11/14/2014 10:13 am ET Updated Jan 14, 2015

3 Ways to Leverage Your Inner Saboteur

Compassionate Eye Foundation/David Oxberry/OJO Images Ltd via Getty Images

We all have a saboteur in us. This is the guardian of your deepest beliefs. It protects you from ever having to "feel that way again." It tries to keep you "safe," even though that is often a misperception. What it really does is keep you playing small.

The saboteur creates disruptions in your flow, your dreams, your abilities to do what you need to do to be at your highest potential. Your saboteur resists opportunities, often through doubt, fear, and procrastination. It pulls up every possible fear around consequences and results of taking responsibilities for your creations.

So how do you stop it? Well, you don't. You actually want to refocus it. Much like reprogramming a GPS that has an old map with old roads, you have to update the maps to include the new roads. In this case the roads are your thoughts and beliefs. Here are three steps to refocusing.

1. Do you know what the beliefs are that your saboteur are currently working with? Perhaps it is "children should be seen and not heard" or "be a good girl/boy, follow the rules, and don't act up." Perhaps it is "I never want to feel that way again" or "if I ___, then ___, so I have to ____." These are all beliefs that keep you small. Once you become aware of it, ask yourself, is this true now? If you feel the answer is yes, how do you absolutely know it's true? What do you need to do to shift that. If it is no, go on to the next step.

2. What do you really want? Go beyond the obvious dreams. What gets your heart excited and simultaneously scares the crap out of you? THAT is what I'm talking about. That is your heart's deepest desire. Take some time to go through all the reasons you "can't" or "shouldn't" go there into that place that is exciting and scary. List it all out. Then repeat those questions at the end of step one.

3. When you feel yourself procrastinating or making a choice that goes against your hearts deepest desire, you have a choice, ride the wave all the way through and when you reach the shore, ask yourself what that was all about OR shift in the moment by having an immediate conversation with your inner saboteur and ask what's up. Give it full permission to speak. Then decide if you want to follow it or if there's some other option you prefer to take. Be sure to thank your saboteur.

As you practice this, your saboteur becomes a brilliant guide for staying true to your dream. The process becomes faster and easier. You'll find yourself in flow far more often. It is an exciting relationship to have in balance.

I want to know the #1 way your saboteur sabotages you. Leave a comment below. If you would like to go deeper, you can learn more about archetypes through my upcoming course, "Playing in the shadows: integrating your core archetypes to be whole" at While you're there, sign up for delicious inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.

Here's to playing big!

Wendy Reese, MA, is coach, author, speaker, and teacher who is passionately committed to helping visionaries, change agents, and healers be whole. With over two decades in the health and fitness field and 13 years teaching yoga, she brings a holistic approach to her work. She intuitively bridges woo-woo and practical guidance in a no nonsense, yet fun manner. You can find more on Wendy at, twitter @wholebeinginc, and G+ and Facebook.