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Three Characteristics of the Inner Saboteur

inner saboteurWhy would you want to discover your inner saboteur?

Because this part of you is responsible for….how much misery? Why not learn all you can about the inner saboteur so that you can begin to heal or at least negotiate with it?

What is the Inner Saboteur?

The inner saboteur is a part of your psyche. “Parts” are like subpersonalities, which have been a point of discussion in philosophy and psychology since ancient times.

The book, Subpersonalities by Rowan is an excellent introduction to psychological parts. The first recorded mention of a subpersonality (and a conversation with it) is said to have occurred in ancient Egypt when a man wrote a book about “a conversation with his soul.”

Anyway, we’ve all had the experience that part of us wants one thing, and part of us another.

• Part of you knows you should clean up the house. Part of you wants to be lazy and watch TV instead.

• Part of you wants to stay in your relationship and part of you dreams of a different life.

• Part of you wants to be in shape and part of you wants to forget all about fitness and eat everything in sight. And so on.

The inner saboteur is a part that – for whatever reason – loves to screw things up.

Three Characteristics of the Inner Saboteur

1. It’s not going away.

Let’s put this wish to rest up front. We’ve all spent time hoping some negative, critical, nearly sociopathic part of ourselves would simply vanish. We fight it. We swear oaths to avoid giving in to it. The inner saboteur, like the Eel in Your Achilles Eel: The Hidden Cause of Self-Sabotage, doesn’t care how determined you are. It knows it can and will come out to wreak havoc when it’s good and ready. Your resolve to conquer it is rarely enough to actually subdue it.

This is why you can psyche yourself up to doing something positive and avoiding negative behaviors, but later….the resolve is hijacked by the inner saboteur. And it has a totally different attitude, which becomes your attitude.

2. It can hi-jack your conscious mind.

Speaking of hijacking, parts can do that. Daniel Goleman spoke about being hijacked by the primitive brain and proved it happens. Other parts of us can do the same.

You’ve probably had the experience of thinking and feeling a bit differently depending upon whom you’re with. In presence of some people, a fun part of you emerges. In a business meeting a serious, focused part of you takes over – your business mindset. When you’re home on a Sunday morning, you may feel a totally different part of you. Late at night, your demons may even come out.

Who knows. Different parts are triggered by different settings, events, and people. Get up in front of people to give a speech and a scared-to-death inner child may urge you to run for the hills.


The point is, these parts of our personalities can “take over” our consciousness and we end up seeing the world as they see it. We think their thoughts, feeling their feelings and act accordingly. When the inner saboteur takes over, you sabotage yourself. In those moments, it’s extraordinarily compelling to commit the inner saboteur’s act because the inner saboteur is in charge of your mindset and the rest of you is locked away.

3. You can heal your inner saboteur.

As unlikely as it may seem, you can heal the inner saboteur. It’s just a part of you, although it may be a powerful part over which you currently have little control. That’s ok. You have to start somewhere. The key to healing the inner saboteur is to develop a new relationship with it.

You do have a current relationship with your inner saboteur. If you’re like most of us, you hate this part of you. And it hates you back. This is what needs to change. The prospect of change may feel as hopeful as Middle East peace talks but there is true potential to reorganize your life on the inside, allowing for a different, non-self-sabotaging relationship with the inner saboteur.

To learn how the inner saboteur is programmed, watch this free and enlightening video.

Three Characteristics of the Inner Saboteur

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.

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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2018). Three Characteristics of the Inner Saboteur. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 15, 2020, from


Last updated: 21 Jun 2018
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