In our previous article, we introduced the concept of mental fitness - our ability to respond to life's challenges with a positive mindset - and looked at the self-command muscle, which is the first of three mental muscles we can help you develop. Here, we will introduce the second and third muscles of mental fitness: the saboteur interceptor and the Sage.
We all have internal saboteurs – the inner voices or inner critics in our mind, such as the judge, the controller, the pleaser and the avoider. Saboteurs cause us to feel negative emotions, including stress, anxiety, self-doubt, frustration, guilt and unhappiness. These are unhelpful behaviours or limiting beliefs that will have served us at some point in the past (e.g. in childhood), but which now get in the way of us developing and delivering positive habits and actions.
There are ten saboteurs in total (the judge, plus the nine accomplice saboteurs shown above), and each of us will be affected by different saboteurs and to varying degrees. Building our mental fitness helps us first to recognise our saboteurs, then to intercept them so we can choose to shift to a positive response. The more we build these mental muscles, the faster we can shift and the more habitual the positive response becomes.
Your Free Saboteur Assessment
To learn about your own saboteurs and how they might be negatively impacting you, click here to take your free saboteur assessment*. The assessment will rank and score nine saboteurs (everyone has the judge saboteur so this is not included in the assessment, but is featured in the programme), providing insight and advice to help you quieten and tackle your saboteurs.
Our third mental fitness muscle is that of the Sage. Although the negative emotions of our saboteurs can push us to short-term wins (e.g. when we are motivated to do something because we feel guilty or angry), the Sage motivates us through positive emotions, such as empathy, curiosity, creativity, passion and purpose. This is far more powerful and generates our sustained success and happiness.
The Sage Perspective is very simple to explain; it is that every problem or challenge can be converted into a gift and opportunity. Although it is not so easy to do in reality, you can develop your ability to use the Sage Perspective by strengthening your mental fitness.
As with all fitness and habit-forming, we encourage you to start small and build up. Consider a recent challenge which you initially considered to be negative. Although it wasn’t expected, maybe it gave you more time with your family or reconnected you to a person or hobby. Maybe it created a new business opportunity or presented a learning experience that will benefit you for many years to come.
By looking at a challenge you are currently facing with a positive mindset and harnessing empathy, curiosity, creativity, passion and/or purpose, what gift or opportunity is available to you that can lead to your success and happiness throughout this year and beyond?
Alongside the Sage Perspective, there are five powers, or skills, of the Sage; these are positive emotions which can pull us towards success, and which you will no doubt recognise from the emotions described above. They are:
Empathy (love for yourself and others)
Explore (love for discovery)
Innovate (love for possibilities)
Navigate (love for meaning and purpose)
Activate (love for making things happen).
Ultimately, the Sage is the positive mindset that guides the response we wish to activate once we have recognised and intercepted our saboteurs, so we no longer follow the default reaction that is triggered by negative emotions. By understanding the Sage Perspective and Sage Powers and putting them into practice, combined with the self-command and saboteur interceptor muscles, we have an operating system which enables us to activate the Peak Performance of a Positive Mind.
Peak Performance of a Positive Mind Peak Performance of a Positive Mind will help you build your mental fitness and develop your positive mindset. It is an annual programme which has two key parts: Part 1 is an interactive 7-week mental fitness programme, delivered primarily through the Positive Intelligence (PQ) app.
Part 2 includes 10 monthly one-to-one, 30-minute online coaching sessions to support and enhance your performance, wellbeing and ongoing mental fitness development. You can find out more about the programme here and contact us to discuss offers and discounts which are currently available. Developing mental fitness is beneficial for everyone, irrespective of whether your goals are personal, professional or a combination of both. It will help you improve your ‘whole life’ performance, as you increase your self-awareness and self-command muscles, learn to recognise and intercept the limiting beliefs and unhelpful behaviours of your saboteurs, and move to clear, focused action. It will give you the foundation to thrive in the areas of your life that matter most to you. *Following your saboteur assessment, you will receive emails from Positive Intelligence which are designed to help you tackle your saboteurs; they are not marketing emails. If you would like to understand how to limit the impact of your saboteurs, please share your results with us and arrange a discussion via firstname.lastname@example.org.