Overcoming the inner saboteur: Paths to personal growth

von Johannes Justus

I often try to tackle things in my life only to realize the next moment that I somehow lack the inner strength or determination to follow through with what I have planned.

Why is that? Am I really that weak or is it just unfavorable circumstances that prevent me from achieving my goals? When I think back to my childhood, I remember visions, dreams and wishes that I enjoyed sharing with others. Do you also know those moments when you lost the inner fire to dream? What happened to us? Where has the passion to dream gone?

This Bible text helps me with this. So that my doubts don’t overwhelm me and my guilty conscience leaves me in peace.

Do not remember the sins of my youthand my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me,for you, Lord, are good. Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. (Psalm 25:7-8)

I assume that there is someone who simply sabotages this. It’s called the “inner saboteur”.

The term “inner saboteur” refers to negative inner voices or patterns that can influence your own behavior. Pay attention to your inner saboteur. Identify it, what opinion comes up? What interrupts the flow or dampens your passion?

The inner saboteur can take different forms. It ranges from self-doubt to fears. It can interfere with personal growth and interpersonal relationships. I want to explore some forms here to see what influence they can have and what impact they have on my personal life and relationships.


The saboteur who is afraid of commitment will destroy relationships

If your partner gets too close to you and a good mutual bond can develop, which can also be enriching, then the saboteur comes forward and starts to sow doubt: “Are you sure that this is the right time or the right person?” Then the doubter starts to take flight. There are no limits to creativity. It can lead to envy, insinuations and control.

Solution approach

It is helpful to understand that inner saboteurs are often based on fears or past experiences. By addressing these factors, it is possible to bring about profound changes and lay the foundations for more health-conscious thought patterns:

  • Taking responsibility for your own life, recognizing, examining and controlling your own thoughts and feelings.
  • To be honest with ourselves and others, we need healthy self-confidence.
  • If necessary, talk to professionals before making decisions that you later regret.


The saboteur who won’t let anyone in will make sure that you end up alone

There may be hints that indicate too much closeness or a loss of freedom. Instead of talking to each other, such people start to have internal dialogs about their partner. These can look like this: “I’m running out of steam, where is there enough room for me personally? He/she is selfish and only thinks of him/herself”. It is often the case that when such a person finally experiences a release, they look for the next person and then it starts all over again.

Solution approach:

It makes sense to plan free spaces in which everyone can be on their own and then come together again and spend time together.

  • If you get too attached to each other, you quickly lose the attraction. There is a good saying: “Less is more”.
  • This needs to be well discussed and negotiated so that everyone gets their money’s worth.
  • Learn from mistakes, work on yourself and get better.
  • Maintain and consciously shape interpersonal relationships.


The saboteur who wants to show you that everyone will leave you in the end will make sure that the pattern repeats itself

If this does not happen, it can lead to the person concerned becoming cold or the behavior becoming unbearable. The reason is not sought in oneself, but always outside oneself. This happens in relationships and in the family, but also in teams. I often hear a statement like: “I knew it would turn out like this”.

Solution approach:

It is also helpful to understand that the inner saboteur is often based on past experiences or fears. By addressing these causes, you can bring about deeper changes and create the basis for healthier thought patterns.

  • Strive to bring out the best in yourself and see others as an asset.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously and laugh at yourself sometimes. It’s better to laugh at your own mistakes than at the mistakes of others.
  • Create a positive, healthy and benevolent environment.
  • Set priorities and act accordingly.
  • The most valuable resource in life is your partner or your counterpart.
  • And then people will come to you and stay with you.


The saboteur who tells you: “It’s not worth it anymore. Retire, then you’ll have your peace”

What a gloomy prognosis that doesn’t apply at all. The writer Edmund Wilson wrote about a certain prognosis: “Death is the only prognosis that never fails”

Until then, we live and do our best and give meaning to everything we do and create something meaningful.

Solution approach:

Use the time, otherwise it will be irrevocably lost and we cannot buy it back. We can only try to waste as little of it as possible.

  • Use your time efficiently and sensibly. You can’t kill time, the opposite is true.
  • Be prepared to take risks and make mistakes, then you will remain a lifelong learner.
  • Take care of your physical and mental health, pay attention to your life balance.


Such a person has a strong inner motivation, a clear idea of their goals and values. They are determined, ready for change and have a high level of self-confidence. They are able to make full use of their skills and talents and are not discouraged by difficulties, but instead take them as motivation to develop further. She serves as a role model for others and helps to shape a positive and successful future.



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