Part of the work I am doing with my life coach is called “taking down your traits” or getting them on a leash. The idea is basically that you get your personality traits from your parents, both the good and the bad. When you break down the traits as they show up in your life you can start to see how some of them are working over time and hurting rather than helping. This process involves giving each trait a name. You also write a paragraph or two, in the voice of each trait, explaining how it shows up in your life. If you are anything like me, you are probably thinking this sounds a little screwy. But, I decided when I signed up for the class that I was in 100%. I wasn’t going to half ass it so I could have an excuse at the end if I wasn’t happy with the results.
One of the traits I am working on taking down is called my “Look Gooder”. This trait has its pluses. Because of this trait I will always try to do my best when anyone is looking. I want to be helpful, smart, resourceful, and intelligent. When this trait runs unchecked it leads to some less attractive behavior. For example, adamant refusal to admit mistakes, belittling of other parties who I feel may see through my facade, and a desperate desire to avoid situations where I feel exposed. Has having this trait ruined my life or made me an intolerable lonely boor? No, I don’t think so. It’s more that I was operating on automatic pilot when I want to be the one driving my life and relationships. When I said I decided to commit fully to this class, I didn’t realize at the time that I was taking my first steps out of my Look Gooder box.
So, not a great time to admit all of that has been running the show inside of my head. But seeing that trait for what it is- a wacky belief system I put together forever ago which I can put in check- gives me such freedom. I can see so much opportunity to let go of the need to be right, and just be. I feel lighter already.
What’s running the show inside your head? Here’s a hint from my life coaching class; what traits do your parents have that drive you crazy? Bingo!!