Episode #38: Archetypes of Survival – Saboteur & Stagnation

Some people identify as procrastinators, some as perfectionists. And still, others – as risk averse. These proclamations are usually made when someone is asked to do something that feels scary or out of their comfort zone. They expect others to simply accept that this is who they are and to respect their “boundaries” despite the commitments they may have made. These same people feel powerless to do anything about their own self-limiting and often destructive beliefs and tendencies. They say they can’t help themselves, and act as though they have no power to even try.

Little do they know that they are in the grip of the Saboteur, that nasty little self-protective Archetype that takes the fun out of trying new things, speaking up or interviewing for a job you’ve been lusting after for months. Catastrophizing, instead of being optimistic about possibilities. Giving up instead of going for it.

In today’s episode, we explore the Saboteur Archetype, its tendency to keep us stuck in the “safe” status quo, whilst also making us believe we are never good enough to even try. We’ll also recount numerous Saboteur Archetype stories (our own and of our clients’) and share tips and tricks we use to get out of the comfort zone – while it’s a nice place to visit, it is no place to live your life. Tune in to make sure you don’t miss out on the gems we share this week!

If you want to know more about Anne & Heather’s work with dismantling dysfunctions in organizations and leadership behavior at Caliber Leadership Systems, check out:




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  • [01:34] Episode Introduction and Overview
  • [02:51] What is the Saboteur Archetype?
  • [05:57] Status Quo & Stagnation
  • [14:36] The Saboteur at Work
  • [27:41] Episode Gem
  • [29:42] Episode Wrap Up



  • The Saboteur is the Guardian of Change and at its highest potency, it invites change into our lives that lead to the expression and development of our Authentic Self. When self-protective, instead of feeling optimistic, it catastrophizes, generating fears of loss, abandonment, or failure as a result of striving to achieve our potential.
  • While the Saboteur is strongly connected to change, when we act from fear it becomes the Guardian of our comfort zone. We are willing to give up so much to be safe, betraying our hopes, dreams, and potential by sabotaging opportunities and relationships just to be secure. The core belief of the Saboteur Imposter Syndrome Persona is that no good will come of any change.
  • Procrastination is a strategy the Saboteur uses to get in their own way. It’s when we decide to do something or know we have to get something done and we still don’t do anything. We drag our feet and know that we are procrastinating yet make no move. It is a way of maintaining the status quo.
  • Do you feel like the folks in your personal or work life live from the Saboteur Archetype? Listen to the full episode to learn how to start living from your Authentic Self!






"Deciding to compensate for poor performance instead of managing it is an act of self- disempowerment."
episode 18 quote tile 2 - "When acting from the Victim Leadership Persona, our power and sense of personal agency is taken away by seeing situations through a  lens of helplessness."
episode 18 quote tile 3 - "Self-disempowerment starts from within. Leaders need to recognize when they are keeping their self-esteem low."
episode 18 - quote tile 4 - "Leaders need to watch that they aren't being pulled into the position  of rescuer when interacting with employees."

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