Skip to content

Mental Fitness in a Nutshell


The basic idea is that you need three elements for Mental Fitness:
(1) The ability to intercept your saboteurs
(2) Activation of your sage, and
(3) Stronger self-command

Intercepting your saboteurs

The nine saboteurs are avoider, controller, pleaser, hyperachiever, hypervigilant, hyperrational, restless, stickler, and victim. Our dominant saboteurs act like a program that is implemented by your judge. These fear-based responses, often learned in childhood, provide a sense of safety and control. They provide a distinct motivation that influences the way you think, feel, and behave. Each one limits our functionality in specific ways.

Activating your sage

Once you can spot your saboteurs as they arise you want to be able to switch to more sage responses. The Sage powers are Empathize, Explore, Innovate, Navigate, and Activate. You can implement these powers according to the needs of the situation.

One way to activate your Sage is to look for the gift in your experience. Another is to use PQ (positive intelligence quotient) reps (repetitions). These are simple actions based on your senses that take you out of your left-brain response patterns into right-brain creativity and positive flow. This is like a centering process that creates space allowing you to more effectively access your inner wisdom.

With practice, you can experience the difference between being in saboteur and sage mode and familiarize yourself with accessing each of the sage powers.

Strengthening self-command

Self-command is like a muscle that you can build over time as you establish the appropriate neural networks. You do this by making it a habit to spot your negative saboteur frameworks and switch them to positive sage using PQ reps. This practice can be applied in real-time or after the fact by re-visualizing situations where your saboteurs were triggered and imaging your preferred sage response.

Leveraging each of these three elements increases your mental fitness by increasing the time spent resonating with sage.

Source: “Positive Intelligence: Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential and How You Can Achieve Yours.” by Shirzad Chamine

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay