The Defeatist’s survival mechanism might seem a big strange or nonsensical, even.  Their survival depends on creating proof that nothing ever works. They always expect something to be wrong and that nothing will change.  They’re always waiting for “the other shoe to drop.”

Quanta Change founder Mimi Herrmann said that the Defeatist believes that something will overwhelm their Plan A, so they will always have to accept a lowly Plan B.  Their efforts never make a difference towards the achievement of what they want, even when they work as hard, or even harder, than everyone around them.

The paradox is that every Defeatist I’ve met is very intelligent, capable, and talented.  From the outside, you would think this is someone who will succeed, even excel, at their chosen path in life.  They’re usually very personable and well-liked.  But their talents and personality never seem to pay off.

Defeatists are overwhelmed by their Learned Distress without having the capacity to overcome it.  One client demonstrated this in a physical way.  She had Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, which means that nearly every substance made her very ill.  She lived in a “safe room” in her house and rarely ventured away from home.  When she bought something new, it had to “outgas” for days before she could be in the same room with it.  Learned Distress had overwhelmed her body’s own immune system and filtering capacity, so that she was overwhelmed by the world.

The same client also demonstrated that our Learned Distress can affect not only ourselves, our situations, and our relationships, but can also affect how things around us work.  She mentioned one day how much trouble she’d had with her clothes dryer—more trouble than the (very reputable) manufacturer had ever seen.  When I considered her Defeatist pattern, this didn’t surprise me, and I mentioned the connection to her.  She exclaimed, “Could my Defeatist pattern be the reason that we’ve had to buy 15 new microwaves in the past 4 years?”  Turns out, her Learned Distress literally meant that nothing around her worked.

As Learned Distress intensifies over time, the Defeatist just sees more and more of these kinds of things happen in all areas of life—physical and emotional health, relationships, career, and every other part of daily life.  Things fail for them more quickly and Plan B becomes even more lowly.

Quanta Change for the Defeatist

Beginning Quanta Change, even continuing it, can sometimes be a struggle for Defeatists.  Their Brain Direction strives to prove that this process won’t work for them, either.  But, as their brains allow the unlearning to take place, they begin to see their own efforts pay off.  Things do begin to work for the first time—situations that they’ve been working at for a long time begin to go in the direction they actually want.  It becomes safe to want good things for themselves, because they see that success is actually possible now.

Want to see which of the 6 SQ patterns is yours?  Take the free SQ test.