How To Not Hijack Yourself…

In: Being in The Moment

I got myself into a right stinkin’ funk this past week. Another way of saying it is that I got kidnapped by my inner saboteur.

The saboteur is a right sneaky bitch; you don’t see her coming. We all have one. She saunters in like a good friend and says things like “Ah sure don’t bother drinking that cup of herbal tea, a coffee would be much nicer. You deserve a coffee.”

Very difficult to argue with a subtle seductress like that.

“Arah, don’t bother with that creative side project. You’re too busy balancing the house and work and being a mom. Sit down there on that couch. Stick on Teen Mom and eat that Creme Egg  you’ve been looking at all day. You deserve it.”

You have to be cute for the seductress.

I’m just waking up after a week-long hijack. Bitch bit me bad.

She was beginning to talk me into believing that New Year’s resolutions are a load of old belloni. I resist the negative paradigm that posits that New Year’s resolutions are intrinsically delusional; that we tell ourselves we’ll do X Y and Z so we can feel better about our futures for at least a few weeks in the year.

More than any other year, I noticed the saboteur in our marketing trends. “You’ll break your resolutions in exactly 17 days. Why not make a change that will last and sign up to our mobile network.”

Ah, loserville.

When did we get so complacent about building better lives for ourselves? Why is OK to accept that we’re stuck with our lot in life and that, barring a nuclear fallout, our environment won’t ever significantly change?

I think the saboteur is a form of fear. A fear of change; a fear of challenging ourselves to be who we always wanted to be. We lean towards negativity in our cultural conversation and, to be frank, it’s quite lame.

The saboteur archetype, which was coined by Carl Jung, that eminent psychologist, is a primary archetype. The saboteur feels threatened by change, in ourselves and in others, and will do its utmost to undermine and derail it.

Procrastination is a common display of the saboteur at work. When I find my long finger getting longer, I’m pretty quick to notice the saboteur at play it my head.

One powerful way of changing an undesired behavioral pattern is labeling it, which is a CBT tactic. An easy way to remember this strategy is “name it to change it.” You’ve got to name your saboteur to beat it.

So I’m giving my saboteur a name. Dickface. No, I can’t  be that hostile. Apparently we have to be gentle with our ‘limiting beliefs.’ Why? Because we created them to protect us from something, and they’re just doing the job we asked them to do.

Case in point: “I don’t want to look like a muppet!”

Saying that gives your inner saboteur free reign. “No bother, I’ll eliminate all risk. There will be no telling jokes in public, no public speaking and no writing. If you attempt to do any of these things I will strike you down dead with debilitating fear.”

Do you see how that doesn’t really work? You do.

So what’s the remedy?

Embrace making a fool of yourself in public. Laugh at yourself. Johnny go lightly. The more bastions we create around our self-image, the more fear we experience when there’s even the slightest perception of threat to that bastion.

No one is perfect. No one can escape looking like a muppet from time-to-time. I recently looked like a right uncool fool when, really, I thought I was the shit. It was so unexpected. I bought a pair of what I would call ‘fashion-forward’ boots last Autumn. They were ankle length black beauties, with gold on the inside heels. These:

gold heel boot


I looked the picture of urbane in these babies, or so I told myself as I walked smugly from place to place. Soon after I bought them,  I noticed the gold part was coming loose. I was rippin’. But I just kept sticking it back in. It’d be grand. And it was until a few days later, at a meeting, when my friend exploded into laughter.

“She’s missing the mirrors, lads. The mirrors are gone!”

That was the pejorative term they used for my gold babies.

Mass cacophonous laughter. I pretended I found it funny too.

People are generally kind, so we all quickly moved on and let it die down.

A week later my missing mirror was found by the same colleague on the tray next to the printer.

The fucking tray next to the printer?

How is that even possible?

Someone must have picked it up, gone “What the fuck is that,” and put it there. I do not walk on printers, people.

She laughed and laughed and howled and howled and waved it in the air.

” I found it! THE MIRROR! I found it!”

Before the entire office floor was engaged, I had to act. My instinct was to stare her down with a look. I must really have looked like I’d follow through with whatever my look promised it would do to her, because she jogged on away from me and totally abandoned her broadcast.

stare down

That’s a true account of adult behaviour.

My lesson?

Nine out of ten times self-preservation is unwarranted and almost always puh-thetic.

Always take the high road and laugh at yourself. Unless it’s a fart. Then always blame someone else. ALWAYS.

If this athlete can take looking like a right git on the chin, so can we.


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