The Taskmaster Pattern

If you have the Taskmaster Pattern, you have an intense focus on hard work or discipline. You may do this because you want to be successful and thereby gain the satisfactions of success-money, praise, power, freedom, or admiration. You may do this because you want to avoid being a failure or mediocre and be judged, shamed, or rejected. You might be more concerned with developing a discipline such as meditation or exercise or eating in a healthy way. You might be focused on accomplishing things that are needed for your life to work, such as doing your taxes or mowing your lawn. This becomes a problem when you push yourself too hard or expect too much, not allowing yourself to be relaxed and easy. You may not respect your need for a healthy balance in your life.

The biggest problem with the Taskmaster Pattern is there is often a Taskmaster Part of you that attacks you for not living up to its expectations. Your Taskmaster Part may believe that you must work very hard or be extremely well disciplined to get results. It believes that the best way to get you to do this is for it to tell you in no uncertain terms what you should be doing, and to push you unmercifully to do it. It thinks that the harder it pushes, the more likely you are to succeed. Your Taskmaster may believe that if you take any time off from your project or fail even once to do your discipline, you will be a failure. Its attitude is all or nothing.

Your Taskmaster may tell you that you must work this hard to be a good person or even to be OK. It sets high standards and expect you to meet them completely. It may even ignore the connection between the work it demands and the results it wants. It just rigidly tells you what you should do.

You may be totally concerned about whether you are advancing and achieving. You may believe that life is a competition and an evaluation of who is the best or most worthy. And you must be near the top or you aren’t really OK. This need to advance is not limited to work and career. Many people who are interested in personal or spiritual growth have a Self-improvement Taskmaster who tells you that you must continually work on yourself to become better or to advance spiritually.

The biggest problem with the Taskmaster Part is that it believes that the best strategy for helping you to be successful is to berate you and attack you when you don’t work hard enough for its standards. It tells you that you are no good, that you can’t do it, that you are lazy, etc. This rarely helps. It usually makes you feel bad about yourself and therefore hopeless about meeting the demands of the Taskmaster. So the Taskmaster’s approach usually backfires and makes it harder for you to work well and succeed. It makes it harder for you to be successful in a discipline, because anytime you aren’t really succeeding, it tells you that you can’t do it. In addition, the Taskmaster may tear down your self-esteem and make you feel depressed.

For more information on the dimension this pattern is part of, see