Self-Sabotaging Supervillains–How to vanquish them for good

It’s inevitable. As we level-up our lives and don the mantle of the Superhero, we will attract the self-sabotaging attention of our Inner Supervillains.

We activate courage, and they respond with whispers of self-doubt. We drop our shields and allow vulnerability, and fear of hurt rears its head. We claim a meaningful purpose, and visions of failure cloud our mind.

Facing inner villains is an unavoidable part of the (Super)hero’s journey. What we can decide though, is how we will face them.

Understanding the Villain

Before I share with you the secret superpowers necessary to defeat your inner Supervillains, first you must understand how these Supervillains trap you…how you fight a losing battle each time you are manipulated into playing their game.

Watch below for a quick demonstration.

So now that you have some obvious (if not painful) examples of how Supervillains wield their manipulative and self-sabotaging powers, what practical things can you do to fight back?

You sly dog! You caught me monologuing!

self-sabotagingStep 1: Let the crazy thing monologue.

Supervillains love to monologue. Why? Because they live for the self-aggrandizement. It’s all about them–one big reflective mirror to justify their neurosis (exemplified wonderfully by the Incredibles villain Syndrome).

You don’t need to try and win the contest of egos, entering into an exhaustive battles of one-up’ing.

Instead, pull back, take cover and listen. Often in their neurotic rants, Supervillains give away sensitive information, offering us valuable insights into their motives and diabolical endgame.

For you this means: Stay aware–be curious and attentive to the sabotaging inner voice. Instead of giving it voice, listen.

In listening, you will find out the fears and skewed world-views underlying and feeding the self-defeating behaviors that you are up against. And this, dear Hero, will give you much needed spaciousness and leverage.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

self-sabotagingStep 2: Be aware of the projected story, and its underlying belief.

In the Wizard of Oz, we have the perfect example of a powerless belief and its over-inflated story.

The intimidating projection of the Wizard is the big and boisterous story; with deafening sound and pyrotechnics to distract and distort your sense of reality.

The man behind the curtain, on the other hand, is the small, powerless and utterly unhelpful negative belief from which the story arises.

What’s the lesson here? Try to contend with the story and you will find yourself up against an intangible, unbeatable monster (which is actually your own mind-power reflected through the villain’s twisted reality).

Instead, peek behind the curtain to the sabotaging belief, and you will find yourself staring down a frail old man with no power of his own.

A potent example of this is something I have seen in others and experienced my self:

• Painful Story: Imagining in graphic detail how my partner will eventually cheat on me.

• Possible Underlying Beliefs: I am always abandoned; I deserve to be hurt; I don’t deserve trustable partners…

In this example, notice how the painful story is unmanageable and overwhelming–because 1) it’s not actually happening and 2) relies on someone else’s behavior.

Instead, the underlying belief is something that you can actually work with-being a present-moment choice that you can either buy into or change.

Making this distinction takes both perceptual sharpness and emotional courage, so don’t give up if it seems hard at first. Sooner than you think, you will be distinguishing the fantasy story from the belief, and putting the man behind the curtain back in his harmless place.

Use your aggressive feelings boy. Let the hate flow through you.

self-sabotagingStep 3: Don’t get tricked into using the same tactics used by the villains.

The main trick of the inner villain is to get you to fight back.

Why? Supervillains know that this is just another way of winning: you spend yourself resisting, fighting back, and ultimately becoming what you are trying to defeat.

In Star Wars, this is exemplified clearly in Emperor Palpatine’s attempts to get Luke to lash out with his fear and hate.

As long as Luke’s emotions stayed unclouded by fear and hate, the Emperor knew Luke would never be turned to the dark side.

Looked at more closely, when you struggle with, resist or fight your inner Supervillains, you are affirming at a very deep psychological level that ‘you are real; you have power over me; I must exert myself against you’.

Remember the man behind the curtain? Don’t struggle with the Wizard. Rather stay attentive, curious, compassionate and adaptive, and you will come to see this seemingly unbeatable villain in fact has no power over you (take that, David Bowie!).

I feel the good in you; the conflict. I will not fight you father.

self-sabotagingStep 4: Bring them over to the side of good.

The first 3 steps are powerful techniques to escape the clutches of Supervillains. But wouldn’t it be nice if we stopped having to fight with these villains completely?

The truth is this is not only possible, but essential.

Within each inner Supervillain lies a core of sweet, pure and well-meaning purpose. Like the apparent Stink God in Spirited Away, our inner Supervillains are simply good and powerful intentions that have gotten a bit (or a lot) gunked up.

These villains are like us–they are trying their best with what they have, and they just want to be acknowledged for that, instead of being judged, shamed or ostracized. Think about it–even when we mess up, we appreciate when others realize the good we were nevertheless trying to do.

Only by perceiving–and then appreciating–this pure and well-meaning core are we able to create any true and lasting transformation in our personal Supervillains.

This is profoundly explored through the original Star Wars saga, and comes to a climax in Return of the Jedi as Emperor Palpatine is torturing Luke in front Darth Vader, his father.

Throughout the movie, Luke again and again appeals to the human heart that has been covered over by the inhuman machine. Luke was able to feel the well-meaning but confused Anakin that still lived within Darth Vader, and he reached out to that.

This approach ends up being much more effective than making Darth Vader an enemy, and comes back to him many-fold by ultimately saving his life and the rebellion.

So as you navigate your adventures and inevitably encounter your inner Supervillains, take time to explore and appreciate the positive purpose underneath their confused actions. You will find they are ultimately the same things you want for yourself, and this attitude of gratitude will dissolve its villainous wall of resistance.

Once you discover these intentions, you can create better ways of honoring them, and thus transform an old Supervillain into a new Superhero (an amazing process)!

Stepping up

Alright Hero, time to put this wisdom into action. Your quest for this week:

> Discover the unique personas, stories and beliefs of your personal inner Supervillains

> If you are feeling courageous, share these findings below

> Definitely share below how you applied these 4 villain-busting techniques to your daily life

Unfazed and on-guard,
Eka, aka SuperSpark

Featured Image Credit

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