Who am I? 8 Categories of Deception

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The Victim

The Victim sees himself perpetually at the mercy of people, circumstances and situations around him. The majority of his focus is on himself and how he is affected by the outside events, and his mood is controlled by what is happening in his world at that moment. To him/her, the world is a place where negative experiences are to be expected and people are not to be trusted. The Victim has a strong need to feel certain, and tends to see the world in extremes: right or wrong, black or white. Many times he doesn’t even realize that he has a choice in what happens to him.

Advice for the Victim:
Always remember this: Everything you have in your life you’ve attracted, you’ve created. So if you keep getting in those situations, it’s because you’re attracting those situations with your thinking. You’re responsible. The only thing a Victim has to do is take responsibility. So, take responsibility.

And remember that responsibility is not about guilt, shame, or blame; responsibility literally means the “ability to respond.” Realize that you’ve created everything that’s happened, and you also have the power to create something new. You are not the same person you were yesterday, not physically and not emotionally. So, if “tragedies” have happened to you in the past, there is no reason to let those past events maintain control over you today.




The Rut Dweller

The first time the Rut Dweller hits a wall or runs into some sort of obstacle, he quits. As soon as he gets overwhelmed or frightened, he stops; he quits. He doesn’t blame other people or circumstances; he just quits.

He’s not moving forward in his life, and in order avoid feeling bad about himself, he lowers his standards a little bit more. The Rut Dweller is a master of distraction. He loves to watch sports and reality TV because he gets to live vicariously through the stars. He won’t take any time to sit down and examine his life because he doesn’t want to experience that hopeless feeling.

The Rut Dweller knows that his life could be better. He looks at people who are achieving and says, “I could have done that.” He’ll also say things such as, “I should be out there, I should be doing this…I should, I would, I could.” He never really does it; he just should, should, should. He doesn’t make excuses for himself or blame others for his “failings”; he says this is just how things are and then checks the TV schedule.

Advice for the Rut Dweller:
Find the courage to get back into the game of life. Put yourself out there and see what can happen. You won’t know up front how things will work out, but if you keep putting those universal laws to work for you, you will succeed. Raise your standards and take small steps towards improving yourself. “Inch by inch anything’s a cinch. But by the yard, it’s hard.”



The Certainty Seeker

The Certainty Seeker is looking for certainty above all else. Fear of change is his primary focus in life. It is important that things stay the way they are, the way they have always been. He absolutely does not want to do anything differently.

Tradition is very important to him, and he has the need to belong to organized groups. He sometimes gravitates towards organized religion not for spiritual sustenance, but because religion is unchanging and the rules of the religion provide stability and certainty.

The Certainty Seeker is like the tree standing tall and strong in the face of the howling wind, the howling wind of change. He looks over at the bamboo tree bent at a 45-degree angle and is sad that the poor bamboo is going to be blown away by the wind. But the tree that is about to fall is the tree that’s not bending.

That tall tree might look strong, and it might look solid, but that wind is working on that tree even more than on the bamboo. The bamboo is bending, and it’s giving to the wind, but it’s not breaking. It’s flexible. It will bend, and it will spring back. But that mighty tree that tries to stand against the winds of change is inevitably going to break. And when it breaks, it’s going to fly off and cause havoc as it tears through your house.

Advice for the Certainty Seeker:
Understand that certainty and security come from the inside, from the ability to step out and deal with uncertainty. There is no such thing as security and certainty outside of yourself. You have to change; you either change or you die. Change is good.


The Success Seeker

The Success Seeker is perpetually convinced that there is something “out there” that will help him get the result he wants. Because he is very upbeat and positive about life, he sees this as being flexible and looking for another solution, instead of seeing it as giving up and running away.

He doesn’t stop long enough to recognize that he needs to work on the internal confidence and courage that are required to take him to the next level. He is convinced that the secret to turning his life around is in the next tape program, the next book, or the next seminar. The Success Seeker doesn’t get the final result that he’s looking for because he doesn’t stick with any one project long enough to see the results; he tends to get stuck in an endless loop of Inception-Deception-Inception-Deception-Inception-Deception. In a way, the Success Seeker is always looking for another alligator so that he doesn’t have to drain the swamp.

The flaw in the Success Seeker’s game plan is that he is searching for something outside of himself to give him success. He hasn’t stopped to work on his lack of confidence and courage that he needs to take himself to the next level. He hasn’t really, really faced the fire yet.

Advice for the Success Seeker:
Take action and stay focused on one thing until you see results. Look inside yourself for the answers you are seeking; all the greatness you are looking for is right there, inside yourself. Also, you need to engage your emotional muscle to keep going when it gets tough; instead of running off and looking for something new to try, make a commitment to stay with what you’re doing for an extended, defined period of time.


The Pretender

The Pretender consciously puts a mask on so that other people will see only what he wants them to see. On the outside, the Pretender looks like he has it all together, but deep down he feels insecure and emotionally unworthy. Most of the time, he won’t even admit to himself how he feels. He has two identities: an internal identity and an external identity. His main fear is that he will be “found out,” and that someone will discover that he really is a fraud.

When the Pretender hits Deception, he starts lying. He doesn’t tell the truth. He’ll do all the right things to make you think that everything is OK in his life, but he really feels as if everything is falling apart. It’s hard to connect with a Pretender because of the mask he puts on for the benefit of other people.

He doesn’t blame others for the events of his life, but he also hasn’t figured out that people aren’t really thinking about him in the first place. He also makes sure that his schedule is full, and he avoids time alone so that he doesn’t have to look inside himself and take stock of who he’s being or what he’s doing.

Advice for the Pretenders:
Love yourself. You have to love who you are. You have to be nice to yourself and to other people. You have to appreciate yourself and be grateful for who you are. Everyone has the need and the desire to feel worthy; the Pretender has to acknowledge his own worth first.


The Escapist

The Escapist understands the need for change, but doesn’t know what the “right” decision is, so he hides in a flurry of activity. He may also lapse into complete denial about what’s really happening and generate an even stronger sense of conviction about the “correctness” of his decision.

The Escapist is a strong, persistent individual who makes a decision and then holds on to that decision, no matter what the outcome is. He is not one to evaluate the results he is getting or to change direction if those results are not meeting his original objectives.

The Escapist doesn’t want to hear that he has made an unwise choice or that there may be a better way to accomplish what he is trying to do. Once he decides on a path, he will put his head down and continue until outside circumstances force him to change. Instead of listening to different viewpoints, he defends his decisions with self-righteous intensity.

Advice to the Escapist:
Take an honest look at yourself and your life. You need to believe in yourself and know that if you’ve made a decision that hasn’t worked out, it’s not a bad reflection on you, it simply means it’s time to make a different decision. Realize that it’s not too late to create the results you want by getting on a different path that takes you where you truly want to go.


The Stressed Achiever

When the Stressed Achiever hits an obstacle, he puts his head down like a bull and runs straight through it. He doesn’t care who gets hurt, as long as he reaches his goal. But when he does reach his goal, he’s stressed out because he doesn’t get the joy he thought he would get from it, so he either looks for another goal or shuts down.

The challenge for the Stressed Achiever is that he’s hurrying through the journey, he’s not enjoying it. Any goal he reaches is a stressed achievement. He’s using his willpower to knock down walls, so that some day he’ll be able to relax and enjoy life. He’s thinking, “Once I get this amount of money, once I get this relationship, once I get this job, I’m going to relax, I’m going to be happy.” What he doesn’t realize is that that’s not how it works if a person wants to be truly successful. You have to be relaxed and happy as you’re going about it.

Advice for the Stressed Achiever:
You have to create the meanings that allow you to enjoy every aspect of what you’re doing. You have to bring that enjoyment to the table if it’s not there. You have to bring the laughter, you have to bring the joy, you have to bring the harmony, you have to bring the fun; you have to bring all these things to the table.

Understand that life is about the journey not the achievement. Life is about happily achieving, not achieving to be happy. Remove the stress from the achievement: keep the intensity, remove the stress. “Do” with gratitude and joy and happiness. Enjoy the process. You can keep the intensity, that’s great, but you must let go of the stress.


The Goal-The Ultimate Performer

Ideally, we all want to be the Ultimate Performer. The Ultimate Performer has perspective about life. He realizes that life is about growing in knowledge and love and unity, and taking care of ourselves to the best of our abilities. He knows that we all need to lighten up and realize that this thing called life is the best comedy that we could ever find. The Ultimate Performer understands that we all have 86,400 seconds every day to use, and he keeps checking in with himself to make sure that he is using them wisely.

The Ultimate Performer meets obstacles by just continuing on a path of improving and doing it at a pace that allows him to appreciate and be grateful for what he’s already accomplished. He works in little, bite size pieces that grow into habits in every area of his life, and he understands that life is about growing and getting just a little bit better every day.

If he catches himself not growing, the Ultimate Performer becomes curious about why he’s hit a plateau. He doesn’t beat himself up or give up; he takes an honest look at what is going on with himself and in his life. Maybe he’ll see that he needs a rest right now, or maybe he’ll see that there’s a better way to reach his goal.

The important thing is that he keeps taking steps. He knows that, as long as he does, he’ll keep growing just a little bit more every day, and all the positive actions and attitudes he is practicing will become a habit. He knows that, as those constructive actions and attitudes turn into constructive habits, his unconscious mind will imprint them and make it even easier for him to reach his goals.


“Figure out what you want to do and who you want to be, and then identify someone who is a walking, talking role model of that. Find people who have already succeeded in the areas you want to work on. Take the best of what they’ve learned and adapt their actions and beliefs to your own life. Apply their approach and principles and integrate them into your life. Why start from scratch when other people have already paved the way and you can fast-forward your success by learning from their examples?”

Excerpt from “Are You Up For The Challenge” by Rod Hairston


“to know and not do, is to still not yet know”

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