In Which Lisa Talks to Herself. A lot.

Dec 14, 2011 by

By Lisa Campion

Confession: I talk to myself a lot in my own head. It’s pretty neurotic in there but at least I am never bored! Today, I am going to share some of my internal chatter with you, in the hopes that I can prove a point. Here we go…

Inner Child- “We are doing another blog again? About the Wisdom the Saboteur? What if no one likes it? I will be alone is a world full of pain.” <sob!>

Inner Critic- Oh Lord. Here we go again… <eye roll>

Saboteur- “Hey, isn’t it time to watch Spongebob? Pretty sure they are running an all day Spongebob Marathon on TV….”

Inner Child- “Don’t try your Jedi Mind Tricks on me, you stupid Saboteur! Shhh, it’s time for the blog! It’s going to be a goooood one!”

Do you have your own version of an internal conversation? If so, have you ever noticed that those voices are usually in conflict with each other? It makes for slightly entertaining inner dialogue sometimes, but most of the time it’s like pulling up to a broken drive through intercom with a car full of screaming kids. It just doesn’t work.

So in this blog, we’re going to see what happens when the Inner Child, Inner Critic and Saboteur keep whacking each other in the back seat.

This brings up my main point: what happens when the neurotic, slightly funny voices actually keep you from getting things done?

I don’t know about you guys, but I do a lot of goal setting. I love affirmations, vision boards and the juicy goal-setting homework that my coaches give me.

But there’s a dark side: Have you ever noticed that setting goals can also bring up a lot of resistance to change?

You know what I am talking about. You set a wonderful goal and then all of the sudden it becomes crucially important to organize your sock drawer. Or watch an entire season of Lost episodes. Or maybe check out those sales racks at Macy’s. Time slips by and you are no closer to meeting your goal. The apple cart remains upright and there is no irksome challenge to our beloved Comfort Zone.

Resistance, breakdowns, roadblocks and other sabotaging behaviors all happen and they are totally normal. It’s what we do about them that really counts. Lately I see a lot of people that hit a big roadblock and then give up the game, buying into the unfortunate, It wasn’t “meant” to happen myth. That one lets you off the hook pretty quick, doesn’t it? And there is no arguing with a high power, like the UNIVERSE right?

Well, I guess the UNIVERSE doesn’t want me to do that. Phew!

Granted, there really are things that aren’t meant to happen, like no matter how many times I put it on a vision board and do affirmations, I am never going to be a line backer for the New England Patriots. That is truly not meant to happen. Some of our roadblocks are clear signs marked DO NOT ENTER. And woe to us if we do… These ones are totally contrary to our life’s purpose, or that case our genetics. (Of course, we always have the exact right bodies and genetics to complete our mission, you know that, right?)

But most of the time, we hit roadblocks because everything we have ever done that is worth doing takes us out of our Comfort Zone. It’s scary outside the Comfort Zone and we resist. We like the Comfort Zone. It’s nice and safe in there. Cozy. Predictable.

What I want you to think about, is that your roadblocks, especially the ones that you create yourself, are very wise teachers and healers whose primary function is to help you evolve and keep you on your path.


In the Energy Medicine school that I teach in, (The Rhys Thomas Institute of Energy Medicine) we talk a lot about archetypes and the saboteur is a very powerful one that everyone carries.   We all have one and I am here to tell you, it can be one of your greatest teachers and it is so, so wise.

Here is a totally hypothetical conversation that someone (who totally wasn’t me, BTW) had in her head the other day. It was about writing a book.

Saboteur- “Hey. You. What are you doing, trying to write a book? Is this REALLY what you want to do, or is this just another harebrained idea, like the last five you had. You don’t have time to write a book, sounds like a pretty dumb idea.”

Me- (OK, it was me…) “Um….Yeah. I think this is what I want to do. I know it’s what I should do. A book is the new business card, right? All the cool people are doing it.”

Inner Critic- “You totally should do this. You will be a bad, bad person if you don’t. And all your problems will magically be solved if you do. You will be famous, rich, popular and loved. You’ll lost ten pounds for sure too. And you can prove once and for all that you really are The Boss, instead of a total loser.”

Inner Child- “Waaaah! I am not a loser! I don’t want to do that, it’s big and scary and I hate change. I will probably fail. It will be so scary if everyone sees me. Eeeeek!”

Saboteur- “Way to go, Inner Critic, you made the poor kid cry. Sheesh, it’s getting pretty noisy in here and the anxiety level is like a 10 now. I think you suddenly need to organize your sock drawer. Or wash the kitchen floor.”

Inner Child- “Waaaah! Not the sock drawer!” <Sob, sob….>

Saboteur- “Ok, how about parking your tushy on the couch and catching up with all those Walking Dead episodes. Back to back. You like back-to-back zombies, right? Pretty sure there is chocolate involved too!”

Inner Child- “Zombies?” <Sniff, sniff… > “I like zombies and chocolate…”

And next thing you know, someone (ok me…) is passed out on the couch in a chocolate and zombie induced coma, sock drawer safely messy, no pesky book on the horizon and nowhere close to upsetting the apple cart with any unauthorized travel out of the Comfort Zone.

(Please, no comments on feeding chocolate and zombies to my inner child. We all have our own favorite brand of unconsciousness. I am working on it in therapy, ok?)

When your saboteur sneaks up and put the whammy on you, here are some little favors it might be doing you. It has a function that is wise and necessary. Here is the gift it is really giving you-

To slow you down and get you to really think about what you are doing- The gift of discernment
Helping you get stronger and clearer by working through your blocks- The gift of strength and endurance
To protect the vulnerable parts of us that are afraid of change- The gift of protection
So take this one in- the saboteur is often the protector of the inner child.
That is the big one, right? The answer is YOUR INNER CHILD. That part of us hates change and has a host of fears that come up when change presents itself. The shenanigans of the saboteur is usually about protecting the child parts of us from change and the fear of change. The inner child is afraid of a lot of things. For example…

Fear of change
Fear of failing
Fear of success
Fear of being seen and heard
Fear of commitments, responsibilities and taking a stand for something
Fear of judgment and criticism (What will so-and-so think!)
Fear of life off the couch (Or wherever your Comfort Zone is)
The unfortunate part is when the saboteur operates in the back ground, through the subconscious and puts a big spike in your wheel from somewhere behind your brain stem. Understanding what your personal bag of tricks is all about will help you identify the saboteur in action. We all do it. It’s better just to confess and take it out of the darkness of the unconscious and back into the light of day.

Here is a list of some pretty frightening and very common behaviors we indulge in when things get dicey and we might actually accomplish something. I invite you too look through these with honesty and a sense of humor. Among them are some of my personal favorites.
Creating chaos and drama
Forgetting stuff and being disorganized
Getting sucked into other things – taking on more and more
Starting but never finishing things
Focusing on the negative
Getting into other people’s biz
Getting depressed and stuck
Having an emotional meltdown
Feeling unworthy
Negativity comparing yourself to others
Continually changing your goal
ADD type distractions
Needing help but not ask for it
Getting pulled into addictions, food, shopping, drinking, TV, Farmville
Talking yourself out it
Not setting boundaries with others who hijack your goal
Those are all good ones, right? I am sure you could add to my list with a few really sterling one too, but you get the drift.

So what is the bottom line here?

When you find yourself engaging in one of these charming behaviors, ask yourself if the Saboteur is present. You might even run it like a little meditation and have a conversation with that part of you, as I did. I find it very helpful to get a visual on these parts of ourselves, it can be very informative to know what that part of us looks like.

Me- “Hey Saboteur! I see you sneaking around inside my psyche! Why do I suddenly have this irresistible urge to clean the bathroom?”

Saboteur- “What? Who me?” <looks around wildly>

Inner Child- “You are so busted!” <snicker>

Saboteur- “I am just here to protect you. To keep you safely out of harm’s way. And to make sure you have thought through that plan so you don’t waste a lot of time. We aren’t getting any younger you know….”

Me- “What is your big lesson for me today? Besides the joy of having a clean house.”

Saboteur- “Well, I just wanted you to really think about what you are doing. Is this really right for you? Or are you just in the grips of the Critic who only ever pulls you off the path of your life’s purpose.”

Inner Critic- <snort!> “Look whose talking pal…”

Saboteur- No really, if you can really tell me this is part of you, your core and you are in integrity about doing this, I will get onboard. And it’s still nice to have a clean bathroom. ”

See! Internal happiness for about five minutes…Yey!

So be at peace with your saboteur, I am sure you have so much to learn from this wise, wonderful part of you!

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