Do You Know Your Saboteurs? Learn How and Improve Your Positive Intelligence
I’m ever so slowly getting better at noticing the voice inside my head. And I’m getting better at finding amusement in it’s sometimes silly or outrageous reactions. But I’ve just learned about another great resource that can help us understand and quiet this survival instinct.
A few weeks ago, I heard about Shirzad Chamine and his book, “Positive Intelligence.” He has a great personal story that I won’t spoil here, but in brief, he hit a point in his life where he realized that he was letting the negative voice in his head run his life. Shirzad has since devoted his career to figuring out how people can increase the “percentage of time our mind is acting as our friend rather than as our enemy.” He calls it PQ; Positive Intelligence Quotient. His journey has led him to be a New York Times bestselling author and chairman of CTI, the largest coach-training organization in the world.
One of my favorite concepts in Shirzad’s book is the way he names and identifies the negative voices in our head. He breaks it down into 10 types of survival mind patterns that he calls saboteurs. These are beliefs and habits that get in the way of our happiness and fulfilling our potential.
- The Judge: Compels us to find fault with ourself, others and our conditions and circumstances
- The Stickler: Compels us to take our need for perfection, order, and organization to an extreme
- The Pleaser: Compels us to gain acceptance by constantly helping, pleasing, and rescuing others
- The Hyper-Achiever: Compels us to pursue constant performance and achievement for self-validation
- The Victim: Compels us to feel that bad things always happen to us and use our poor me message as a way of gaining attention
- The Hyper-Rational: Compels us to have an intense and exclusive focus on the rational and analytical aspects of everything, including relationships
- The Hyper-Vigilant: Compels us to feel intense anxiety about all the dangers and uncertainty surrounding us
- The Restless: Compels us to constantly be in search of greater excitement through perpetual busyness
- The Controller: Compels us to take charge and control situations and other people
- The Avoider: Compels us to avoid difficult and unpleasant tasks and conflicts
Shirzad even has a self-assessment you can take to help you identify your top saboteurs. I wasn’t surprised to learn that in addition to the common Judge, I also had The Pleaser, The Avoider, and The Hyper-Achiever.
In his many years of coaching highly successful CEOs and their teams, Shirzad has found that identifying our saboteurs and learning how to notice them in action is a huge first step in removing their power over us. Give it a try! Take the assessment here and see if you can catch yours in action this week.