You’ve got patterns, I’ve got patterns, we all have patterns that trap us & keep us stuck, unable to evolve or experience success. I’m not talking about routines like a morning walk or a daily 2pm coffee break. Patterns are often unconscious, formed & maintained without our awareness or permission, and our own are really hard to see. You may be able to spot a friend getting into the same relationship or financial situation over and over again, but you simply cannot see your own pattern until you’re in it. Fun times.
There is no one, universal reason we get stuck nor one cause or cure. There is a lot of generic, well-intentioned advice out there, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Here’s why: there are 7 ways people are hard-wired, (or 7 human natures/ 7 financial natures). Though everyone may fall into a financial, relationship, time management, or health rut at some point, it doesn’t look the same way for everyone and it’s not caused by the same underlying issues. We often default to unconscious behaviors in response to getting stuck and those default behaviors are specific to one’s nature.
Each time we get stuck what’s really happening is this: we are trading our currencies, (time, money/stuff, health/energy, and relationships), in a way that traps us rather than moves us forward. And how we trade our currencies is based entirely on our natures. Naturally.
You are not doomed. The first step in getting unstuck is to gain some awareness of your own nature so that you can override your default behaviors. Before reading on, take a couple of minutes to find your nature. Here’s our brief & confidential survey. It’s wicked interesting & illuminating.
Now, a quick breakdown of how and where each nature gets stuck. Keep in mind: no judgment! Each nature has it’s own strengths and value, but here we’re talking about stuck, so you’ll read mostly about each nature’s pitfalls.
Taker: The Taker often gets stuck in a chaotic situation because they are able to live with, often create, and absolutely survive in chaos. Takers often have a lacking-perspective, believing they don’t have enough of what they need or want, and that can be very painful. Because this is a comfortable place for them they’ll accept it as normal and stay stagnated in a situation that would be intolerable to the other natures. Often Takers will believe that taking what they think they need from others, even when it’s not offered, is the only way to get their needs met. The tendency to react impulsively only produces more chaos and upset.
Takers have a particularly hard time giving and spending their currencies to resolve situations that don’t work for them. For example, they may not be able to bring themselves to spend money on health/wellness and increase their health currency because they believe they don’t have enough money- ever. Or they may not understand how to give their time in exchange for opportunities that may make them more money. The biggest danger for Takers is taking so much from so many, the tangible and intangible, that they end up with nothing more to take and alone.
The Spender lives from a place of feelings & emotions. They often ride an internal roller coaster with their currencies- when they have money they spend it until it’s gone, when they have energy they operate at top capacity until they’re spent, they spend their time as opposed to investing it, and they are up & down in relationships. For other natures this is exhausting and perplexing, but Spenders are right at home.
Getting stuck for a Spender is often associated with riding that roller coaster for ever which pretty much amounts to a lifetime of treading water. If aware of this pattern and the choice to opt out of it, a Spender can grow into a better Spender. Spenders often have trouble knowing when to take or receive help. For example, if a Spender has created debt but has an aversion to receiving help or even advice they may end up compounding the debt & damage indefinitely. Spenders also have a hard time buckling down and doing some work. Spenders are flying high in relationships as long as they have the energy and everything is going their way. But human relationships sometimes need to be intentionally nurtured, and that takes effort. A Spender who refuses to spend energy & time working on a relationship will not have many good ones.
Earners are hard workers, but they can, (and often do), turn EVERYTHING into work. They like being busy all the time. They’ll over think projects & assignments or become intense about getting something to work out the way they want when they should ease up and let stuff flow. Earners earn what they have then allocate to the last penny, the last minute, the last of everything they’ve got. This can leave them with the belief that they have no extra time, money, energy, or space in a relationship for more than is absolutely necessary to keep it all intact. That way of thinking & operating can be joyless and burdensome. Earners in this rut can become angry, resentful, and exhausted.
Being stuck for an Earner often means he or she is struggling with or incapable of spending or saving their currencies in order to create some space/margin. Sometimes you’ve got to spend money to free up some time- hiring someone to help clean your house or run errands for example. Sometimes spending time not being busy creates space to be present for loved ones, strengthening relationships. Earners may be challenged to save their health when they have to pay for care, and they often opt to tough out an ailment or issue until it becomes extreme and debilitating. Earners will have a particularly hard time seeing through their unconscious need to put to use every last resource that they don’t have savings accounts, work out too hard, schedule themselves for every waking moment, and/or can’t show up in relationships.
Savers also have their own patterns. They are compelled to be independent, prepared, and sometimes they save too much, try to save others, and can’t save themselves. Saving too much stuff = hoarding. Saving others = enabling or meddlesome, both pretty irritating. When you can’t or won’t save yourself you can remain in unacceptable situations for far, far too long and sustain unnecessary damage.
Savers often get stuck in their thing when they can’t or won’t recognize when they’d benefit from investing their currencies and when they need to work at something. Because Savers are naturally inclined to, (and good at), saving money they fail to see the value in investing it to make more, unearned money. Savers like to relax, and hard work is not appealing. Yet life sometimes demands that we work hard, no matter our nature. By avoiding that which requires effort or investment opportunities a Saver limits their capacity to save more money, conserve energy, save time, even save relationships. A Saver who stays stuck can end up drowning in stuff, completely isolated, in possession of money that just sits there not growing, and with too much time on their hands.
Investors face their own set of challenges. They are naturally comfortable with risk because they know that taking risks with their currencies can lead to big payouts or more of what they want/value. But Investors can become addicted to the risk & reward cycle, and they can end up risking too much of their money, time, relationships, and health only to end up losing too much or all of it.
Investors unconsciously seek out ways for their currencies to increase or multiply. They are not comfortable with their currencies doing nothing or accumulating, however sometimes breaking out of a negative pattern requires an Investor to save their currencies & resources. In order to have the cash to invest, they need to save some money. To enjoy the rewards of a healthy, fulfilling relationship it’s sometimes necessary to save it by simply not doing things to risk losing it- like not flirting with someone else to cause jealousy in a partner. Other times an Investor will need to get comfortable leveraging currencies rather than risking them. But this is often hard for Investors to wrap their heads around.
Levers like things to be easy. They like to work with others. These are not bad traits, but sometimes Levers can become manipulative and seek to get others to do stuff for them so that they can take it easy. Or they can routinely expect that others will make things easy for them and become resentful when that doesn’t happen- which it won’t 100% of the time.
Getting stuck in the Lever rut happens largely due to the Lever’s inability to be flexible enough to invest the appropriate currency in someone or something, or to give their time, attention, intention, money to someone or something. It may be too complicated or hard to invest your time in training an employee to do what needs to be done to make your job easier. It may be too difficult to invest energy in learning a new skill which would be beneficial. It may seem daunting to give attention to a project that appears to have too many steps to it, regardless of how appealing the outcome may be. It can seem nearly impossible for a Lever to give him or herself the time & space to take the scenic route, literally and figuratively, because it often seems like the opposite of easy.
Givers like to give, naturally. But they can give too much, give to make themselves appear and/or feel better than they think they really are, give with strings so they can later exert some control over others, or give to people who don’t want to receive. All of these scenarios represent a stuck, dysfunctional Giver, one whose attention has gotten away from the greater good and gotten stuck inside a myopic perspective.
When Givers get stuck it’s often due to the fact that they have a hard time with leveraging their currencies, (even when that would lead to having more resources to give), and receiving. Givers will give even when doing so is hard or puts them or others in a hard/awkward position. One Giver I know is a trainer, dedicated to helping others get fit & healthy, and wanted to open a second location before his first was on stable financial footing. If he did so, he’d put both locations in jeopardy because they’d be drawing from the same, insufficient financial well; waiting for the first location to become established and profitable would give him the financial security to take entrepreneurial risk as well as the personal bandwidth, energy, and time to put into establishing the second location.
- Each nature struggles the most with 2 essential skills. (Did you notice that?) Practice accepting the validity of those skills, then practice the skills until you can leverage them to help get unstuck.
- Remaining stuck results in one thing: unconsciously manifesting the situations your default behavior, (and your ego!), is trying to avoid. No matter your nature.
- Allow yourself to seek out help when you can’t break out of your rut yourself.
- How to know if you are stuck: when you wonder why you’re always broke, always unhappy with your partner no matter who it is, always have the same boss no matter where you work, never seem to have enough energy to live your life your way, or have other thoughts that include “always” and “never,” you’re probably stuck.
- This post is only scratching the surface. Stay connected to us for more about how the natures can thrive in the world & how to evolve in every sense. Please contact us at any time! We’d love to hear from you.
- Check out our friend Kris McCrea’s musings on getting stuck: “Life is a funny adventure. Many people spend the majority of their life living in their past and/or fearing their future.”
To an unstuck 2017!