We have all met people who find themselves in the same situations at work over and over again - for example, they are the ones who are asked to work overtime or are the ones who can find the humour in every difficult situation. Why is it that certain patterns repeat themselves at work? Is our 'work destiny' really written?
Eric Berne is credited with the development of transactional analysis, one of whose fundamental ideas is that we have a 'script' that we create from the patterns and experiences we receive from our family from an early age. This script then determines our decisions and how we live our lives - including our work performance. In this regard, it is worth mentioning the so-called 'script mandates', which are imperative and based on the models we have seen from our parents.
Let's take a look at some of these!
As expected, this fate book summons us to try to gain the sympathy of our colleagues in the workplace, to adapt to them, to do everything to please them, even beyond our strength. This is how it can happen that someone finds himself taking on tasks at every workplace that he should not, working for others (too) - and it is no wonder that he finally feels exploited. Saying no is very difficult, avoiding conflicts, since his self-esteem is linked to how much his colleagues like him.
Someone who brings the rush command with them makes their work (and themselves) dependent on how quickly they can move forward. They may feel that the available working time, and even 24 hours, is not enough to move forward with their tasks as quickly as they would like. This is why they are constantly rushing, always in a hurry, yet often dissatisfied with their own pace. Even more often, they feel that their colleagues are only hindering them from moving forward with their work at the pace they have imagined. Of course, rushing often brings the opposite result of what they want to achieve, as mistakes and inaccuracies often occur with these types of colleagues.
Originally, the rule was Be perfect, and its workplace version refers to striving for perfection and maximalism. Those who bring this fate book pattern with them almost obsessively cling to one hundred percent, because nothing else is acceptable to them. This is not necessarily because they consider the task to be their passion, but because for them, anything worse than perfect means being worthless and unlovable. Expectations from childhood, family patterns may all suggest that only perfect exists - so there are no tools to deal with failure. Such a person can easily collapse if something goes wrong, because there are no tools to deal with failure.
Are we sure to always follow our destiny?
Not necessarily. The patterns ingrained in us in our early years play a big role in how we live our lives later on. However, this does not mean that we cannot deviate from these patterns or rewrite the ones we have been given. What path we take in life - and how we function at our workplace, for example - is influenced by our genes, as well as the environmental influences that come our way during our lives. Finally, the patterns we choose to follow later on in our lives, as well as our own free will, strongly influence us. This is why it can happen that, when we grow up, we live our lives according to a completely different set of values than our parents. Our fate patterns usually activate in stressful situations - so it can happen that someone falls back into the 'Seek Pleasure' script in every work conflict, adapting to everyone and not being able to say no.
Breaking out of Repeating Roles
When we realize that we are repeating the same script over and over again - for example, trying to please everyone at work - and it is uncomfortable for us, it is worth thinking about the patterns we have adopted, our fate book. In order to have a fuller, more satisfied life, it is worth learning how to make decisions based on our resources and abilities. However, in order to recognize our patterns and become aware of our abilities and strengths, it is worth asking for the help of a psychologist.