Stress reduction through self-knowledge

In today’s hectic world, continuing education often takes place alongside work. We all face the challenge of mastering the balancing act between work, personal development and stress management. In this article, I will introduce you to the model of inner drivers, based on Eric Berne’s transactional analysis. These can help you to reduce your own inner pressure.

What is transactional analysis?

Transactional analysis is a psychological theory that aims to understand our communication patterns and behaviors. Its founder Eric Berne discovered that in the course of our lives we develop scripts – unconscious beliefs and behavioral patterns – that influence our thoughts and actions. These scripts can also lead to stress and strain. Above all through our own expectations of ourselves.

The role of personal inner drivers

T. Kahler developed the “Inner Drivers” model based on Eric Berne’s transactional analysis. Kahler identified five general drivers. Drivers are internalized beliefs that we developed early in childhood that shape how we think, feel and act. They had the same effect back then as they still do today.

  • “Always be perfect!” Expect flawless performance and unrealistic achievements. Leads to excessive stress and the feeling of never being good enough.

  • “Always be strong!” Urges you to suppress your own needs and go beyond your limits. Can cause excessive demands and isolation.

  • “Hurry up!” Creates a constant rush and hectic pace, neglects your own mindfulness and leads to chronic stress.

  • “Always try hard!” Puts us under pressure to achieve recognition and success, neglects to consider our own limits.

  • “Always please everyone!” Prioritizing the needs of others over your own leads to dissatisfaction and imbalance.

These drivers guide our thoughts, feelings and behavior. Consciously recognizing them enables us to act more consciously and reduce stress.

Self-awareness as the key to reducing stress

The first step towards reducing stress is self-awareness. Find out how strong your inner drivers are. Do you recognize patterns in which you feel more stressed or overwhelmed?

Rethinking and reassessing

As soon as you have recognized which inner drivers trigger stress, you can start to work on them. Admittedly, it sounds easier than it is. Ask yourself the question: Are these drivers still useful or are they keeping me trapped in a cycle of stress? Take a critical look at your drivers and consider how you could transform them into healthier thought patterns. Instead of “Always be perfect!”, the new mantra could be “I do my best and learn from my experiences”.

Conclusion: Control the stress, not the other way around

Personal responsibility is the key to change and offers a powerful opportunity to recognize and reduce the causes that trigger or intensify stress in your life. Break old patterns and establish healthier ways of thinking. If you would like to learn more about your inner drivers, take a look here.

I look forward to reading your thoughts, questions and experiences in the comments. Let’s broaden our knowledge horizons together!

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