Aghhh… our inner saboteur! You know, that part of ourselves that seems to pop up at the worst time ever and ruin something in our lives? In psychology, we define it as ‘the part of an individual’s personality which deliberately disrupts, delays, destroys, or hinders their own success.’ Your inner saboteur shows its ugly head when you think, behave and act in such a way that it negatively impacts your success.

There are ways to stop these negative thoughts, behaviours and actions, and that’s where your best friend comes in, symbolically. Yes, the key in befriending your inner saboteur is to bring your best friend in your mind – they don’t even have to be around for this to work. Let’s bring in yours, as you use the power of your imagination to see and hear your best friend, and learn these 3 success lessons they can teach you:

Lesson #1, Your language

The language we use is critical, as it builds our reality. Your brain believes everything you think, explaining why your thoughts either ignite or extinguish your next action. 

Scenario: let’s imagine that you are in your kitchen and you inadvertently break a glass or that you are late for an important meeting and you take a wrong turn. At that moment, you would start talking to yourself, right? And you know oh too well the type of things you start hearing: ‘I’m so stupid.’, ‘Why did I think I could do it.’, ‘I can’t do this.’, ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’m a failure.’ and so on.

Impact: as you found yourself crippled with destructive inner dialogue, it is important for you to realize how you are self-sabotaging.  By talking down to yourself, you make yourself feel miserable, and you then carry these feelings with you to your next activity: whether you are hosting a party, having a romantic dinner date, underperforming at your meeting, delivering a poor pitch…

And, that’s where your best friend comes in…! Ask yourself, would you talk to your best friend the way that you’ve just spoken to yourself? No, you would not, and that conscious realisation helps you shift your perspective, so that you can stop doing that right away. Truth be told, if anyone was talking to you the way you sometimes talk to yourself, you’d give them a piece of your mind, so stop it.

Lesson #2, Your beliefs

Your beliefs are the lens through which you see the world: they impact your reality. Your self-belief acts as a catalyst to make all your dreams happen. 

Scenario: let’s imagine that you are about to go out to a karaoke bar or that you are about to interview for a new job. At that moment, being scared of doing something you’ve never done before, you start thinking that you are not good enough, yes that little voice of yours… And worst thing is, you start believing that it is true and that you cannot do it.

Impact:  this is yet again another harmful behaviour; by shattering your self-belief, you hold yourself back from going for something that is important to you: enjoying a night out with friends, getting that dream job of yours.  It is that voice stopping you in your tracks that self-sabotages your goals.

And, that’s where your best friend comes in…! Ask yourself, what would my best friend tell me right now? They would be supportive of your nerves and would encourage you to be the best that you can be by reminding you of how great you are. This gives you the perspective you need to overcome this right now. Start listing your proudest moments and accomplishments, and pump yourself up.

Lesson #3, Your calendar

Having the ability to move through life, through your career, with confidence allows you to avoid action inertia, thus confidently moving towards your goals.

Scenario:  let’s imagine that you have planned and diarised to go to the gym or that you want to spend some time on your career development, and you cancel it at the last minute. At that moment, you are not acting upon something that you want to do, you are procrastinating.

Impact: procrastination is another way we self-sabotage as you disregard the decision that you’ve previously made based on something you want to achieve, i.e.: tone your body, lose weight, train for a race, develop your career. It is an extremely harmful behaviour: on a short-term basis, disruptive; and on a long-term basis, destructive. 

And, that’s where your best friend comes in…! Ask yourself, would you cancel on your best friend the way that you’ve just cancelled on yourself? No, you would not, you’d not take another person cancelling on you the way you cancel your own appointments. And that gives you the perspective you need to stop doing it right now. 

This 3-step process helps you to engage your brain to its best as you make your dreams come true. Thanks to this Best Friend Strategy, you learn how to control your inner dialogue, how to strengthen your self-belief and how to respect yourself and your goals. So, when any of these scenarios pop up, apply the BFS process, stop hindering your progress and experience more results in your life.

words by Frederique Murphy

Frederique Murphy is a leadership mindset strategist, keynote speaker and author of new book, Lead Beyond The Edge: The Bold Path to Extraordinary Results