Lindsay White
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There are days and sometimes weeks that we are likely making it much tougher on ourselves than it should be through self-sabotage.  This diminishes both your effectiveness as a leader and wellness on the whole.   I’ll illustrate how with a crisis scenario: 

You are waterskiing with your family and suddenly the engine catches fire.   You have only moments to save 3 kids, 1 wife, a sister-in-law and 2 dogs, before it’s too late. 

Which Mind would serve you best?

Mind 1:  You instantly panic and you stay panicked.  You frantically run from the front of the boat to the back looking for lifejackets and the fire extinguisher while everyone else around you similarly shift into panic.  Within 3 minutes of frantic action, most get off the boat but not all get out safely.

Mind 2:  You instantly panic but quickly shift to a calm, clear-headed, laser-focused mind.  In that state, you take a few seconds to survey the situation and be strategic.  Where is the source of the fire? Based on that location, who needs to be rescued first?  Who could be your best partner in helping to rescue the others while you take the fire extinguisher to the boat engine? What is the swifted plan of execution?  Within 3 minutes, all are out of danger.

The most fundamental mistake we make in a crisis is to mistake frenzy with urgency, and believe that in order to protect ourselves and others, we need to remain anxious. 

But anxious hyper-vigilance is far less effective than calm, clear-headed, laser-focused vigilance.   

Based on Shirzad Chamine’s research with 500,000 people, he found that most people under stress shift into a self-sabotage mode.  In this mode, your thoughts and actions might generate some helpful results, but you waste a ton of mental and emotional energy that sabotages your effectiveness.  Even worse, you suffer unnecessarily. And you create a contagion effect, shifting others to self-sabotage mode.

10 Modes of Self-sabotage

We call them “Saboteurs.”  They have names like: Judge, Controller, Stickler, Avoider, or Victim.  You can find out yours through a 5-minute Saboteur Assessment. Found here:  

We call Mind 1 Saboteur, and Mind 2 Sage–kind of like your inner Darth Vader versus your inner Jedi.  

Saboteurs operate on negative emotions.  Negative emotions are helpful for just a second, similar to pain being helpful.  If you put your hands on a hot stove, it is important for you to feel the pain. But you’d want to quickly shift from feeling pain to taking action. 

The problem is that most people’s Saboteurs keep their hands on the hot stove, continuing to feel stress, anxiety, anger, disappointment, shame, or guilt.  The Saboteur brain is only good for the 1-second wake-up alert. It’s not your best brain to be creative, resourceful, empathic, or take calm, clear-headed action.

Once you shift from your Saboteur to your Sage brain, two things happen:

  1. Survive: You’re able to handle the immediate dangers and risks with maximum effectiveness.
  2. Thrive: You’re able to shift from survive to thrive mode:  “How could I convert this ‘bad’ thing into a gift and opportunity in the long run?”

Every crisis offers massive opportunities and gifts. But only if your Sage, rather than your Saboteurs, handle the crisis. 

In the case of the burned out house, your Saboteurs would keep you forever victimized, bitter about what happened, and why it happened to you.

Your Sage would actively wonder how to convert that misfortune into gifts.  Perhaps you finally decide to move to a new location you’d always wished you lived.  Perhaps you get a different house layout that results in more family living space interactions.  Perhaps you become super clear about the importance of family versus material possessions and simplify your life and career choices to emphasize family.  Perhaps you change your job to a more fulfilling one that directly helps others who are traumatized in accidents. 

The number of ways that your Sage could actively convert a crisis into lasting gifts and opportunities is endless.  Key is that your Sage, not your Saboteurs, take charge.

 The choice is yours.

The good news is that there are very simple and specific neuroscience-based techniques to grow your Sage muscles and weaken your Saboteurs.  The result is a profound life changing impact on how you live your life, how well you perform, and how happy you are.

Let’s actively convert the crisis that is happening around is in this world into a life changing gift for you, your teams, and your loved ones.


Lindsay White is a certified Positive Intelligence Trainer who discovered the Positive Intelligence Program after reading Shirzad Chamine’s New York Bestseller “Positive Inteligence”.  She immediately knew that her clients would benefit from this type of format for changing their mindset and using their brilliance to its fullest capacity.  You can find out more about the Positive Intelligence 6-Week Bootcamp by clicking right here:  POSITIVE INTELLIGENCE