Books life

Positive Intelligence

This year (thanks to my coach, Dani) I’ve been spending a lot of time on “PQ” aka “Positive Intelligence” aka “mental fitness”. I read the book, took the six week intensive program, and continue to practice it (almost) every day.

What is it? the core premise is that there is the part of your brain that is healthy and effective to operate from (the sage) and there is the other part that is less healthy – the saboteurs (similar to inner critic). Everything in the book and the program is around shifting patterns of thinking to the sage, and away from your saboteurs (there’s a quiz).

The main saboteur is the judge (judging self, others, circumstances), and then there are the accomplice saboteurs: stickler, pleaser, hyper-vilgilant, restless, controller, avoider, hyper-achiever, victim, hyper rational. Over time you can see how they work together (e.g. my hyper-rational and hyper-vigilent are often partners in crime) to keep you focused on the negative, versus the sage which looks for the positive in any situation.

I definitely struggled with the name, and some of the concepts initially landed a bit like, “When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead” but overall I’ve found it really helpful. I have never been able to meditate, but the short programs designed to get you out of your thoughts and into the physical world have been working well for me. I have an easier time recognizing my saboteurs, and letting those patterns of thoughts go. I feel calmer, less inclined to spiral over something, and have an easier time bouncing back if I do.

As a manager and coach, I have been using the saboteur assessment with people. It’s such a great shortcut to the ways that people are liable to get in their own way, and starts the conversation from a place of “this is normal, but is it serving you?” which is so helpful.