Rather than finding new and interesting ways to get what they want each day, they create habits and patterns that we obediently fall into and do over and over and over again. If left unchecked, you can see the same habits show up throughout a person’s entire life.
Our individual habits are unique to each of us. One Six’s way of reacting to anxiety is going to look different than another Six’s reactions. However, each Six can recognize patterns or habits within themselves, and that’s what’s helpful.
This is where we take the map of our personality and personalize it, adding a layer of understanding that allows us to see our own particular habits and patterns.
It’s one thing to know, “I’m a Nine so I tend to fall asleep to myself to avoid conflict.” It’s a whole nother thing to be able to recognize, “Surfing the internet/napping/tinkering around in the garage is what I do to avoid contact with what’s going on inside me.”
Now, we have a habit to keep an eye out for. Even better, when we catch ourselves falling into that habit, we can disidentify with our ego that wants to manage the situation. (See how this is all coming together?)
When we learn what our habits are, we can more easily see ourselves fall into them, which gives us the power to break the habits, try new responses to situations that have, historically, tripped us up.
Here are some examples of each type’s habits of thoughts and reactions. Remember, these are just examples of the millions of habits we might adopt.
|Habitual Thoughts||Habitual Reactions|
|One||I’m a bad person||Beat myself up|
|Two||I should help them||Do more than I have energy for|
|Three||I have to impress people||Perform acts for praise rather than because I want to|
|Four||No one gets me||Stay stuck in my emotions rather than take action|
|Five||I don’t’ know enough yet||Research, analyze and prepare before engaging|
|Six||What if something bad happens?||Plan for worst case scenario|
|Seven||What’s next?||Think about what I could be doing rather than pay attention to what I am doing|
|Eight||People need to do it right||Belittle or overpower people to get them to do things my way|
|Nine||I don’t have an agenda||Let other people make the decisions|
Our freedom will come when we recognize our own habits for what they are and practice doing something, anything different.
Examples? Okay, but changing our habits isn’t easy.
When you read these, see if you can think of times in your life where you’ve had experiences like these (or similar ones) and build on those. I’d hate for you to turn these examples into things to put on the ‘to-procrastinate list’ or the ‘to-beat-myself-up-over-for-not-doing-perfectly list.’
A One might stop judging and criticizing himself (or other people) and, instead, practice feeding himself (or other people) words of acceptance and forgiveness.
A Two might stop saying ‘yes’ when it comes from a sense of obligation, and find more room in his life to take care of himself.
A Three may tune into his inner experience for fulfillment rather than feeding off the external feedback he gets from the things he does.
A Four may acknowledge his emotions about a situation and then engage his mind to decide the best course of action and his body to take that action.
A Five might try going into a situation less prepared and, instead, trust that he’ll have what he needs when he gets there and, if he doesn’t, that he can learn as he goes.
A Six might ground himself and ask, ‘what do I know in my body or heart about this situation?’ He could then make a decision from that more intuitive place rather than from an anxious need to control the outcome.
A Seven might stay present to the moment and allow himself to experience all that is going on, inside and out, right here and now.
An Eight might step back and see how others view the situation. From there, he can help move people forward more effectively because he sees who they are and where they’re coming from.
A Nine may check in with his own agenda and add that to the conversation before everyone involved makes a decision.
What are your habitual responses to common situations in your life? When have you caught yourself and done something different? What was that like?