Intuitive women leaders have 4 saboteurs in common that I’ve noticed in working with them over the last 15 years.  In this blog, I am borrowing the definitions of saboteurs from  I’ll explain the Judge Saboteur in more detail, and I’ll highlight the other three saboteurs and how they derail you. In the next few blogs, I’ll go deeper into each one.
Shirzad Chamine, the founder of Positive Intelligence, has done extensive research on the subject of saboteurs.  Note: I’m currently in the process of becoming certified in this modality as a PI coach. He’s found that people have 10 saboteurs.  We typically have two or three that are stronger than others, but we do have some of each saboteur.  The Judge Saboteur is the master saboteur whom everyone has. There are nine accomplice saboteurs who work with the Judge to wreak havoc in our lives.
I have a free class coming up to help support you in stopping this workaholic pattern and to really begin to live fully alive. See below to register. I am here to support you.

🌟 Exclusive E-Book for Women Leaders! 🌟

Navigate life's challenges with my FREE e-book tailored for women leaders. Discover strength, resilience, and renewal. Download now! 📖✨

a large staircase going up into the sky - What are sabateurs - what they are and why you should care as a female leader

What is a Saboteur and Why Should You Care? 

A saboteur is an aspect of yourself that tries to keep you safely nestled in your comfort zone, hidden behind the EGO.  All saboteur behaviors are derived from fear. A saboteur slyly convinces you to behave in ways to keep people at a distance, to play it small and not take risks.
It will devilishly tell that you’re not very smart or good or worthy enough to go after your dreams. It has you hide your true self. It will “rational-lies” a/k/a rationalize decisions that make you right and them wrong. At the end of the day if you’re right on a lonely island called yourself, does it really matter?
They will cause you to think and feel certain negative ways on autopilot. They create all of your anxiety and self-doubt. They will sabotage your career, business, your relationships, your health, basically your success.
You should care because the sum of these saboteurs which we can also call the EGO will rob your life of joy, love, creativity, passion, purpose and everything that REALLY means anything in this world.

Higher Perspective About the Saboteurs

Though I’ve just painted a rather bleak view of human’s saboteurs, keep in mind that we are meant to have them. Life would be rather boring if we didn’t have the contrast of these dramatic characters within our psyche. The good news is that we also have a Sage who doesn’t see any of this saboteur business as a problem.
My intention in writing this is not to help you eliminate your saboteurs.  That would be impossible and not even desirable due to the nature of reality as described above. My goal is to help you recover more quickly from Saboteur high jacking and live in Sage mode. When you do this, conscious female leader, everything will begin to change.
The hidden barriers to your success, what have stopped you from living fully, will become evident.  This includes your thoughts that tell you you’re a fraud, not good enough, not worthy of successs, for whatever reason.  Once you see the pattern, you can then do something about it.
I’ve picked out the 4 saboteurs that seem to afflict women leaders the most, but of course, you might have one of the other 5 saboteurs not discussed here.  For a full review of all ten saboteurs, go here.
4 top saboteurs of intuitive women leaders - unmasking the enemies of strong, intuitive female leaders

Saboteur #1: The Judge

Per, “The Judge is the universal Saboteur that afflicts everyone. It is the one that beats you up repeatedly over mistakes or shortcomings, warns you obsessively about future risks, wakes you up in the middle of the night worrying, gets you fixated on what is wrong with others or your life, etc. Your Judge activates your other Saboteurs, causes much of your stress and unhappiness, reduces your effectiveness, and harms your relationships.”

Judge Against US

Some of us can have a Judge very weaponized against us. Shirzad demonstrated his judge to us students in a video, and it was very harsh, critical, and abusive to him. He admits that the Judge never goes away, but the negative impact is small because he recovers more quickly from its tirades and doesn’t believe what it tells him.

Others have a Judge against themselves who is more subtle.  It won’t bash them with blatant, mean words. It will whisper lies to them that they shouldn’t take a risk because they don’t need the hassle and they couldn’t handle it anyway. 

Judge Against Others

Others have a Judge who doesn’t want to look at what’s  really going on with themselves. They minimize their part in things. It will have them avoid taking responsibility because it’s too painful to look at. This Judge will focus on blaming and judging others more so than self.

Judge Against Circumstances

And finally, one’s Judge might be critical of Circumstances. I can relate to this one the most.  I DO have a critcal Self judge who thinks I’m not good enough, but she’s not too loud anymore. I can also judge others, but that is not very strong within me. The strongest one is about things that have happened that feel unfair, like the death of my daughter, Maddie, at 22 years old. This part of my Judge likes to play with my accomplice saboteur, the Victim.
To recap, our Judge can judge ourselves, others, or circumstances. All are fair game. 

What is ONE Way the Judge Interferes with Women in Leadership?


I’ve alluded to it already. The Judge will tell you that you’re not good enough, “Who do you think you are?!  That would be selfish of you if you went after what you really want. You better stay quiet. Don’t share what you really think because you’ll be shot down.”

How Can You Rein in the Judge Saboteur?

To change beliefs, neural pathways, we have to create new habits of thought.  To do this, you can do a pattern interrupt type of behavior, what Shirzad calls a “PQ rep.” PQ is the equivalent of Positive Intelligence like IQ or EQ is for Intellectual and Emotional Intelligence, respectively. 

What is a PQ Rep?

A PQ repetition is where you focus intently on a body sensation, like rubbing the thumb and finger together and noticing the ridges of the fingertips.  This action diverts our attention away from the negative thought pattern we were just having about how insufficient we are.
Example: You begin to feel insecure and anxious about an upcoming meeting where you’ll be presenting.
  • You go to a quiet place beforehand–restroom is fine. Close your eyes.
  • Take some deep breaths.
  • Rub your finger/thumb, reminding yourself, “I’ve got this.”
2 minutes. That’s all it takes to change your state from anxious to calm and confident.
African American woman - double exposure profile view of the ocean

Saboteur #2: The Hyper-Achiever

Per, the Hyper-Achiever is “Dependent on constant performance and achievement for self-respect and self-validation. Latest achievement quickly discounted, needing more.”
Women in leadership are naturally driven to succeed.  So it makes sense, doesn’t it, that they would have a Hyper-Achiever Saboteur?  Achievement and striving for excellence in and of itself is wonderful.  We can be in Sage mode and achieve many things. In fact, we can achieve more when we are in Sage mode.
However, when a natural drive such as achievement is taken too far, it becomes a saboteur. Achievement begins to feel forced. We require it, like a drug, to feel good about ourselves. In fact, hyper-achievement is like an addiction. It rules us, instead of us controlling it.

Saboteur #3: The Controller

Per, the Controller has an “Anxiety-based need to take charge and control situations and people’s actions to one’s own will. High anxiety and impatience when that is not possible.”

Our Home Didn’t Feel Safe

If you are an intuitive and empathic woman leader, you are in tune with what people are thinking and feeling.  You probably grew up very sensitive to all of the energies around you in your household, like I did.  And often our home environment when growing up didn’t feel comfortable, secure or safe for a myriad of reasons.

Because of this unsafe environment, our nervous system maladapted to a “new norm.” We began to try to control the things we had some measure of control over. It gave us emotional relief to control our physical environment, for example, keeping it neat, tidy and organized.

From Organized to Obsessive

Being organized, orderly and in control of processes and procedures are great traits for conscious women leaders.  When taken too far with controlling, however, we can destroy the quality of our lives and relationships.
This morning, when I was working out, I had this thought.  When we are controlling, we tend to think “We know best.” We are great at problem solving and “fixing others” who want none of our help. 

When we get on their side of the street, all up in their business either verbally or energetically, we annoy them.  When we role model excellence without interfering, we inspire them.  Which would you rather be, annoying or inspiring?

Saboteur #4: The People-Pleaser

Per, the People-Pleaser “Indirectly tries to gain acceptance and affection by helping, pleasing, rescuing, or flattering others. Loses sight of own needs and becomes resentful as a result.”

It Felt Safer to Please Others

Growing up as empathic and intuitive, we learned how to please others to gain approval. We were sensitive children with big hearts. We didn’t have filters to help us discern who we could and couldn’t trust. So it felt safer to please others and not share our true thoughts and feelings.

Were You the Odd Duck?

Did you ever feel misunderstood and sort of like you didn’t fit in? I didn’t so much when growing up, but as I grew older, I did.  I know I’m weird. I don’t think like the normal human. And this is OK. I actually now wear my Weird T-Shirt with pride.  
And yet, the childhood wounds run deep with needing others to like and approve of us.  It’s wired into our DNA to belong to the tribe. When we feel like we don’t, our safety is threatened.

From Pleasing to Masking

Pleasing others, genuinely wanting to be of service from love, is probably one of the best parts of being human.  But when taken too far, we abandon ourselves. Our relationships become based on something fake, because we wore a mask to hide our true selves, when we attracted that relationship.

Where do you see yourself in these saboteurs as a woman leader?  In the next few weeks, I’ll take a deeper dive into the last 3 saboteurs.  

If you’d like support in becoming your own Loving Self Advocate and practicing taking responsibility in a healthy way, check out my upcoming free, masterclassCLICK HERE TO REGISTER
I’m here to support you like you’ve never been before. I mean that. I won’t judge your past.
Much Love,
Angie Monko,
Life Coach for Intuitive Women Leaders