All of us are subject to life traps, no matter how well-adjusted and functional we may be. While some people may just have just a few life traps, others may have more. These life traps tend to rear their ugly heads most strongly when we are under some form of duress.
If we are experiencing some kind of stress for a certain amount of time, these life traps start to affect and shape our thoughts as well as our behaviors. This has a direct impact on not only our quality of life, but also the direction it is going in.
So what are these life traps, and how can we learn to deal with them in a productive manner?
The Eleven Life Traps
We all have the need to feel secure, particularly when it comes to the people we surround ourselves with.
In this life trap, there is the constant underlying fear of loved ones abandoning you. Due to this consistent perceived threat, you may end up being too clingy, and fret over completely normal separation situations.
Mistrust and Abuse
This life trap results in the expectation that people are likely to hurt and manipulate you. It can occur due to past abuse, and may result in you establishing relationships with toxic people likely to do so, validating your beliefs as a result.
It’s vital, as children, to develop a sense of self-sufficiency. To become a person of your own and rely on yourself for fulfilling your needs. Being too protected may result in dependence and vulnerability as consistent themes in life.
You may find yourself always needing to use someone else a crutch of support, due to your need for independence never being met as a child, or made to feel as if it is insufficient.
Overprotectiveness in particular can result in you constantly feeling vulnerable to calamity, and generally feeling unsafe in the world.
As humans, we all need connection. Whether it’s the intimate kind with family or a romantic partner, or the social kind with friends. These life traps can make one feel very disconnected from those in their life.
This life trap results in feeling like you need for affection and intimacy will never be able to be met by people, resulting in anger and hurt over the situation.
With social exclusion, there is a feeling of being an outsider. You may feel like you do not fit in, and are likely to avoid social activities.
Need for Self-Esteem
The proper amount of love and appreciation in your childhood can help you develop self-confidence and self-esteem that is healthy. However, if there is a lack of such support, or a loved one is too critical, it can lead to low self-esteem.
This life trap makes you feel like you are defective, and that the more someone gets to know you, the less likely they are to like you or appreciate you as a person.
Low self-esteem lends itself to feeling like a failure in all avenues of life, fearing that you will not achieve anything in your personal and professional life.
Need for Self-Expression
Everyone has the right to express themselves the way they want to, however, some may grow up feeling like their needs and opinions are not a matter of concern.
Someone who feels this way is likely to feel quite subjugated throughout their life, easily agreeing to what other people say or need. Pleasing other people and letting them control you takes priority over your own needs.
In this life trap, you are likely to place too high standards for yourself, and strive to meet them at the expense of other important things in your life.
Needing Realistic Limits
There is usually a limit to the things we can have, and those who have been over-indulged in their childhood may have a very skewed perspective on what they are deserving of.
People who are in this life trap feel entitled to things, considering themselves special. They are likely to want anything and everything they desire, and experience anger when they do not get it.
Coping with Life Traps
It’s easy to give into the life traps. One may not even realize that they are stuck in one. Others may go the route of avoiding their feelings in an attempt to escape them. However, the most effective way to cope with these traps is to face them head on, and learn how to cope with them in a healthy manner that is conducive to a positive way of living.
The first step in learning to deal with life traps is to try and identify what yours are. Observe and recognize how and when your life traps are affecting your behaviors in everyday situations.
One you have acknowledged and understood what your life traps are and how they shape your reactions and your decisions, it’s imperative to navigate your thoughts in a manner that allows them to counter your way of thinking when in a life trap.
These are maladaptive schemas, and it takes hard work and perhaps even professional help to break free of them and transform them into positive thinking. It’s a step by step process that will take time and patience.
Practice more self-care, learn to validate your needs, and recognize when it’s your life traps running your life. It can help to practice some stress coping strategies as well, since stress is what tends to give these life traps more leverage.
At the Comfort Zone Trap, we can help you with your struggle for self-improvement, and help you towards your goal of a more positive life that’s worth living for! Whether you need tips on how to try new things or steps to take to fight against your life traps, we are a reliable resource to find the guidance you’re looking for.