As we learned last week, Saboteurs are negative mental habits that, although working against our best interest, try to convince us through their lies that they are working for us. By naming our Saboteurs and becoming aware of their script, we can limit their influence on our happiness, effectiveness, and performance. The first two Saboteurs that we focused on were Judge and Hyper-Vigilant (Worry). Did you notice either of these Saboteurs visiting you this week?

The Saboteurs we will consider this week are Stickler, Pleaser, Hyper-Achiever, and Victim.


The Stickler saboteur has a need for perfection, order and organization taken too far. It is being constantly frustrated with yourself and others over things not being perfect enough. This is our partner Tom’s saboteur. Although organization is an important quality, his excessive need for organization can drive our team crazy. If we have a training in Phoenix next January, he would have to make flight arrangements today.


The Pleaser saboteur compels you to try to gain acceptance and affection by helping, pleasing, rescuing, or flattering others. Again, pleasing others is not a bad thing. However, the pleasing saboteur causes you to lose sight of your own needs and encourages others to become overly dependent on you.


The Hyper-Achiever saboteur makes you dependent on constant performance and achievement for self-respect and self-validation. It keeps you focused on external success rather than on internal criteria for happiness. This saboteur can often be found in coaches who determine their worth by winning. If we have children on a team, we obviously want them to win their games. However, we don’t want kids to determine their worth by winning. However, the Hyper-Achiever saboteur convinces you that winning is exactly how you determine your worth.


The Victim saboteur wants you to display an emotional and temperamental attitude as a way of gaining attention and affection. It results in a martyr frame of mind; it believes that life happens to you and you don’t have any choice in the matter. Woe is me.


  1. Do you recognize the Stickler, Pleaser, Hyper-Achiever, or Victim saboteurs residing in you? If so, what is their script? What do they say to you?
  2. Be alert to their showing up in your life this week. When they do, identify them by name and be aware of their script and what they are saying to you. Let them know that you aren’t listening to them anymore. Because they are habits, they will come back. However, each time you recognize and challenge them, they get quieter and lose their power to control your thinking.

From our Top 20 team…Kevin Brennan, Willow Sweeney, Tom Cody and Tom’s Stickler saboteur.

Paul Bernabei, Director
Top 20 Training