Skip to content

Saboteurs in a Nutshell


The nine saboteurs are the avoider, the controller, the pleaser, the hyperachiever, the hypervigilant, the hyperrational, the restless, the stickler, and the victim, Each one is fear based and has particular defining thought patterns and related points of focus. 


The mindset associated with the avoider is not to upset their personal peace. This saboteur wants to avoid conflict and is extremely sensitive to indicators of tension.


The controller saboteur is driven to maintain an illusion of control and being in charge. Ultimately, this protects against having to do things against their will.


This saboteur wants to be the best. External results indicate success so there is sensitivity to not achieving the goals you set out to.


This saboteur believes that emotions undermine their ability to deliver. They eschew feeling in favor of logic. This includes when other people show emotion.


A person running hypervigilant programming believes that they have to spot the danger before it occurs to stay safe. So, they are extremely sensitive to what could go wrong and the potential for problems.


The Pleaser saboteur arises from the terror of being disliked. Therefore, they will often go along with what others want to do irrespective of their own wishes. They protect their acceptance by scanning for signs of disfavor.


The restless saboteur is based on a fear of missing out. This means that they jump from experience to experience and lose the depth of engagement as they are always looking for the next opportunity and never really present right now.


Sticklers fear making mistakes. They want to be perfect. This makes them highly critical of themselves and others and quite deterministic in what is right and what is wrong.


Victims believe that their world is broken and cannot be fixed. The glass is metaphorically empty. Consequently, they focus on what is missing and their misfortune and have a tendency to wallow and give up.

Overall, increased awareness of your saboteurs also increases your skill at recognizing when you have been hijacked by them. In addition, this provides a greater opportunity to shift away from this frame of reference.

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 Robert Balog from Pixabay