Each situation that is objectively bad has elements that are objectively good. Similarly, every characteristic or personality trait that we have can also be a blend of challenge and gift. When we get in our own way and sabotage ourselves it can seem like a curse, but there are still ways that we can leverage the very same behaviors to generate success. This process underpins mental fitness and the ability to shift from saboteur to sage strength.
Mental fitness has many parallels with physical fitness. With both, you improve outcomes through intake and action. For physical fitness, the focus is on lifestyle changes to accommodate your body with diet and exercise. With mental fitness, the focus is on lifestyle changes around what you accommodate in your stream of consciousness. Your stream of consciousness includes what is happening right now through the experiences in which you place yourself as well as what you have learned in the past.
Once we have more awareness and understanding as to how our thoughts and emotions influence our behavior we can “read the landscape” and choose whether to adopt these patterns.
Sage strengths of the controller saboteur
These abilities when enacted by the controller saboteur can result in an authoritarian experience. However, when employed as a sage strength they model authoritative responsibility and leadership.
- Confident, action-oriented, decisive, willful, persistent.
- Challenge self and others.
- Able to do the right thing, even if unpopular.
- See possibilities and activates self and others towards an outcome.
Sage strengths of the stickler saboteur
When implemented by the saboteur this generates a great deal of judgment, lack of faith, and anxiety. When operating from sage the experience is transmuted to one of trust and integrity.
- High ideals and standards. Principled.
- Able to bring organization and order into ambiguity and chaos.
- Capable of leading self and others to live and work based on clear guiding principles–to be a “good” person, and do the “right” thing.
- Direct and discerning. Seeing and communicating things as they are.
Sage strengths of the avoider saboteur
This saboteur gives away power to external circumstances. There is resignation and resentment to not being heard or having a voice. In contrast, the same skillset adopted by sage is empowering through being present and in the flow by surrendering to what is. That is, you are able to share your perspective and accept the perspective of others and engage fully without attachment to the outcome.
- Seeks peace and harmony.
- Both internal with self, and external with others.
- Easygoing, even-keeled temperament.
- Flexible and adaptable.
- Tendency to be positive and “relatively non-judgmental of others.
Sage strengths of the hyper-achiever saboteur
Skills developed to support the hyper-achiever saboteur lead to a loss of work-life balance and disconnection with the things that truly make you happy. Reapplying these same talents as a sage strength means that you pursue your vision not for recognition and acceptance but for the difference it makes.
- Driven, pragmatic, adaptable, goal-oriented, self-directed.
- Capable of growing self and others to achieve full potential.
- When inner-directed, can be great in inspiring self and others towards meaningful growth and achievement.
Sage strengths of the pleaser saboteur
Here you are looking for a shift from giving way to giving back. In other words, instead of adjusting your responses to make people feel better in the present moment, you tailor your responses to empower them.
- Loving and giving.
- Tuned into others’ feelings and needs.
- Emotionally self-aware.
- Potential for high emotional intelligence.
Sage strengths of the victim saboteur
Sage strength comes when you can transmute your pain into healing and catalyze that in others also.
- Sensitive: feel own emotions deeply and clearly, including “difficult” emotions.
- Introspective: Capable of deep and courageous introspection and self-discovery.
- Individualistic: appreciates the uniqueness of self and others.
- Perceptive of nuanced inner workings of the mind and capable of using that to connect, teach, inspire, or heal.
Sage strengths of the restless saboteur
Letting go of the fear of missing out and engaging fully in the task at hand. The love and zest for life can be applied in the here and now instead of with what else could be.
- High energy and vitality.
- Open, curious, spontaneous.
- Contagious enthusiasm and appreciation of life.
- Capable of great productivity and creativity.
- Energizing and engaging others in co-creation.
- Capable of great breadth of activity and pursuits.
Sage strengths of the hyper-vigilant saboteur
Instead of being chronically alert in case of a catastrophe, one can use these skills to minimize risk. This is for the improvement of existing systems with some level of trust in practices that are already established. And also faith in resourcefulness and resilience in dealing with problems that occur.
- Sensitive and aware of true risks and dangers to self, others, and institutions.
- Guardians of families, communities, and institutions.
- Loyal, reliable, dependable, and hardworking.
- Capable of perseverance and consistent work towards objectives.
- Capable of instituting and preserving systems and structures to impose order and stability.
Sage strengths of the hyper-rational saboteur
The difference here is between logical analysis that stems from fear as opposed to being an objective witness. This skill when applied by the saboteur represses emotion which ironically makes the emotion the driving force behind your choices. When used as a sage strength there is full acceptance of emotions. You can be at peace with strong emotion, but not be flooded by it. This makes for a fuller understanding and focused resource with the emotional component also being incorporated.
- Capable of deep insight and understanding through objective analysis.
- Can be very observant and perceptive.
- Power of great mental concentration.
- Drive towards great expertise in areas of knowledge.
- Can be a great explorer and inventor.
In each of these cases when shifting from saboteur to sage, you apply the same set of skills with a different intention. Saboteur intentions are usually ego-based and all about what you personally stand to gain or lose. In contrast, sage intentions are usually directed at being of service and implanting for the good of all.
One way to think about it is that all dimensions exist at this point in time and we migrate between them depending on the vibration we emit. In saboteur vibration where everything is bad and we focus on loss and its prevention, we exist in one dimension. In sage vibration where everything is a gift and we focus on gain and its promotion, we exist in another. This means that wherever our focus is is our reality.