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Struggling to Return to Normal Life? What Your Fear Archetype Says

As vaccination efforts continue to roll out within the U.S. and abroad, life is slowly but surely on its way to normalcy. Most restaurants are allowed to serve at full capacity, stadiums are crammed to the max with fans, and masks are optional for those who are fully vaccinated. However, have we become so accustomed to pandemic-era restrictions that a return to normal life might be more overwhelming than we thought? 

TEDxMileHigh speaker Ruth Soukup has dedicated her life to helping her clients overcome their fear archetypes in order to live a fulfilling, purposeful life. In her talk, she lays out seven different archetypes that can, generally speaking, apply to everyone and the fear that holds them back. Join us as we explore those archetypes, and why some might be struggling to return to normal life.

Three Struggling Fear Archetypes

DISCLAIMER: Not everyone will fit neatly into one of these archetypes, and you may find that more than one applies to how you’re feeling. Here we will delve into three of Soukup’s seven fear archetypes. If you have one of these fear archetypes, you might be more likely to struggle with the return to normal life.

1. People Pleaser

A people pleaser archetype is just as it sounds; they are driven by a fear of being judged by others and often spread themselves too thin in an effort to please everyone.

As a fellow people pleaser, I know first-hand how people who fit this archetype are struggling to return to normal life. I’m fully vaccinated, but I know there are others who are not verzuz ticket. If I don’t wear a mask, will people think I’m being reckless? If I do wear a mask, will people think I’m not vaccinated? Does it matter? Should I care? All of these thoughts ran through my mind on my first trip to the grocery store after the mask mandate was lifted for vaccinated individuals in Denver. 

People pleasers put everyone else and their needs before themselves, sometimes unnecessarily. In the case of returning to normalcy, overcoming that fear means knowing what is true for you, and not minding what that truth may look like to others. That may be easier said than done, but once realized, it’s a powerful feeling.

2. Rule Follower

Rule followers rarely deviate from the straight and narrow path of Money Heist. They have an unhealthy relationship with authority and tend to follow every rule so as to not attract unwanted attention.

Wear a mask if you’re not vaccinated, but even if you are vaccinated there are groups of people that are still at risk so it might be a good idea to continue to wear one at all times. You can gather in groups, but only outside in smaller groups. 

Mask mandates and other mandates surrounding this pandemic and our return to normal life have been confusing and, at times, contradictory. Rule followers might be struggling because there haven’t been clear, concise rules to follow.

Similar to people pleasers, rule followers put themselves and their needs last and focus primarily on what they are supposed to do per rules and guidelines. They also ball drop might feel stressed out when there are rules and guidelines set forth that other people aren’t following. 

Overcoming that fear means focusing less on what other people are doing and looking inward to understand how rules and mandates apply to you personally. The key is following what makes you feel comfortable.

3. Pessimist

Pessimists have a hard time moving forward from negative life experiences. The COVID-19 pandemic has been intense and hard on everyone in different ways, and pessimists might not think a return to normal life is possible.

How can we return to normal after everything that has happened? Can we be sure this won’t happen again if we go back to our pre-pandemic ways? bad bunny concert It’s been a long time since we’ve been allowed to do a lot of things, how do I know I’ll be safe? These are examples of thoughts pessimists might have as a return to normal life becomes more of a possibility.

Pessimists tend to fixate on negative life experiences, and that fixation prevents them from moving on to future experiences. They might be struggling now because they feel like, after a year and a half of social distancing, pomsky for adoption tragic headlines, and fear, a return to normal feels impossible. Or, they are grieving what they perceive as a “loss” of a year and a half of their lives.

Overcoming that fear, again although it’s easier said than done, means finding positives. For example, the vaccines that have been developed in record time have been scientifically proven to keep people safe as the world reopens. Positives like this can help ease the pain that has come from the last year, and normalcy feels a bit more within reach.

Return to Normal Life

People who fit under these archetypes might be struggling the most, but there are other archetypes to consider. The procrastinator, outcast, self-doubter, and excuse maker are the four other archetypes that make up Soukup’s list of seven, and people who fit these archetypes may be struggling in their own ways.

It can be easy to dwell on fear, but as Soukup says, “When you shine a light on your fear, it’s not so scary anymore.” Consider the deeper reason you may be feeling hesitant as we return to normal life. Once you identify that fear, it can be easier to overcome.

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