Saboteurs are people who sabotage you on your path of calling. Like ominous thunderclouds, Saboteurs roll in and ruin our ability to enjoy the sun. John Schuster offers some unique insight on dealing with Saboteurs in Answering Your Call. He writes that Saboteurs cannot be completely avoided and at different points in your life, “the saboteurs will play a major role – negating, casting doubt, and destroying your hopes.” While that might sound overly dramatic, Saboteurs are precisely so effective because we often don’t recognize just how much emotional damage they’re inflicting. It’s important to recognize opposition so that you can deal with it effectively.
Schuster points out that Saboteurs often:
- Look respectable and have authority
- Sound and act as if they have positive motives such as your best interests at heart
- Twist reality so convincingly they go unquestioned
- Are masters of power and control – they shame, manipulate and play on other’s weaknesses.
- Cause pain and enjoy watching others regress
- Do good in some areas, making it harder to recognize their devastation in other areas.
He also writes that we can be our own saboteurs! Saboteurs do so much damage because they “can exploit a weakness” in us, usually because we haven’t taken the time to deal with this weakness ourselves. While it’s important to focus on our strengths, Schuster writes that, “you owe it to your calling, if not to yourself, to lessen [a weakness’s] hold on you.”
If you’ve had a saboteur:
- give yourself healing time
- learn to forgive so that you don’t end up cynical and bitter
- give others the benefit of your insight into that experience
It’s important for all of us to recognize that we will face opposition when following our callings, to view it as a learning experience to be endured, hopefully coming out stronger on the other side with a renewed vision.
Have you ever experience a Saboteur? How did you deal with the situation?