Monday, July 8, 2013

Succeeding with Saboteurs

For the five weeks in July, every Monday we'll deal with dealing with one type of difficult person.

If you have ever embarked on a diet, started an exercise regime or considered a career change, you have probably run into a saboteur. They are there with the cookies when you are trying to watch your eating, they want you to take a walk through the parking lot to happy hour instead of heading to the gym. They point out every potential risk in your new undertaking. Basically, when you need support the most, they not only refuse to give it but seek to derail you.

For the saboteur change is a bad thing. They want to maintain the status quo, change is to be avoided at all costs. Sometimes the urge to sabotage is based out of fear – fear your relationship will change, or even end, if you change. If you lose weight, maybe you’ll find someone else. Other times fear is of you wanting them to make a similar change. If you start working out, you’ll want them to start working out … and they don’t want to work out!

Maybe change would make things more difficult for them. You cutting back on your expenses would mean cutting back on shopping sprees with them. If you get another job, they will lose a valuable work ally.
Finally, your change might be holding up a mirror for them in their lives and, they might not like what they see. They want to do something different too. By you actually doing it, makes them wonder why they haven’t taken the initiative.

Regardless of why, you don’t want their efforts to derail your success.

  1. Put them at ease. If you sense they are resisting your change out of fear, then assure them that you will still want them, need them and love them, regardless of the change. Once you have eased their fears, tell them how they can help you.
  2. Let them know of the new status quo. While some things will change, others will remain the same. Maybe you won’t be buying as much, but you are still available for shopping trips with your friend. Even though your budget is changing, there are lots of fun things you can do.
  3. Have a Plan B. There will be times when you give in to the saboteur’s efforts. So have a plan for getting back on track. Remember, success isn’t flawless, there are always setbacks. When you fall, get back up!
  4. Get a team of supporters. For every saboteur, there should be at least one person you can turn to for support and encouragement. Lean on these people and allow them to bolster you when you are down, and when you can, return the favor!

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