Your Saboteur is a master of disguise. It can come to you in 5 different forms: the Attacker, the Enticer, the Protector, the Innocent, and the Unlucky. The Attacker is no surprise. We kind of expect the Saboteur to attack us. This is the nasty little voice that nags at you and judges you, but it can do much worse. The inner nasty can come at you in a disguise. It can come in softer and gentler. The words may be softer, but they can still hurt your creativity.
Well that’s scary and now I want to hide under my desk with Bindi and Frankie. I had no idea my inner critic could be so sneaky. But then again, I have the ability to change who I am based on who I’m around. How I am with my goofy friends is not how I would be around my Grandma. Nope. Alright, fill your cuppa, grab some nibbles, and turn to page 185 in your copy of Around the Writer’s Block by Rosanne Bane and let’s hope it get’s better. EeeeeeK!
If it wasn’t creepy enough that your inner voice could whisper in your ear gently, there is more. The Enticer is the friendly little guy that smiles at you and tells you everything will be okay. Your goals will all me magically fulfilled and your work will be an awesome success. The Enticer is all about the fantasy of it all. This little jewel of a Saboteur will tell you how hard you are working and that you need a break.
- “You’ve done so much lately. You should take today off.”
- “Skip Process today. No one will know.”
- “You should watch that movie you rented. You wouldn’t want a late fee.”
- “Wait until tomorrow…there’s always a tomorrow.”
Then there is the Attacker who does exactly what its name details. She will punch you right in the stomach. She will rage and scream at you. She will tell you how you will be rejected in all you do.
We all think the attack has to be the worst but there are more. The Innocent is the wide-eyed, sweet face of the Saboteur that sticks her bottom lip out and ponders, “How could this happen to me?” Now there is True Innocence who asks helpful open-ended questions while the faux Innocent wallows in the disappointment and effectively gets you stuck in doubt.
The Innocent declares she doesn’t have the information or skills to do better. She wallows in denial and inaction.
- I don’t know what to do.
- I’m stuck. I can’t figure it out.
- I wish someone would help me.
The Protector promises to keep you safe from the nasty rejection monster. Safety means isolation. Isolation means missing opportunities, encouragement from your peers, and the help needed to improve your skills. The Protector didn’t protect you at all. The Protector encourages you to keep tweaking, and editing, and reworking, and…and…and…She locks you in doubt believing you are protecting yourself from criticism.
- Don’t rush it. You need to be sure it’s good enough.
- Wait until you have a better shot at winning the prize.
- Be careful who you show your work to. They could steal it.
Sometimes your Saboteur can appear as accidents. Yup, people believe that bad things happen to them all the time. The term ‘accident prone’ comes to mind. Don’t get me wrong, accidents happen, but if you use them as excuses you are using your Unlucky Saboteur. Have you ever know someone who may be glitchy and have accidents often and they say something like, “Well, that’s just more of my dumb luck.” They are hiding behind their Unlucky Saboteur.
- What’s the point?
- Someone else has done it better.
- Getting published is all about who you know. I don’t have the right connections.
- OMG! Someone wants to steal my work.
- I just can’t catch a break.
Well, that was kind of a bummer post. Don’t worry, friends, it gets better. Don’t give up! A success story is coming.