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The Voice that Says You Can’t

by | Dec 7, 2010 | General Career Advice

The Voice that Says You Can’tYou’ve just had the most amazing idea. It hits you like a tidal wave and nearly knocks you off your seat. THIS is the best idea you’ve ever had and you’re so excited to get started.

And then…the voice shows up.

“Who are you kidding? You’ll never accomplish that!”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’ve had ‘great’ ideas before and none of them have ever worked out. What makes you think this will be any different?”

“That’s a horrible idea. No one will get it.”

“Maybe it’s a great idea…but you can’t do it. Someone else will come up with it and do it better anyway.”

Does any of this sound familiar?

That voice is what’s known as “The Saboteur.”

The Saboteur is a nagging, negative mental manifestation that tries to sabotage your efforts to grow and disrupt your desire to achieve new things. This guy is a real pain in the butt. He appears in a number of different ways and can use thousands of different disguises.

We all have saboteurs but many people don’t recognize them. The Saboteur doesn’t speak the truth but he still sounds pretty convincing. Don’t let yourself be swayed by his charms.

Here are a few things you need to know when dealing with The Saboteur:

The Saboteur Is Not Your Friend

Let’s be clear: That voice is a jerk. Seriously. His sole purpose is to discourage you and keep you from taking any risk at all. While he might sound like a caring, thoughtful voice of reason, he’s actually just a nervous nelly. He’s not looking out for your best interests, no matter what he says. Don’t hang out with him; don’t humor him. He’s no friend of yours.

The Saboteur Is Stuck in the Past

That voice only knows what happened in the past. He doesn’t know what’s possible or what could be. His job is to take the lessons you’ve learned and hold them over your head forever and ever. Sure, it’s a necessary part of growth to learn from history. But remember that the past isn’t always an accurate indicator of the future.

The Saboteur Loves the Comfort Zone

That voice comes up when the possibility of discomfort arises. He doesn’t want you to rock the boat. In his opinion, comfort is the most important thing in life. Of course, as you know, any kind of growth requires a little unease. So, if it were up to The Saboteur, you’d stay right where you are forever. You’d never move forward, you’d never improve. You’d live in the comfort zone and slowly waste away.

The Saboteur Doesn’t Have Faith In You

That voice isn’t aware of your capabilities. He’s not worried about pushing you towards your personal destiny or helping you become your best self. He doesn’t think you’re worth much anyway.

See what I mean? That voice is a JERK!! Keep your eye out for The Saboteur and don’t let him run the show. When you see him, say “hello” and simply ask him to take a hike. There’s no sense trying to reason with him or change his mind. Just put him in a box, place that box on a shelf, and carry on. Like I said, we all have saboteurs. The goal is to recognize them and manage them, so they don’t manage you!!

Need help? That’s what I’m here for.

Photo Credit: Kaptain Kobold (Flickr)

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About the Author

Chrissy Scivicque is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and certified Professional Career Manager (PCM). She is an author, in-demand presenter and international speaker known for engaging, entertaining, educating and empowering audiences of all sizes and backgrounds. Learn more here.

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