Befriend your inner saboteur

January 7, 2008

Happy New Year. Broken any new year resolutions yet? Or maybe you’re the kind that refuses to make them – that way ensuring a 100% satisfaction guaranteed rating at the year’s end. Like so may people I think about resolutions at this time of the year – I sometimes act upon them, but often than not by the end of January I’ve quietly put them away for another 11 months. This year I’ve decided to take a different approach. For the past 6 months I’ve been thinking about change – personal and professional – and spending a lot of that time asking myself what’s useful and productive about not making the changes I say I want to make. What kind of satisfaction (or secondary gain) am I getting out of my stuckness that’s more useful than the imagined newer version? I invariably come up against comfort (with the status quo) and fear (of the unknown) not highly original but pretty real in my case.
I have a couple of major personal change projects for 2008 and instead of writing a ‘to do’ list and an action plan I’ve made a mental list of how I am feeling now and how I want to feel when I’ve achieved those changes. I’ve decided to make the emotional engagement with these resolutions the focus of my attention while also embarking on some practical actions. So often it’s the emotional stuff that derails our best laid plans and in my case I can revert to a comfortable and controlled emotional relationship which inhibits my progress with outward action. So far it’s working –I’m delving into the value of my fear and comfort and discovering all kinds of interesting insights. I’m taking on my inner saboteur and am going to make ‘her’ my closest friend for the next year and I know that by the end of January I won’t be consigning any ‘to do’ list to the back of the drawer for another 11 months.
How are you getting along with your resolutions? And what’s your plan to befriend your inner saboteur?
For a great article on New Year Resolutions head over to Escape from Cubicle Nation where Pam asks ‘what’s perfect about your problem?’

2 People reacted on this

  1. Hi Annette,
    Happy new year from Sligo.
    I’ve actually been wondering about that internal critic thing as well over the new year, and I’ve decided to try turning my internal critic into my internal coach.
    You see I know that internal saboteur has a function, which is to keep me safe and comfortable, problem is I don’t really get any kick out of being safe and comfortable for very long.
    That lad Kahlil Gibran reckoned that “comfort murders the passion in our souls and then walks grinning in the funeral” not far off the mark for me.
    So the plan this year is to interrupt the internal critic constantly, dispute the conclusions and ask “as my coach, what do you think I need to do?” I have a feeling the answers will be a little different.
    Best of luck for the year.

  2. Happy New Year to you also Paul. That strategy sounds really interesting as a way of listening to your inner saboteur – I hope you’ll blog some of the conversations!

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