Are you too driven?

We all know what it feels like, but what is stress exactly? As nature’s ‘fight or flight’ response, it can be defined simply as "our response to pressure we feel we can’t cope with". In other words, it’s about how we think and feel about the pressures on us. And since we’re all different - what causes stress for me, may not for you.

The way we respond to stress is strongly influenced by our personal ‘drivers’, an idea from the transactional analysis model of psychology.    

Psychologists believe that these drivers originate in infancy. They are based on the messages we receive from our parents or other authority figures, about how we need to behave in order to get the approval, love and recognition we need in order to feel ‘ok’. They are part of the unconscious survival ‘script’ we write for ourselves. Of course all of these ‘messages’ have their positive side, but under stress they become exaggerated, driving our behaviour and often  creating more stress as a result.

Can you identify your main driver?

You may have two or even three. Then look at how you can step out of your driver pattern and take back control.

The drivers

Taking control

Be perfect - "I must get everything right! Nothing will ever be good enough."

Under pressure: become single-minded, fearful of being wrong, controlling, critical of yourself/others, rigid, pre-occupied. You may feel guilty, anxious and never satisfied.

  • appreciate others’ points of view
  • lighten up
  • take more risks
  • remember we all make mistakes and good enough is good enough

Try hard - "I must work harder - put in maximum effort!"

Under pressure: start too many things and don’t finish them, over-complicate, get sidetracked, appear too intense. You feel exhausted or depressed.

  • tell yourself it’s ok to relax
  • you can only do what you can do, know what you can control and what you can’t
  • you’re human, not  superhuman
  • you deserve to enjoy life, have some fun!

Hurry up - "I must do everything quickly!"

Under pressure: Frenetic activity, impatient, rush things, take on too much, working to the last minute, make mistakes. You feel irritable and stressed.

  • try taking your time, deliberately slow down, and focus on one thing at a time - fewer mistakes means time saved
  • stop and take a few slow deep breaths, deliberately relax
  • give yourself permission to take your time
  • prioritise - what’s really important?

Please others - "I must take care of others so they will like me!"

Under pressure: urge to rescue others, can’t say no, overly nice, reluctant to give an opinion, feeling responsible for feelings of others, worried about doing the right thing. You feel exhausted, resentful, over-emotional.

  • try pleasing yourself
  • say what you mean and ask for what you want
  • value your own opinions , voice them
  • remember your first priority is to yourself
  • stop worrying about what people will think

Be strong - "I’m only ok if I hide my feelings and needs!"

Under pressure: carry on regardless, fear appearing weak or vulnerable, aloof, intolerant of weakness. You feel lonely, numb, angry, perhaps bottle up emotions which can explode and are reluctant to trust others.

  • try asking for support
  • recognise your own needs
  • express your feelings
  • give yourself permission to play
  • don’t take yourself so seriously

If you would like to change these negative patterns, why not try hypnotherapy, a highly effective therapy which works with both the conscious and unconscious mind. Hypnosis is a pleasant state of deep absorption and focussed attention. It allows the experienced hypnotherapist to work at a more profound level, influencing the unconscious mind to accept positive suggestions and imagine creative solutions. Together you can develop effective ways of making the changes that will improve your life.

Hypnotherapy Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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