To different degrees, the Saboteur archetype is a part of everyone’s personality. This archetype is two faced. One is the face of the inner bitch and the other is the face of the inner guide. The problems start when the inner bitch gets ahead of herself. The inner bitch is ambitious, so she takes every opportunity to beat back the inner guide in an effort to silence her.
The two faced Saboteur will help you or hinder you in every area of your life. From self-neglect, to victimisation, to compromising your values, your self-esteem is destroyed by the inner bitch and finally self-sabotage is the result. The inner bitch will do its best to get in the way of your intuition. The purpose of this part of your personality is not to sabotage you, but to help you understand what drives you to self-sabotage. There are hundreds of ways that people sabotage themselves, but eventually they become frustrated, after making the same mistakes again and again, so that they are motivated to try something different. That is when the inner guide steps in to help you. The two faced Saboteur is truly a catalyst for change.
When you are not aware of this part of your personality, then self-destructive behaviour or the desire to undermine others is the result. Just when you start a new project up and running, or you begin an exciting new relationship, you find the inner bitch is standing in your way. The inner bitch digs up every fear she can and throws them in your path. Then it’s your fears, instead of common sense, that influence the quality of your decisions.
To understand the two faced Saboteur and how it affects your behaviour, you need to make a list of the many ways in which you let the inner bitch sabotage you. Is it:
- Illusions of superiority
- A need to be treated as special
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of abandonment
- Fear of failure
- Fear of success
- Fear of responsibility
- Lack of boundaries
- Lack of congruency
- A need for approval
- A need for recognition
- A need to redeem yourself
- A need to avenge yourself
The inner bitch surfaces when you have to make a decision. No decision is too small or too large for the inner bitch to botch up, so you have to let the inner guide have her say too. To get in touch with your inner guide, you have to ask yourself the following questions:
- Why do I do what I do?
- What is it that motivates me? Is it a positive emotion, or a negative emotion? Is it one of my weaknesses or is it one of my strengths that is motivating me?
- Am I being constructive or destructive?
When your intentions are clear, you are less likely to let the inner bitch take over. You can let your inner guide step in front of the inner bitch, so you will then be able to hear your inner guidance.
The purpose of the two faced Saboteur is to lead you into, and then back out of, situations that require you answer those questions. By creating situations where you feel weak and strong at the same time, the combination of these two energies will inspire you so that you rise out of your patterns of self-destruction and sabotage, and into all that you can be.
Once you master this challenge, the two faced Saboteur evolves into a motivating force, because it becomes an ally that alerts you to when you might be slipping into your fears. It motivates you to make a wiser, more conscious and empowering choice.
Ultimately, the two faced Saboteur is a useful companion. When you know the inner bitch is around, the inner guide won’t be far behind. The two faced Saboteur is not something to be feared or ignored. The two faces of the Saboteur can help you to follow your intuition. Doing so allows you to make better choices in life.
Here’s how that works.
Various teachers and mystics have suggested that there are only two emotions, love and fear. You could say your inner bitch is full of fear, and your inner guide is full of love. If this is so, then you could say that all positive emotions are born out of love and all negative emotions are born out of fear. Then you need to ask:
- ‘Will this decision or action that I am about to take be of real and true benefit for the highest good of all concerned?’
- ‘Is it based on love or fear?’
What is it that motivates the choices and the decisions that you make? Either fear or love will influence, hinder or enhance the quality of your decisions. How do you get what you want? What’s your ‘modus operandi’? They say money talks, but what if you don’t have a lot of money to do the talking for you? What negative, energetic currency do you use instead?
Here are some forms of negative, energetic currency.
- An overinflated sense of self-righteousness
- Illusions of superiority
- A sense of specialness and a need to be treated as such
- Fear of rejection or abandonment
- A need for approval
- A need for recognition
- A need for reward
- A need to reward
- A need to punish
- A need to avenge yourself
- Manipulating or using another’s overinflated sense of duty, responsibility or obligation for your own benefits
The following questions may help you to explore your modus operandi.
- Do you find it difficult to say no when you know that you need to?
- If you can’t say no, then what happens next?
- Do you go ahead and do what you have been asked to do with joy, or do you find yourself resigned to it, or angry, resentful or bitter towards the person who made the request?
- Do you end up feeling like a victim?
- How do you reason with yourself or convince yourself that you must do it when you don’t want to do what has been asked of you?
These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself if you really want to put a stop to self-sabotage. What positive energetic currency can you use instead? If a positive emotion is behind your decisions and actions or your decision making process is based on, for example:
- Your intuition,
- The need to maintain your honour,
- The need to develop courage,
- The need to remain congruent,
- The need to act with integrity,
- A desire for unity,
- A need for mutual respect,
- A sense of compassion or empathy,
- A desire to be of genuine, unconditional service,
- A need to maintain your values,
- A need to maintain your personal boundaries,
- A need to speak your truth,
- A belief in yourself or another,
- Faith in yourself or another,
- A need to forgive yourself or another,
- A need to be more personally responsible,
- A desire to be creative,
- An urge to inspire or empower others and so on…
then you are less likely to sabotage yourself.
You cannot, in all honesty, control what other people do, or the things that have happened, or are likely to, but you can control what motivates you.
You can control your intentions and so your conscience will remain clear and you will have maintained your sense of self. Your spirit will be left intact instead of shattered.
When a negative emotion, such as guilt or an inflated sense of duty, for example, habitually influences your decisions and the choices that you make in life, your motives are less than clean. This is what is known as having a hidden agenda, when done on purpose. Even if you aren’t aware of your motives at the time, the outcome is still the same, which is sabotage. So you are more likely to sabotage yourself and possibly others in the process.
Be aware of what motivates you, by asking yourself just two questions:
- ‘Why do I do what I do?’
- ‘What is it that motivates me?’
Then answer those questions honestly. This means you will have tapped into the source of your intuition, inner wisdom and the power of your spirit. Being aware of what motivates you will help you to side step self-sabotage more often and will always lead you to greater personal empowerment, which is contagious.
Weaknesses of the Saboteur Archetype
Weaknesses may be all negative emotions, which fall into the category of ‘Fear’. This aspect represents your inner bitch – the internal voice of authority that demands, nags, pushes, bullies or forces you to follow its orders.
As a part of pros and cons list, this aspect represents your list of cons since it makes excuses such as:
- Not enough money,
- Not enough time,
- Not enough knowledge,
- Not enough experience etc.
It may manifest as:
- You sabotage yourself,
- You sabotage others,
- Others sabotage you,
- You block success for yourself and others.
Strengths of the Saboteur Archetype
Strengths may be all positive emotions, which fall into the category of ‘Love’. This aspect represents your Inner Guide – the gentle voice that quietly suggests prompts, guides or softly steers you to where you need to be. As a part of a list of pros and cons, this aspect represents your list of pros since it:
- Represents your intuition,
- Represents a synchronicity,
- Represents your conscience,
- Represents your ability to be self-aware,
- Represents your ability to expose fears and negative issues that you need to know about.
It may manifest as:
- Your actions are based on what benefits the highest good of all concerned; this equates to intuition in action,
- Creates success for yourself and for others,
- Inspiring empowerment for yourself and others
Now chose your favourite positive key words to help you to find your purpose through the Saboteur. What do you really want to be? Do you want to be motivated or motivating, intuitive or healing, rather than sabotaging yourself and others?
- What form will your purpose in life take through this archetype?
- Choose qualities associated with this archetype that you want to be.
- Can you make the commitment now to be that, and bring it into all that you do?
Exercise for the Saboteur Archetype
This exercise is useful if you have a project, idea or dream that you want to begin, or you would like to create changes and improvements in your life.
Ultimately, sabotage will cause destruction and bring an end to things, but this leaves the space for something fresh and new to manifest. The combined potential of the inner bitch and the inner guide is that it will motivate you to follow your intuition, especially when all else has failed.
Each face can be used to represent the pros and cons for the following exercise. Let’s say you want to take up a course of study. Using a journal, you can set some time aside to interview the inner bitch and the inner guide, with the purpose of exploring the pros and cons around your idea.
Start with the negative associations first. Interview the inner bitch for a list of the cons associated with your new idea. Ask it to give you all the reasons why you shouldn’t go ahead with this project.
‘Give me all the reasons that go against my idea. I need to hear about all the drawbacks and worst case scenarios, so don’t hold back!’ You’ll find the inner bitch comes up the following ideas:
- You don’t have enough money
- You don’t have enough time
- You are too old
- You are too young
- The children still need you
- You are not clever enough
- You are not creative enough
- You certainly don’t have the discipline
- No-one will like you anymore because they will be threatened by your success
- People in this town don’t do those sorts of things
- You are getting too big for your boots, young lady!
- They will think you have gone crazy… and so on and on it goes
Keep listing these reasons until the process feels complete. The key to working with the inner bitch is to give it plenty of time to have its say. If you ignore the inner bitch, this part of you is forced to go underground, where it grows darker, gloomier and larger. It keeps growing and growing until one day, seemingly out of the blue, it resurfaces, at best, as a pattern of self-undoing that will undermine you, and at worst, like a volcano spewing chaos all over your life.
An ignored inner bitch behaves like a broken jack-in the-box. It will continue to resurface at random, popping up repeatedly in your efforts to undermine others, or even where others undermine you, causing you to make the same mistakes again and again.
- Once your list is complete, take an objective look at it.
- Review the entire contents of your list.
- In amongst the list of cons, you might actually find some valid points worth considering, such as:
- Do you need to find extra money to pay for the course so that you are not left short in other areas?
- Can you set things in place so that you are able to manage child care and study commitments?
- Do you need to consider a part time course over a longer period rather than cramming it in full time?
- Do you need to get tougher in delegating chores to be done around the house?
- Can you be successful and not feel guilty about it?
- Instead of fearing success or failure, can you handle the level of responsibility and power that comes with success appropriately and with integrity?
Next, interview the inner guide. Ask this aspect of your character to give you all the reasons why you should go ahead with your course of study.
‘What are the pros and benefits for me if I undertake this course?’
- It’s something that you would love to do
- You will meet new friends with similar interests
- You will have a useful qualification
- You have age on your side – you have prior experience in the industry
- You’ll have prepared yourself to re-enter the workforce
- You will have created new career options to move into once the children have grown
- You will have a career instead of a job
- You will have a career that pays twice as much as your former work
- You will have shown the children that learning and creating opportunities for yourself doesn’t ever have to stop
- Besides, they might even be encouraged to do their homework and study with you
New information often needs time to cook or percolate, so to speak. Once you have your list of pros and cons, leave it for a few days. Give it time to integrate into your mind and emotions. Sleep on it.
Now ask yourself, what feels right for you and what is the direction you need to take for the highest good of all concerned? Then make a firm decision one way or the other.
The two faces of the Saboteur are designed to emphasise the many creative and different ways you sabotage yourself and others, or how others sabotage you. The following formula is an ideal one to use if you want to create self-sabotage:
Negative Emotion + Decision = Same Old Mistakes.
You let the inner bitch sabotage you when you let negative emotions, rather than positive emotions influence the choices you make in life. This aspect of your character urges you to confront and expose your fears. You have to look hard for it because it’s hiding behind your decisions and choices. Your intentions and motivations influence your decision making processes.
Are you making mistakes or collecting feedback? When you have trouble making a decision, then think ahead for a minute.
What does it feel like when you imagine that you have said yes? How does it feel when you imagine that you have said no? Which one:
- Feels better, or
- Feels right, or
- Is based on the highest good of all concerned?
Is it the ‘Yes’ or the ‘No’?
- Positive Emotion + Decision = I know what to do.
The purpose of the two faces of the Saboteur is to teach you that:
- Experience + Failure = Feedback
- Knowledge + Experience = Emotional Intelligence
- Emotional Intelligence + Time = Wisdom.
The two faced Saboteur has the power to influence the quality of your thoughts, feelings and actions. If you are not aware of your inner bitch and your inner guide, these unconscious influences have the potential to drive you crazy. They become the driver behind the wheel in the car that is the vehicle of your life. Remember the formulas so that you fill your vehicle with the correct fuel. You would want to know if a bad driver or an expert was sitting behind the wheel in virtual control of everything in your life. This two faced driver has the potential to influence what you do with your entire life, your health, work and relationships. Your life is a product of your conscious or unconscious thoughts, attitudes and beliefs. Your life is a result of your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual projections.
The two faced Saboteur will find it’s expression through your thoughts, emotions and behaviour, so it pays to be aware of these themes and how they play out for you.
Note: This is a modified version of an extract from my first book, “A Dialogue with the Soul – Using Personality Archetypes to Access Inner Wisdom.”