–Learn to engage your wiser side to succeed AND be happy.
According to Shirzad Charmine, success and happiness don’t always go hand in hand.
The author of the New York Times bestseller Positive Intelligence says that the human mind has two conflicting parts, the Saboteur and the Sage. (Think of the cartoon figure with a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other)
Success, happiness and your mindset.
The Saboteur is the mindset that produces negative self-talk and emotions. Interestingly, the Saboteur can initially drive you to succeed but only through fear which isn’t sustainable. Eventually, you burn out or rebel in protest.
The Sage is the mindset that produces positive self-talk and emotions. The Sage is self-aware, compassionate and empowered to balance your desire to succeed with mental well-being to enjoy life more sustainably.
As an authenticity-focused coach, I focus on this sweet spot of success and happiness. Success without happiness is hard labor. Feeling good without striving to achieve might be pleasant but can also be a sign of neglecting your potential.
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Who’s living in your head?
Charmine says we all have at least one or more Saboteurs or inner judges who condemn our mistakes, worry over risks and fixate on what’s wrong. He created an assessment identifying ten types of saboteurs that contribute to our stress, lower our effectiveness and strain our relationships.
Here’s an example. Dave, 33, is an expert software developer who needs help understanding why his peers are climbing the ladder faster than he is. He took the assessment and discovered his predominant judge is the Hyper-Rational.
Dave immediately recognized the familiar negative self-talk, which prizes rationality over what he sees as others’ indulgence in wasteful and distracting emotions. He admitted that his highly analytical mind made him feel smarter than others.
That’s when he realized why no one wanted to promote him. His Hyper-Rational mindset wasn’t good at cultivating the relationships necessary to get ahead.
Disrupt the Saboteur.
In a way, Dave already knew this, but it was still hard to accept. Too often, we defend the negative mindsets that got us to where we are, but we intuitively know they won’t get us to where we want to go.
Determined not to let this Saboteur continue to run his career and life, he followed the Positive Intelligence prescription of mindfulness in action. Here’s what he did:
- Now aware of his Hyper-Rational side, he labeled it whenever it appeared.
- He paused with a grounding exercise that got him out of his head and into his body. Deep breaths, lightly rubbing two fingers, walking, listening to sounds, etc.
- Next, he challenged the Saboteur with the Sage perspective that every problem is a gift or opportunity.
- Then he generated that gift or opportunity using one of the Sage powers of empathy, exploration, innovation, navigation and activation.
After two months of disrupting his Saboteur and strengthening his Sage muscle, Dave broke free from his Hyper-Rational judge. Emotions and relationships are easier for him now. Dave is also thrilled to have been asked to lead a project at work (and he’s expressing that emotion more freely!)
Try it for yourself.
If you’re curious about your Saboteurs, take the free Saboteur assessment on the Positive Intelligence website. Then answer the questions below.
Expose the negative mindsets that hold you back. Cultivate your wiser side and get closer to that uncommon duo of creating success AND happiness.
Til next week,
Jo-Aynne Von Born, Executive Coach READYSETMORE
Work Your Authentic Genius.
Flourish with your own intelligence!
- What are your top 2-3 Saboteurs from the assessment?
- Think of a goal you are having trouble achieving. Which of these Sage powers could turn it around?
Empathy: How can you increase trust and connection by acknowledging feelings?
Explore: How can you be more open-minded?
Innovate: What new approach could you take?
Navigate: What aligns with your higher values, goals or purpose?
Activate: How can you be proactive before the Saboteur strikes again?