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An Easy Way to Identify Your Subconscious Patterns

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

By Jenny Peterson



A common question I get asked is, “How can I identify some of my subconscious patterns on my own?” While this work is very individual and requires one to one work, there is a simple way that helps you identify some of your key subconscious patterns.


Today I’m sharing with you what that is, so you can start making these connections on your own. Have a pen and paper handy cuz you will need it. Let’s get started.


If you have been following my work, you will hear me speak regularly about your childhood being vital to who you are today. I’m not the only one saying this, guru’s like Dr. Gabor Mate, Dr. Bradshaw, the holistic psychologist all agree.


In all honesty, if we were even just a slight bit educated about our brains and the subconscious mind, this work wouldn’t come as a surprise or sound out of the box for people.


We are robots!


We are programmed up until the first 12 years of our life and that programming continues to follow us as adults if we don’t do anything to change that programming.


People often ask me, how do I find my subconscious patterns? The truth is, to identify your subconscious patterns it takes some detective work and most of all, observation of self. So before you can really identify patterns, you must develop your awareness muscle otherwise you will not see them. This step is so important. Our students spend 30 days in observation mode in our 8 month program, that’s how important this step is.


It is also the reason why my work goes much deeper than just identifying a conflict connected to your symptom, which is what a lot of people want to do when they learn about GNM.


GNM for me as a teacher, is just a starting point. True healing is doing the deep work. Making all the connections to why you are who you are today. If how you respond to situations in your life influences the biology in your body and causes symptoms, then the solution to these symptoms is shifting how you respond to life.


The problem is that most people are so much on autopilot, they don’t realize how they respond to life. This is why that observation of self and building awareness is so important.


But there is one way that you can start identifying your subconscious patterns and how you respond to life, starting today.


This by identifying your Inner Child Archetypes.


WHAT IS THE INNER CHILD?

The key to healing is healing your inner child. Inside, there is a part of you crying out in pain. This is your inner child. It has been wounded by everything you went through and healing it will set you free.

The fact is that the majority of so-called adults are not truly adults at all. We all get older. Anyone, with a little luck, can do that. Age has nothing to do with adulthood. The truth is you can spend your whole life without ever truly becoming an adult.

Think about when a child throws a tantrum, it's an explosion of uncontainable emotions and is driven purely by instinct rather than logic and reason. The child feels out of control, so they behave in an uncontrollable manner.

Now think of a time when you or someone you know has behaved out of proportion or uncontrollably, acting purely on emotion. This is because the child that used to throw tantrums when their parents wouldn’t buy them sweets is still in control of that person's decisions and actions.

Most adults are actually just children pretending to be adults.

By the time that we’re adults, we have already developed mechanisms that helped us cope with painful memories and experiences as children. These mechanisms allowed us to deal with things that are too overwhelming, such as the feelings of wanting to be seen, heard, and acknowledged.

Unfortunately, these coping mechanisms only worked like an onion, burying all these painful memories in one layer after another. Eventually, these painful memories and feelings will resurface through negative thoughts.

Age does not determine mental maturity. Regardless of the fact that your physical cerebral development stops in your late 20s, being an adult psychologically takes a lot of skills that almost no one is taught.

Becoming an adult is about acknowledging your inner child, where these patterns came from, and then reparenting it. You become an adult when you start to parent yourself. Your inner child is a core part of your identity and personality, and if you neglect it, you will never be able to step into your true self.


INNER CHILD ARCHETYPES

Inner child archetypes are subconscious patterns that stem from emotional needs being neglected. They essentially are the way you adapted in order to survive.

There are a total of 7 and I will be going through each of them briefly today.

Many of us will resonate with more than one archetype. What these archetypes have in common is that they all emerge from the inner child's need to be seen, heard and loved. These archetypal narratives were created by those unmet needs, again, it's all about survival.

As you read through these, note which ones you resonate with.

The Caretaker

The caretaker typically comes from codependent dynamics. This is where a person gains a sense of identity and self-worth through neglecting their own needs. They believe that the only way to receive love is to cater to others and ignore their own needs.

Here some questions to see if this is you:

  • Did you often get praised for taking care of others?

  • Were you put into the role of taking care of your younger siblings or even a sick parent at a young age?

  • Did you see either of your parents always caring for others before themselves?

  • Did you see your parents do any self care for themselves or were they always taking care of others instead of themselves?

  • Did you feel obligated to do things for your parents to get love/attention from them?

  • Do you often worry about how others will feel before you say or do something?

The Overachiever

The overachiever feels seen, heard, and valued through success and achievement. They use external validation as a way to cope with low self-worth. This person believes that the only way to receive love is through achievement.

Here some questions to see if this is you:

  • Did you often get praised only when you did well or achieved something?

  • Were your parents' workaholics?

  • Did it seem like the only time you got attention is when you achieved something?

  • Did your parents focus on material success?

  • Did you want to prove how smart or good you were as a child just to get your parents attention/love?

  • Do you want to desperately have the material and financial safety that you didn't have as a child?

The Underachiever

The underachiever keeps themselves small, unseen, and beneath their potential due to fear of criticism or shame about failure. This takes themselves out of the emotional game before it's even played. This person believes that the only way to receive love is to stay invisible.

Here some questions to see if this is you:

  • Did you feel like you had to hide a part of you or your achievements from others as a child so you didn't hurt their feelings?

  • Did you have to hide your happiness from a family member or friends so they didn't feel bad?

  • Were you often criticized for things you didn't do right?

  • Do you fear failure?

  • Were you ever rejected by a parent or someone important in your life for "failing."

  • Did you often get yelled at for doing things wrong?

  • When you did things "wrong" did you often see a look of disappointment on your parents face?

  • Did your parents do everything for you, did you have few responsibilities?

The Rescuer/Protector

The rescuer/protector ferociously attempts to rescue those around them in an attempt to heal from their own vulnerability, especially in childhood. This person views others as helpless, incapable, and dependent, and derives their love and self-worth from being in a position of power. They believe that the only way to receive love is to help others by focusing on their wants and needs and helping them solve their problems.

Here some questions to see if this is you:

  • As a child did you have to protect a parent or sibling from things that may harm them?

  • Did you see a parent rescue those around them?

  • Did you have to protect YOURSELF as a child from outside harm?

The Life of the Party

The life of the party is the always happy and cheerful comedic person who never shows pain, weakness, or vulnerability. It's likely that this inner child was shamed for their emotional state. They believe that the only way to feel okay and receive love is to make sure that everyone around them is happy.

Here some questions to see if this is you:

  • Did you have to "cheer up" those around you as a kid to make them happy?

  • Did you use laughter or comedy as a child to avoid showing your pain?

  • Were you shamed whenever you showed your emotions?

  • Did you feel responsible for other people's happiness?

The Yes Person

The yes person drops everything and neglects all needs in the service of others. This person was likely modeled self-sacrifice in childhood and engaged in deep codependency patterns, very similar to the caretaker. They believe that the only way to receive love is to be both good and selfless.

Here some questions to see if this is you:

  • Did you see your parent often taking care of others before themselves?

  • Did you find yourself doing things to please your parents or receive love?

  • When you didn't do things for others did you get shamed or yelled at?

  • Did you have needs or wants as a child but sacrificed them to keep the peace, save money?

  • Do you feel the need to say yes whenever someone asks you to do something for them?

The Hero Worshipper

The hero worshipper needs to have a person or guru to follow. Often this is stemmed from a parent or caretaker always making the decisions, never letting them make their own choices. They are always looking to others to tell them how to live their life, make choices, etc.

Here are some questions to see if this is you:

  • Did you feel like other people knew more than you and you looked to others to help make decisions rather than make decisions for yourself?

  • Did you have proof from your parents or teachers that proved that you made bad decisions?

  • Does making decisions for yourself feel scary and you feel the need to ask others for their opinion before you can make up your mind?

Can you recognize yourself in one or more of these archetypes?


THE MOST POPULAR ARCHETYPES

After working with hundreds of clients with chronic symptoms, there are 4 archetypes that are very common among them.

The overachiever, the underachiever, the caretaker, and the yes person.

I myself was the overachiever, caretaker and the yes person.

I was a workaholic for many reasons. I got praise when I achieved, my parents were always working, and work was always very important in our family, I wanted to prove how smart I was to my family so I would feel important and I also was desperate to create a life that I didn’t have as a kid.

My caretaker patterns came from looking over my younger brother because we spent a lot of time alone and trying to fix my alcoholic and drug addicted dad.

My yes person patterns came from being in fear of saying how I really felt to my parents because I was in fear of their response and I often neglected my own needs knowing that there wasn’t enough money to cover them.

Knowing these patterns and where they came from helped me to connect with the little girl within me, step into my own power, and let go of those patterns that no longer were serving me.


THE EFFECTS ON YOUR LIFE AND HEALTH

The type of archetypes we have affect how we are as adults.

It affects how we connect with others, what we attract in our lives, how we respond to situations, and even our health.

If you ever wonder why you keep attracting certain types of people in your life or why you stay in bad relationships or put yourself in harmful situations, this is why.

Our subconscious works on the familiarity principle because according to our subconscious, the path that we’ve walked once is more comfortable than the path that’s unknown to us. … So even if it means a toxic or a bad relationship, that is all the definition of love or connection we’ve ever had. That’s the only definition we could give to ourselves on what a relationship should be. It’s not necessarily authentic, healthy, and safe, but because it’s all we know, we base our relationships on these earliest patterns.

These play a major role in how we respond to life, which ultimately is connected to health symptoms.

So for example, if you are a high achiever then you will most likely put too much on your plate for the sake of achieving but you always feel behind and can never catch up. This kind of response to life situations can be a part of thyroid conditions.

Or if you are a caretaker then you are really good at putting others first and self care is probably absent from your life and your body continues to shout at you with symptoms to try and get your attention but you don’t listen because everything else is more important.

Each of these archetypes plays a role in how you respond to life which ultimately reflects in your body and many other areas of your life.


MAKING PEACE WITH THE PAST

Each type of inner child archetype has one thing in common: they were born from broken connections and unmet emotional needs.

We play roles in our internal family systems. Roles we are modeled, assigned, and assumed unconsciously to survive. They become unspoken narratives of our lives. Behaviors were conditioned through repeated modeling resulting in a belief about yourself.

Such “scripts” and narratives are written into the fabric of our lives, tightly woven into the way we see everything and everyone around us. Many of the traits you call your personality or way of being are narratives from early childhood. Although it didn’t start with you, and it wasn’t your fault, how you make sense of it is up to you.

The cost is too great to leave wounds unaddressed. We must make peace with the past. Until we acknowledge and name the stories, they will continue to scream for attention. We must stay curious about why and how we react or not react to people and situations in our lives.

Our past is important — we can learn valuable lessons, develop strength of character, and experience growth from it.

We have all let our past influence us in some way or another, but the important thing is that we realize it does not have to control us. We can break those old patterns of survival and create a brighter, better future for ourselves.


WHO NEEDS INNER CHILD WORK?

Despite your childhood, we all need inner child work. Even those that come from the healthiest of family environments benefit from it. One of the biggest mistakes I see is when people analyze their childhood using their conscious mind and think that this work is not for them because their childhood was great.

This is actually a red flag as a coach. It's telling me that there is resistance to doing this work on a subconscious level. This is when we consciously sabotage our own healing.

Each person's trauma is their own experience. I really don't like using the word trauma because often times that word implies something big like sexual or physical abuse. The truth is that we have all experienced trauma in some form.

I prefer to say that we have all had unprocessed life experiences. Situations that were not easy for us to process because we didn't have the tools nor did the adults around us to help process the situation.

If you have chronic health conditions this work is essential. Underneath those conditions are these patterns that are contributing to them.

Think about it, when you say yes when you mean no, when you put others before you, when you never relax because you have to keep working to achieve, when you are worried about how others are living their life and you're trying to find solutions to their problems, you are abandoning you.

This is where illness starts.

These actions don’t send messages of safety to your body, they are activating your stress response. They are triggering a survival response in your body aka chronic symptoms.


HOW TO START

The archetypes that you resonate with are clues to where the repair needs to occur. This work requires months of work that is done in a step by step format, which I teach in all of my courses.

There are a few steps that I will share with you today so you can get started.


1. Acknowledge

What archetypes do you resonate with? Make the connections to where they came from so you understand that they are just patterns based on your survival. Understanding where our patterns came from helps us to understand them rather than just focusing on getting rid of them. Our stories help us understand how we got to be who we are. Getting to know and acknowledging that you have harmful patterns resulting from past experiences is the beginning of the healing process.


2. Become Aware

Where are these patterns showing up? Looking at one archetype at a time, recognize where they show up, what are you doing in your life to support them? What changes do you need to make?

Examine your triggers and situations that cause you stress. These are mirrors into your subconscious patterns.


3. Create New Habits

The next step is the focus of creating new habits. Create an action plan of how you will respond to these areas that are connected to your archetype patterns.


You will need to learn a new way of being. New ways of responding to life. This step doesn’t happen overnight, you will need to take baby steps.


For example, If you are an overachiever, changing that pattern will take months. You will need to work on setting boundaries with yourself, understand that you no longer need to get approval or love from others to feel important, and more. This pattern will be bleeding into all areas of your life, so you will need to make small changes over a long period of time.


4. Connect with Your Inner Child

Tap into your inner child by being childlike. Set some time every day to play a leisure sport, go bicycling, throw around a ball, build, do a jigsaw, or coloring. This will open the door to your child-like self, and that can lead to other memories as a child, and more importantly, your childhood personality.


SUMMARY

Can a child have a mature relationship? A career? An independent life? Yet this is precisely what's happening with us all everyday to some degree or another. And then we wonder why our relationships fall apart. Why we feel so anxious. Afraid. Insecure. Inferior. Small. Lost. Lonely.

The most destructive behavior patterns and mental difficulties experienced by people are related to the inner child. Our lack of conscious understanding of our inner child is what leads to our emotional, behavioral, and relationship difficulties, which in turn is reflected in our bodies.

Just by working on these inner child patterns, you will start to shift the stress response in your body. You will respond to situations differently which means your body will no longer need to take the hit. Everything in our life changes by just working on these. Just like core beliefs, they bleed into all areas of our life.

Your story matters - all of it.

It is never too late to give ourselves the gift of a do-over, a reset. To reparent and acknowledge deficits or wounds is brave work and when you encounter the child within you, you can tell her that she is safe because you are showing up as who she needed. That brings safety to your little you (your subconscious) and your body, which is required for your body to move into healing and come back into homeostasis.

So what archetypes are you? The overachiever, the underachiever, the yes person, the caretaker, the life of the party, the hero worshipper, the rescuer/protector. Knowing these is a very simple way to get started working on your subconscious patterns.

Remember that you don’t need more information to heal, you need to take action. What action are you going to take based on what you heard today?

 

We get it, you're desperate to have your illness be a thing of the past, not something that defines your days. But trying to heal WITHOUT a custom plan is costing you precious time, money and energy!


You are unique, your symptoms are connected to very specific patterns within your subconscious.

Without a plan unique to you, you will continue struggling and miss out on the life you deserve to be living! To help you get started on your long-lasting healing journey, we would love to provide you with a healing plan that is unique to you. Get your custom healing plan today!


You can also Download my free healing guide, “Why Can’t I Heal” where you will learn the 5 reasons that you haven't healed despite everything you've tried. These are the missing pieces to your healing and the key to resolving your symptoms for good.


Jenny Peterson is the founder and CEO of Mind Body Rewire (MBR). She teaches those that are overwhelmed with trying to heal chronic symptoms how to simplify their healing by focusing on just one place, the subconscious mind. Learn more about MBR here.



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