By Holly McCorriston

This is certainly an interesting time to be alive. We have been living under the collective pressure of the COVID-19 Pandemic since March of 2020. There’s a federal election. Uncertainty and confusion are running rampant, and everywhere we turn someone is telling us we should be doing this, that, or the other thing. 

What I want to remind you of is that YOU are the ultimate authority of you. 

Until you realize that you are a beautiful human being underneath all of the layers of programming and patterns of self-defense and self-sabotage that have been installed over your lifetime and ALSO take responsibility for that beautiful human going forward, things are going to continue to feel difficult. 

While most of us are seeking safety and control by going outside of ourselves, it is by practicing self-awareness and learning to slow down and regulate our chronically dysregulated nervous systems that we realize safety is an inside job and control is an illusion.

There is very little outside of us actually within our control. However, our INNER world is a domain where we can have full reign. Unfortunately for most of us, we are dominated by old trauma (stuck energy in the body from not being able to discharge an experience that happened too fast, too much, or too soon) and the programs and patterns we developed in order to keep that trauma from getting “hit” again. This often means we are always running from the pain or feelings in our body and perpetuating the reactive patterns of self-sabotage that keep us feeling safe.

These patterns are described in Positive Intelligence as “Saboteurs” and there are only 10 of them. The Saboteur Interceptor Muscle is a huge focus of having a strong mental fitness practice as it allows you to RECOGNIZE and then DO something about these reactive patterns.

You cannot change something you are not aware of.

There are 10 Saboteurs we ALL need to become aware of. You will only have 2-3 primary TOP Saboteurs, yet understanding that there are several other patterns of self-sabotage and protection out there helps you to expand your perspective. If you want to know what your top Saboteurs are, you can take the free assessment at www.positiveintelligence.com/assessments

No matter your results, please note that the TOP Saboteur for every person is a character called “The Judge.”

We all have a Judge and if the last 18 months have done anything, it has brought everyone’s Judge out from the shadows to give their unsolicited opinions, advice, and well…judgement. 

Now, remember your only area of full reign is your INNER world. This means that everyone else’s judge is out there telling you what’s wrong with you and how you need to fix yourself, the only thing you can control is how you respond to YOUR judge.

Are you tired of feeling so heavy? Desperate? Frustrated? Resentful? Anxious? Angry?

You can thank your Judge for those things. And yes, Saboteurs are contagious. So if your spouse comes at you in full JUDGE mode, the default pattern of reaction is almost always a spontaneous emergence of your own Judge. So we’ve got negative energy fighting negative energy.

Sounds like the world right now, huh?

Remember: Your body. Your choice. Your nervous system. Your judge. Your reactions.

AND YOUR responsibility to learn to PAUSE, regulate yourself in the moment, and CHOOSE your response instead of giving into the old patterns of reactivity. 

You lead. You go first. You decide that you’re tired of being tired, angry, anxious, stressed out, and resentful. You decide to look after your own body, stress levels, and sense of safety in YOUR body. It is NO ONE else’s job to do this for you. No one can force you to become aware of how you feel or take responsibility to change it.

It is your job to look at your patterns, Saboteurs, and how you show up in the world so that YOU are looked after and can then access your own inner wisdom, or “Sage” as we call it in mental fitness.

Your Saboteurs are responsible for all of your negative feelings and emotions. ALL stress, anxiety, and fear come from certain areas of your brain and nervous system where the Saboteurs live. 

Your Sage is responsible for feelings of compassion, curiosity, creativity, connection to yourself and your values, and your capability of taking clear, concise, laser focused action. Your sage allows you to feel pleasure, joy, love, peace, and calm.

And you cannot access the Sage parts of your brain and nervous system when you are perpetually hijacked by Saboteurs.

How could being perpetually hijacked by your Saboteurs be affecting your ability to make decisions, communicate effectively in relationships, or ultimately live your life the way you want to?

Remember, you can only control YOU. And it is easier to understand others when you open your eyes and realize how the people you love, hate, or work with might be showing up differently than you in the world. This is why it’s good to learn what YOUR Saboteurs are, take responsibility for them, and be aware there are more patterns out there than just yours.

So what can YOU do to start taking responsibility for YOU and your Saboteurs?

  1. Take the free assessment at www.positiveintelligence.com/assessments
  2. Notice when your Judge comes in and tries to tell you nasty things about yourself, other people, or what’s going on around you. 
  3. Notice when your other Saboteurs show up to sabotage you and read up on just how they show up in your thoughts and behaviours.
  4. Adopt the Sage Perspective: “Everything can either be accepted or turned into a gift and opportunity.”
  5. Take responsibility for EVERYTHING in your life. Your health, your career, your relationships, your nervous system, your wealth, etc. You look after you. Everyone else looks after them.
  6. Know that it is a Saboteur lie that you must sacrifice yourself for anyone or anything else. There is only ONE of you. You are special, unique, and you MATTER. 
  7. Your resources are best spent looking after yourself to cultivate access to your Sage (inner wisdom) so that you can then use that energy to support and inspire others to take responsibility for themselves.
  8. Ask yourself these questions: “Whose business am I in? Mine? Someone else’s? The universe’s?” When we get so busy trying to solve other people’s or the world’s problems, it gives away time, energy, and resources that we really need to spend on ourselves.
  9. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. We spend so much time trying to run away from uncomfortable feelings and situations in our bodies that we have become disconnected from them. Teaching yourself you are SAFE in the moment by staying with those feelings and being present with your senses (smell, sight, touch, taste, sound) will allow the energy to pass, often within 90 seconds. Avoiding or pushing uncomfortable sensations back down just makes them more likely to get more pronounced and they may begin to show up as symptoms of medical conditions. 
  10. Stop taking things so personally. When you become aware you and the rest of the world are chronically hijacked by Saboteurs, you start to realize so much has so little to do with you. 

Start with the smallest commitment to yourself possible and keep it as best you can. Some suggestions:

  1. Follow me on social media: www.instagram.com/holly.mccorriston or www.facebook.com/mccorriston.holly or check out my website www.hollymccorriston.com for more resources and places to start. I post videos and valuable content on Social Media most days of the week.
  2. Look up Box Breathing practices to cultivate a sense of calm, safety, and Sage energy in your body. Youtube or Insight Timer are great free resources.
    1. Box Breathing is inhaling for a count of 4, holding for a count of 4, exhaling to a count of 4, and holding for a count of 4, then repeating. It may help to visualize drawing the side of a box during each count. Do as many cycles as needed to feel more calm, relaxed, and present.
  3. Put on some music – 1 song every day – and just dance. Move your body. SHAKE. Let the energy in your body MOVE. Meditation is not for everyone, especially if you don’t already feel safe to slow down. 

Remember that I have NO IDEA what is going to be best for you. You are the expert of you. You will be able to do what’s best for you when you allow yourself to start cultivating self-awareness, a sense of safety in your body, and come back to your SELF. You are the ultimate authority of you. Are you willing to accept that responsibility or will you continue to give your power away? YOU decide.

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