Monday, November 16, 2015

confronting the inner saboteur

Lately I've gotten to witness a lot of self-sabotage--fortunately, mostly not from myself! Everyone has an inner Saboteur that works hard to keep them from progressing. This post is just an introduction to the concept of the Saboteur.

Archetypally Speaking
Image here.

Archetypes are basically psychological patterns that form the basis of the personality. A brief intro to archetypes can be found here.

Every person has twelve primary archetypes--eight that differ from person to person, and four that are found in everyone. The Common Four are: the Inner Child, the Victim, the Sell-Out (or Prostitute, but I prefer Sell-Out for its wider connotations), and the Saboteur. Today I want to talk about the Saboteur.

The Saboteur

The Saboteur. The one who sabotages. This archetype is about self-sabotage, the part of us that actively works against our happiness and higher good. Typically the Saboteur goes unrecognized--unless a person becomes intentionally aware of its influence.

Caroline Myss writes:
The Saboteur archetype is made up of the fears and issues related to low self-esteem that cause you to make choices in life that block your own empowerment and success. As with the Victim and Prostitute, you need to face this powerful archetype that we all possess and make it an ally. When you do, you will find that it calls your attention to situations in which you are in danger of being sabotaged, or of sabotaging yourself. Once you are comfortable with the Saboteur, you learn to hear and heed these warnings, saving yourself untold grief from making the same mistakes over and over. Ignore it, and the shadow Saboteur will manifest in the form of self-destructive behavior or the desire to undermine others.
Like all archetypes, the Saboteur is neither inherently good or inherently bad. It all depends on how we allow it to work in our lives. Being aware of the inner Saboteur turns it from an enemy into an ally; when we realize how we are in danger of being sabotaged, we can prevent said sabotage. Particularly if we are the ones behind our own sabotage.

Recognizing the Saboteur

Image here.
For me, it was helpful to run my own archetype chart. Essentially, all 12 archetypes fall into "houses." I was not surprised to discover when I ran my chart that my Saboteur fell in the House of Good Fortune--the house of creativity and making money. I am a very creative person--buy my novel The Body Electric here--but I routinely failed to meet my own expectations for myself. Once I realized my Saboteur was there, I was able to see the ways I had sabotaged my own success. Being aware of my self-destructive tendencies when it came to finances helped me prevent future sabotage. My life now looks very different than it did when I was allowing my Saboteur to rule me.

Again, from Caroline Myss, the 12 Houses of the archetype wheel:

  • Personality, Ego: the face you present to the outside world
  • Life Values: ownership, finances, your relationship to earthly power
  • Self-expression, Siblings: the power of choice
  • Home: establishing your emotional foundation
  • Creativity, Good Fortune: erotic energies, including creativity, sexuality, and synchronicity/chance
  • Occupation and Health: seeking security in the physical world
  • Relationships: marriage and partnerships
  • Other People's Resources: stocks, inheritance, death and closure
  • Spirituality: wisdom, publishing, travel
  • Highest Potential: completing the integration of the self
  • Interaction with the World: relating your creativity to humanity
  • The Unconscious
  • Where does your Saboteur fall? This is something you can pray about or muscle test on.


    We all have an inborn tendency to sabotage our own success. Being aware of this tendency helps us proactively avoid self-sabotage.

    1 comment:

    1. OOOH if you feel so inspired I would love to hear your take on the other archetypes.