Beware the Saboteur

The saboteur
Embedded from Getty Images | Credit: PamelaJoeMcFarlane

Life is simple — be yourself and do what you love doing.

It might be simple, but it’s not easy. There is no guarantee that it will all work out. And that space of doubt becomes a canyon in our path to achieving our dreams. A canyon created by the saboteur. The saboteur lurks within our psyche and shows itself in life’s moments of uncertainty.

It tells us to quit at early signs of difficulty. Ever show up late for a job interview? That’s the saboteur at work. Why make all the effort when you don’t really have a shot?

The saboteur is especially crafty at dissuading creative pursuits.

Ever find yourself wondering if you’re good enough, or doubting your abilities? The saboteur is at play. The saboteur doesn’t like it when you step too far out of your comfort zone. It would much rather have you blend in and just get by than put yourself out on a limb.

I recently read The Almanac of Naval Ravikant and in it he says our path to wealth starts with finding “What feels like play to you, but work to others.”

From Naval’s perspective, once you identify what that is you have to start doing that type of work. And because it feels like play to you, you will put in the work to create unprecedented success.

When you first find it, it’s exciting and you can see a bright future ahead. But as a few weeks, months, or years go by, inevitably we are confronted with a sense of doubt. Is this really the thing I’m uniquely good at? So many people are so much better than me. I can’t do it.

How many of us are abandoning our life’s purpose by falling prey to the devious game the saboteur is playing?

Keep things simple. Continue doing the work that’s feeding your passion’s flame. When doubt arises recognize the saboteur lurking in the shadows and keep at it.

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UX/ product former architectural designer writing about building a creative practice in modern times

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Hassan Karimi

UX/ product former architectural designer writing about building a creative practice in modern times