Everybody has an internal saboteur. It’s that little voice that appears whenever you’re about to do something that pushes the boundaries of your comfort zone. It’s protective. It’s trying to keep us safe, and inside that zone.
“What if you stutter or forget your words?” It says, as you’re about to deliver a talk in front of an audience.
“What if they don’t like you?” It says, as you’re on your way to a party where you don't know many people.
“What if you launch your product, and nobody buys it?” It says, as you’re preparing your launch.
All of these ‘what if’ questions are there to invoke fear. To make you second guess yourself. To come up with excuses not to do that thing.
Better not do it. Better stay safe.
This is your internal saboteur. This voice is trying to keep you from harm by stopping you from trying to achieve great things. Doing something big almost always includes an element of risk. You need to put yourself out there.
But how are you going to achieve greatness, if you succumb to that voice? If you play it safe?
That voice will never go away. It’s a part of all of us. But we can transform it from a saboteur into a helpful compass with some practice.
By spending time to become conscious of this voice, you can start to control it. By recognising when it is playing a part in your emotions, you can begin to make conscious decisions about how to act on it.
If you’re aware and conscious of the voice of the saboteur as it’s speaking to you, raising your heart rate, and playing on your nerves, you can take a breath and make a decision about what to do next, instead of letting it drive you.
“I’m feeling nervous and coming up with excuses to cancel my talk I am scheduled to deliver. That seems like my inner saboteur speaking”.
Use this feeling as a compass to know when you’re pushing yourself outside the comfort zone. I’m feeling really nervous, and I can tell my saboteur is at play, that means I’m pushing myself, and that’s a good thing!
If you seek to improve yourself and live an interesting life, then pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone is what we have to seek.
Get comfortable outside your comfort zone.