’t mean actually passing out (although it sometimes appears as the powerful need for a nap). It’s closer to when you walk in a room with a sense of purpose but cannot remember why…

Or when you intended to drive somewhere but realize you are half way to a different destination you are used to driving to…

Or when you plan to behave differently around your family “this time,” but somehow the second you get near them something takes over and it goes pretty much the way it always does…

Unconsciousness happens without us really being aware of it, and it allows things to happen without us being aware of it.

Particularly –


We drive to the usual place instead of the new place, and behave the way we are used to around our family because these are deeply ingrained habits. They are our auto pilot, default settings.

They are easy to do since they are well-rehearsed (even if they don’t get us what we say we want), and they are extremely familiar which is very effective for avoiding the unknown. This soothes our nervous system and stabilizes our threatened ego. And since everything occurred without our being aware, we are left with –


It is intensely painful (and highly unusual) for us to look ourselves in the eye and say, “Today I felt afraid. I chose to stay small and played it safe.” Instead we opt to feel mystified and confused.

Sure, over time you might feel down on yourself, but not the “recognize a choice I can make in this moment to create change” kind. It’s usually more of the “I guess things aren’t going to work out for me like I’d hoped. Sure, I’ve lost some respect for myself, and I wish I would have done some things differently, but what difference would it really make anyway? This whole thing has just gone wrong somehow, I don’t know…” kind.

You get your unconscious, shadow agenda met without taking the blame. You get to stay stuck without any idea of how to make it different.

This can all happen in the blink of an eye, and often we don’t even notice or remember the “possibility” phase. Part of the reason it’s so effective is that it’s very hard to accept that you would do this to yourself.

Next time we will cover how to recognize this information and what to do with it.

Are you able to recognize any of this pattern in your situation? Tell us about it below in a comment.

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