The Other Accomplice Saboteurs

In the previous post, we described the Judge, Avoider, Controller, Hyper-Achiever, and Hyper-Rational. There are some more and a question for you is which one/s have the loudest and most insistent voice/s in your head (aka self-sabotage “self-talk”). When your Sage is active, your self-talk (ok, your brain) can be your best friend helping you with constructive next steps to work on whatever opportunities and challenges you may be facing. When your Saboteurs are active, your self-talk/brain can be your worst enemy. It’s apt that Shirzad Chamine called these “brains” the “Survivor Brain” (Saboteurs in action) and the “PQ Brain” (Sage in action). That is, PQ is your Positive Intelligence Quotient. It measures the percent of time your brain is working positively (serving you) vs. negatively (sabotaging you).

The Survivor Brain is triggered by fear (fight or flight) and “protects” us in ways to help us survive and usually not in ways that help us grow. Our survivor instincts and actions may keep us stuck, immobilized, or worse, do things that make our situation even worse than it is. The PQ Brain is enabled by calm and confidence (opportunity-seeking) and works to transform negatives into positives so that beneficial outcomes are made possible even out of adversity. The PQ Brain helps us to thrive and not just survive.

The Hyper-Vigilant is about looking out for dangers that keeps us anxious and anxiousness that keeps us vigilant about everything that can go wrong. The Pleaser is about satisfying others to gain acceptance usually at the expense of one’s self, thus causing unhappiness and resentment. The Restless is about keeping busy and looking for the next activity for more excitement. The Stickler is about finding the impossible perfect and can cause anxiety. And, finally, the Victim is about indulging in feelings of pain and seeing one’s self as always being victimized by someone or other. Did these brief descriptions remind you of people you know? Maybe even yourself?

Take note that recognizing our Judge and its loudest accomplice Saboteurs is part of the process of accepting that they are there, and will perhaps never be gone, and to remind us to take pause when we catch their volume getting louder and hurting us. That is, their appearance becomes an opportunity to do some “PQ reps” and activate the wisdom of our Sage. Shirzad Chamine uses the metaphor of building our “PQ muscles” by doing “PQ reps,” just like going to the gym to strengthen and build our physical muscles. The metaphor makes developing our Positive Intelligence more accessible and using our Judge and accomplices as reminders to turn their presence into taking steps to develop new patterns of thinking and acting. He suggests doing 100 PQ reps daily and this may sound difficult but assuming that our Judge and accomplice is super active, and we use each “appearance” to remind ourselves to think and act differently can and will help burn in new habits.

Photo by Andres Ayrton on

The three strategies Chamine shares to strengthen our PQ include weakening your saboteurs, strengthening your sage, and building your PQ Brain muscles. He then gives specifics on how to apply each of these strategies to help start changing deeply ingrained self-sabotaging patterns of being, thinking and acting.

More to on these in the next post. In the meantime, have you figured out which is your worst enemy? Is it the Judge and Hyper-Rational? Is it the Judge and the Stickler? You can choose to embark on a journey of personal growth to thrive instead of staying in a self-sabotaging mode of fear and just surviving.

I hope that by now you are ever more curious to learn more so why not try out the free Saboteur Assessment on the Positive Intelligence website?