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The Hyper Achiever Saboteur and Money

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

I am a recovering Hyper Achiever.

Three years ago, when I took the Positive Intelligence® Saboteur Assessment, I scored highest for the Hyper Achiever Saboteur along with the Controller, Pleaser Restless, and Stickler not far behind. If you're wondering what these names mean, they describe nine ways the voices in our heads generate negative emotions associated with everyday life challenges. They represent automated patterns in our minds that sabotage the results we want or need. When matched up with our Judge or master Saboteur who likes to find fault in self, others, and circumstances, it's no mystery where our stress, anxiety, self-doubt, frustration, restlessness, and unhappiness come from understanding your Saboteurs can be a game-changer to performance, well-being, and relationships.

Though I cringed at the results the first time around, I wasn't surprised. I've taken other assessments over the years with similar insights. For example, I had to agree that certain behaviors and thoughts were familiar and perhaps not as positive as I thought. For example, I knew my work ethic was strong, and being a stickler about how things got done was a benefit in most cases. However, I could also see how trying to perform at the highest level and getting it perfect could hold me back or create suffering.

When it comes to money, those guided by their Hyper Achiever Saboteur can believe that hard work is essential to making money. We rely on performance and achievement for validation. The more money we make, the more successful we feel. If we obey the rules, we'll surely be rewarded. When we provide, we're loved. When we don't provide, we're nobody. Status is important to us as is not letting emotion get in the way of performance. We echo messages passed down through generations, often based on patriarchal ideology, that only the fit survive, and that success is tied to individual character and fortitude.

Yet, the reality is that money doesn't care how hard you or I work. It follows the systems we set up for it like paying the same wage to all who work the same job no matter their performance, or being a source of passive income when the same product is sold over and over. In these systems, some get paid very little while others a lot -- and not necessarily tied to how hard we work or deserving we are.

If this is the case, you might wonder how a Hyper Achiever develops a healthy relationship with money. The following are three steps in that direction based on the Positive Money approach.

  1. PAUSE - Find some quiet time to reflect on your current relationship with money and where your Hyper Achiever shows up. Where in your childhood might she have been called upon to earn love or respect through achievements like getting good grades or keeping the peace in the household? What were the positive and negative outcomes early versus later in life?

  2. NOTICE - Notice the thoughts and feelings that come up. For example, if you're the only provider in the household, how does that feel? Do you carry some resentment? If it's your choice, what are the expectations you have for yourself and others? Are those expectations realistic and come from a place of abundance? Do you need help and don't or can't ask for it easily?

  3. CHOOSE - What do you want your relationship with money to look and feel like? What changes in your thoughts, feelings, or actions might you need to take to arrive at different outcomes? For example, how might tuning into your emotions help versus hinder when dealing with money? How might you feel successful without relying on having a certain amount in your bank account?

This model of pause, notice and choose is available to you at all times, no matter which Saboteur is at work. At any point, you can pause to check in about what matters most, notice opportunities for change, and choose actions that deliver more positive results.


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