DO YOU EVER FEEL...
Fearful of being an inconvenience to others?
Uncomfortable being praised or recognized?
Compulsive desire to be overly nice or to help others self-sacrificially?
Pressured to change your communication style or even opinions to match others?
Difficulty delegating responsibilities to others?
Stuck in your career or relationships?
Perfectionist Paralysis: unable to start until you know you can do it perfectly?
Compelled to avoid attention and stay in the background?
I know the pattern.
Adaptive patterns are things we learned to do to fit in, to succeed, or even to survive. Over time, these behaviours become habitual, a natural part of the way we speak and act.
At one time or another, I've experienced all of these patterns. And so did many of the hundreds of people I've spoken to and worked with. Over time, this has caused many people to shy away from promotions, giving credit to others that they deserve, or even burning out.
Working with a psychologist, I was able to identify the 7 most common ones that get in our way. These adaptive patterns of behaviour are not personalities or identities and aren't meant to be set in stone. But by becoming aware of them, we can start asking if they are serving us.
Every strength has a shadow, and knowing how to identify the patterns and DECIDING we want to step into them allow us the ability to own them, rather than be owned by them.
MORE ABOUT EACH ADAPTIVE PATTERN:
The Overachiever pattern is the perfectionist of the group. It tells us that if we ever achieve enough external success, we would be worthy of acceptance and love, but moves the bar higher at every step. The overachiever overthinks, overanalyzes, and becomes protective of their identification with their achievements. May cause us to struggle with procrastination from perfection paralysis or even experience imposter syndrome.
The Fixer pattern is a caretaker, a rescuer, a protector. They give us the task of trying to fix other people's problems or tending to others’ needs, even if it means neglecting our own. They give love and affection freely and feel a strong compulsion to make others happy, but can cause us to shy away from seeing our worth.
The Chameleon pattern teaches us to shapeshift to fit in. It's the “nice guy/nice girl" pattern, and causes us to avoid confrontation.
The Chameleon pattern teaches us to adapt our personality and behavior to fit in with those around them. This is often seen as conforming to the other person’s desires or actions at the sacrifice of our own needs and values. In some cases, they may even cause us to mirror others in their speech, their mannerisms, or even their beliefs. "No" doesn't exist in the Chameleon pattern's dictionary.
The Charmer pattern is a master at keeping others entertained and happy. They teach us to be the life of the party, always ready with a joke, and remain happy and carefree, or at least ready with a self-deprecating joke so others know not to take us too seriously. The Charmer will never inconvenience others with their problems or unhappy emotions, because they never seem to exist.
The Rebel pattern is the challenger, the outsider, and is always ready with sword and shield to get us into a fight. The rebel reactively pushes back against others, disagreeing with others first, even when they don't fully believe it. By never agreeing with others, they don't have to play by their rules so they can avoid being wrong. Often goes to criticism or attempts to correct others FIRST, sometimes even before proper evaluation.
The Commander pattern pushes us to take control of situations and often micromanage others. They may create a fear of failure and feel like they have to be in control in order to succeed, but may also struggle with delegation and trusting others. The Commander believes that if we can control other people’s actions sufficiently, we can finally bring safety and success. Operates by a strong set of invisible rules that is imposed on others, even when others haven’t agreed to the rules or the hidden contract.
The Invisible One
The Invisible One's pattern is not on the map because it pushes us to stay safe by not being seen. Takes humbleness to an extreme by refusing all acknowledgement, both internally and externally. This pattern totally disowns our own assertiveness, competence, or even connection with others out of fear, and minimizes ourselves in social situations as it is uncomfortable with being celebrated or praised. This pattern can lead to unworthiness fears and feelings of not being enough.