The how and why of survival mechanisms and patterns

The how and why of survival mechanisms and patterns
Everyone (young or old, male or female, rich or poor) has survival mechanisms, patterns, or beliefs built into his or her life. Why did we develop these patterns and what purpose do they serve? Can we say goodbye to old patterns or choose not to? And what happens if we don’t do them? In this article, we’re going to look at all of that.

Why have we developed patterns and what purpose do they serve?

A pattern is really no more than a trick that we have taught ourselves. Such a trick often originated at a young age so that we could hold our own in a difficult situation so that we felt ourselves seen or perhaps to get attention or to be liked. The trick of that time has become part of our lives. We’ve come to identify with it and we’ve come to believe that we ARE that trick.


The how and why of survival mechanisms and patterns

An example: I myself was always known as the girl of the structure. If an overview had to be created, you had to be with me. If there was no planning, I would be confused. If you asked me what my qualities are, structured was one of the first words I mentioned. In the meantime, I have found that I am not really super structured at all, that I can work fine without planning and that I love to let things arise from ‘chaos’. How come I always thought I was super structured?

As a child and as a teenager I received a lot of stimuli that I had difficulty processing. Because of this, I often felt that I had no control over what was happening. To get a grip, I started to structure everything, sometimes even to the point of obsessiveness.

AM I that super structured girl? No that is not me. I AM someone who likes to create things, someone who likes to approach things from her intuition, someone who has an eye for detail, and someone who pays attention to what is happening around her.

Applying the structure was a way for me to get something to hold on to. This pattern has been of great service to me for a long time and I am also glad that I was allowed to develop it in this way at the time, but I notice that it now costs me a lot of energy and that this trick keeps me small. If you plan everything in advance and get confused when your schedule changes, you can’t live fully from your intuition, you can’t just let things happen and you can’t seize the opportunities that present themselves because none of this is in your mind. the schedule was included.

It should be clear that if I am full in my structure, then I do a trick. I don’t feel safe at that moment or I’m stressed. Those are the standard moments when I go back to my pattern. Is it bad that you sometimes go back to that pattern? More on this later in this article.

How are patterns created?

The how and why of survival mechanisms and patterns

Patterns are created by the example you get from your immediate environment (often your parents and other family members). Did you only get compliments when you came home with an 8 for math and were you completely ignored at a 6 or did you receive a sermon that was below par? Then there is a good chance that your pattern is that you have become very pushy. No six mentality for you, but the mentality that a ten is actually not good enough.

Were your parents always at work? Maybe your mother was in the household and your father in the office, but they were always busy. Have you never actually seen them sitting relaxed on the couch, chatting pleasantly about small things? Then there is a good chance that you also have the feeling that there is always work to be done. That it is not good to take some time for yourself, to relax for a while. You go on and on and on because you have had no other example.

Where you used to be a blabbermouth and said everything that came to mind? Did your mother often get an angry look from your mother when you made a comment while walking around the market with her? And was your brother calm and did he get more attention? Chances are you’ve learned to swallow your words and never say what you really think or feel again. You are still afraid of that angry look and still, compare yourself to your brother and the attention he did get and you didn’t.

Did your parents find a crying child difficult and did you have to be quiet again as soon as possible? Have you ever had a real rage outburst from your parents? Have you ever seen your parents cry at all? If not, there’s a good chance that it wasn’t obvious in your family that you showed your emotions. Perhaps it was even punished by telling you not to act like that, or by putting yourself in a corner. So you’ve never actually learned that emotions are okay and that you can share them with others.

The examples above give an idea of ​​where a pattern can come from. There are of course 1001 other examples through which a pattern can arise.


The how and why of survival mechanisms and patterns

In fact, there is one big similarity between all causes that create a pattern: you once developed a way to deal with a situation in which you were not allowed or could not be 100% yourself. You have adapted to the situation and you have put your own feelings and emotions aside for a while.

By doing this you have lost connection with yourself. You think you do things that way because that’s who you are or because that’s the way you’re supposed to do things. But is that really so?

Does it still feel good to go on and on without taking a break for yourself? Does it still feel good for you to always put yourself in the background and never really say what you think about something, afraid that you will hurt someone or that someone will get mad at you? Does it still feel good to always want to be the best boy in the class (work, sports club, group of friends, etc.)?

Maybe it still feels all right, then that’s fine. Perhaps something is gnawing at you when you read this article, then I advise you to read the last paragraph as well.

Can you say goodbye to your patron?

The how and why of survival mechanisms and patterns

I don’t believe that you can say goodbye to your pattern 100%. It’s something you’ve been doing for so long and you’re so familiar with it that sometimes it doesn’t even feel right (yet) to say goodbye to it. In addition, every cartridge you’ve ever served has served you. It has helped you through a difficult time or situation and you can be grateful to your patron for that.

What you can do is become aware of your patterns and make different choices based on that awareness.

The moment you are doing your pattern, you are living from a limitation. You are not connected with yourself and with what is happening in your environment at that moment. Beneath the surface lurks a silent sadness or an unresolved pain or conviction from the past. This sadness or that pain ensures that you cannot now act 100% from who you ARE.

The moment you are aware of the fact that you have a pattern, you can make a choice: do I continue my pattern now, or do I distance myself from it and take on this situation as I am? Complete; It is what it is.


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