What are Your Lifetraps?
If life is like a game of golf, why does it feel full of sandtraps?
You start out with the best of intentions but find yourself repeatedly hitting into the bunkers. In life these patterns are called Lifetraps.
Lifetraps are self-destructive patterns or themes in your life that cause you to return to the same situations again and again. They actively organize your experience so you see life happening to you no matter how vainly you want otherwise.
Which one(s) of these describe your lifetraps?
The feeling that anyone you love will leave you and you will end up alone. Your lifetrap arises from a lack of safety or security in your childhood family. As an adult you find yourself clinging to people you love too much, and in the end, pushing them away.
You expect to be lied to, cheated, manipulated, humiliated, or taken advantage of. Since you expect that people you love will betray you, you either form superficial relationships, or relationships with people who treat you badly.
As a child you were made to feel incompetent when you tried to assert your independence. As an adult, you avoid acting on your own and you seek out strong figures to depend on and allow them to rule your life.
You were probably overprotected by parents who worried too much about your safety. Your fears are excessive and unrealistic, yet you pour your energy into making sure you’re safe.
You feel that no one really cares for you or understands how you feel. You alternate between being angry about it and feeling hurt and alone. Ironically, your anger drives people further away, supporting your belief.
As a child you felt excluded from your playmates. You didn’t belong to a group of friends. As an adult, you avoid socializing in groups and making friends, and you may be surprised at how anxious and aloof you feel at parties, meetings, or classes.
As a child you were criticized for your “flaws”. As an adult you feel unworthy of love and find it difficult to believe that people close to you value you. So you expect rejection.
As a child you were called “stupid”, “untalented”, or “lazy”. Other children were always better than you. As an adult, you maintain your lifetrap by exaggerating your failure and acting in ways that ensure your continued failure.
You allow others to control you - out of fear that you will be punished or abandoned if you disobey, or guilt that you hurt others by putting yourself first. You find yourself in relationships with dominant, controlling people, or relationships with needy people who are unable to give back to you in return.
You strive relentlessly to meet extremely high expectations of yourself, and you probably apply your rigid standards to others as well. When you were a child, you were expected to be the best and you learned that nothing you did was quite good enough.
You feel special, and insist that anything you want you should have immediately. As a child you were spoiled and not required to show self-control or accept restrictions. As an adult, you still get very angry when you don’t get what you want.
Changing your lifetraps requires a willingness to break the habit. You have to face your lifetrap head on and understand it. And then you have to systematically observe and change behaviours every day.
Just like chipping out of the sandtrap. You have to know which club to use!