What is the Underminer Pattern?

The Underminer is a type of Inner Critic Pattern in the Pattern System.

Your Underminer is a part of you that tries to undermine your self-confidence and self-esteem so you won’t take risks that it thinks are dangerous or so you won’t try new activities and fail. It tells you that you can’t be successful and throws doubts on anything you might want to try.

Your Underminer might make direct attacks on your self-worth in an attempt to tear you down so you will stay small and safe and won’t run the risk of falling from the greater height of being large and known. It may tell you that you are worthless or inadequate. It may call you stupid or incompetent. All these attacks are aimed at undermining your confidence so you won’t do anything that might not be safe.

Your Underminer may be afraid of your becoming too big or powerful or visible because it is afraid that you will be attacked or rejected for that. It might be afraid of your showing a certain quality, such as strength, intelligence, aggression, or self-esteem, because it fears that you will be ostracized or attacked for this.

As a result of attacks from your Underminer, you are likely to end up feeling inadequate, powerless, and timid. You may approach the world from a passive, helpless place and not take steps to make your life what you want it to be. This is all part of the Underminer Pattern, too.

Self-Therapy Journey  has a module for the Underminer Pattern and the Courage Capacity, which transforms it.

The book Freedom From Your Inner Critic shows how to transform this pattern using Internal Family Systems Therapy. Click here for information on this book and to purchase it.

The book Activating Your Inner Champion Instead of Your Inner Critic shows how to transform this pattern. Click here for information on this book and to purchase it.