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Mr. Saboteur – John Styn

I went to a Life Coach.

During our first hour, I was shocked how often I said the phrase,
“I do not deserve…”
“I am unqualified…”
“I don’t feel entitled to…”

My coach said that was the voice of my “Saboteur.”

This feeling of being unworthy is why I have worked to be a big fish in a small pond for most my life.
For years, I was focused on a pretty niche area: Where web technology, sex, and spirituality met.
I worked on Globalgasm – an event that used sexuality as a force to generate love energy and unite people.
I used my own sexuality as a canvas to share ideas.
I believed that I did not deserve to talk about spiritual ideas all by themselves. There are way too many people more qualified than I.
They read more. They study more. They practice more. They meditate more.
In comparison, I simply have no right to be blathering about spiritual topics.
Plus, I like to party, I take medications, I eat processed foods, and am generally not living a life deserving of any emulation from a spiritual seeker.
BUT, if I narrow the realm into something much more niche-specific – say “Spirituality at Burning Man” – or Sex & Spirit – well, that is something I can speak to with authority and without embarrassment.
As far as Burning Man, techno-tribal, neo-hippies go… I *am* a qualified expert.

It is the same reason I relied so heavily on my body & appearance.
There is a 5 year period of time where you would be hard-pressed to find a photo of me with my shirt on.
For some reason, I felt like the higher the charisma, the lower the bar needed to be on the content I shared.

To be fair, I am getting much better.
My attitudes were much worse before my chapter with Grandpa.
Over the last few years, I have built up my confidence and broke down my ego… at least a little bit.
In fact, as I find myself recently single I realized how dramatically my sense of self has changed.
I used to define myself as a sexual being. Whether overtly or subtly, my public self was strengthened by my looks and “mojo.”
Not so much, anymore.
I still feel sexy. But not in the “drool-inducing abs” way. More in an “older Paul Newman” way.
This is a very good thing. As I approach 40, I become more and more aware that the tide of aging will topple any ego built on vanity.

This is an ongoing process that affects many areas of my life. Motivations and patterns crumble and shift – Not always gracefully.
For example, if I no longer care about *looking* good, then I need to shift towards a different motivator for exercising. “Feeling good” is the obvious answer, but it isn’t such an easy switch.
And just because it is something I know I SHOULD do, doesn’t mean I am motivated to do it.
The more I thought about it, the more I became aware of this feeling of, “it’s what I SHOULD do.”

I looked over the list of things I told my Life Coach I wanted to add to my life:
Yoga . fitness
These were not because I *WANT* to do them… but more that I feel I should. I SHOULD be doing those things if I am to be qualified to speak about Belief Buffet things.
While it would be great to be doing all those things, it seems ridiculous that I see them as qualifications for speaking my truth.
I had no idea my Saboteur was so strong.
I had no idea so much self-judgment was going on.
I still want to pursue a more healthy spiritual and physical path, but I need to add “pursue a healthier self-image,” too.
I must learn to respect my own path, value my perspective, and forgive myself for failing to meet my ideal self-image.
If I can forgive myself in this area, I will be free to connect more deeply to all the people in my life.
Looks like we’ve got a showdown ahead, Mr. Saboteur.
Watch your back.

  • Kat

    Another case of “life is art”. Saboteurs are present in the artistic world of a censor that tells you what you are doing wrong. It sabatoges your self growth and self esteem (in some area of your life. In my case it is job/money and areas of life.

    Incidentally, the Censor/Saboteur enjoys making you say words like “I can’t” or “I’ll never”.

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