Everyone has that voice in their head that judges them harshly or instills fear when they try to shake up the status quo. In life coaching we call it The Saboteur. This is the voice that stops you in your tracks every time you venture from your comfort zone and want to make changes in your life. It creates anxiety and self-doubt. One woman aptly named hers “the little bitch in my head.”
The saboteur is the inner critic… the voice that chastises you. It is the censor… the voice that stops you from expressing your thoughts and feelings for fear of how you will be perceived, judged or labeled, or even not loved. It is the editor… the voice that has you sugar coat your authentic voice instead of speaking your truth. Some people have learned to overcome it better than others, and refuse to have it stop them from going for their dreams and desires.
The good news is that this inner aspect is not who you really are. It comprises a very small part of your inner dialogue. Being aware of its voice and message is the first step in dealing with it.
We humans are complex beings. We have many different aspects of our personality, and the saboteur/judge is just one of them. The trick is to never let the saboteur/judge call the shots. Once you recognize its nasty and fearful inner voice… you can consciously choose to call on any of the more confident and passionate parts of yourself; and allow those aspects to take charge of your thoughts, emotions, decisions and actions.
A great example of this comes from the late Shakti Gawain, who was an author and popular workshop leader. I was privileged to spend five months with Shakti in one of her intensives in California in 1986. She told us how she would prepare herself when she was speaking to large audiences. She would do the inner work first. She was passionate about her message and fully believed in her work. So, before she went on stage, she would tuck her vulnerable “Inner Child” into bed with a kiss and put an Angel by her side… and then she would put her radiant “Inner Star” in charge. It worked! She was always fabulous!
Another way to deal with it is play. That inner judge voice reminds me of my computer security system that warns me of an unsafe url address: “Whoa… Do You Really Want To Go There?” On the computer I heed the warning. With a fearful thought that is stopping me from putting myself out into the world and following my dreams… I say: “You’re not the boss of me!” And I choose my passion, my dreams… and put those positive aspects of myself into being.
Try this the next time you are facing a situation or circumstance that has you fretting or feeling insecure about something you would love to do… or need to do. First, label that voice as your inner judge/saboteur. Then, choose differently. Get quiet and go within. Ask your Inner Being for guidance and begin to acknowledge the wonderful and varied aspects of yourself. Choose to listen to the inner voices that are kind and confident and full of wisdom. Put your Higher Self in charge.
Life is too precious and beautiful to allow the inner judge to run the show. You show it who’s the boss!
The two links below are great to read… (they are safe to open). One is by the wonderful author Elizabeth Gilbert, and the other is by one of my colleagues Matt Gagnon.
“Remember that the minute you take your first step into the life of your dreams,
the first to greet you there will be fear. Nod. Keep Walking.”
~ Brianna Wiest