At the end of the day you must be true to yourself, no matter what is happening around you and what experiences those things cause within you. As you navigate this year, through external energies, forces, gifts, and challenges, staying true to yourself will be easier with a more sharply defined understanding of yourself. At Project Evolve, we believe everyone is wired to evaluate, experience, perceive, and know themselves, others, and the world in one of seven distinct ways; we call these the Seven Human Natures. With this knowledge of self, it becomes possible to better care for yourself when everything else seems out of control.
Underneath your personality and your learned behaviors, beliefs, and values lies your nature. It is the foundation for the person you are, the lens through which you see yourself and others, and it is why you think and act as you do. You may be a go-getter, or you may be known as the diplomatic neighbor. You may spend your money the moment you get it, or you may hoard it in a tin can buried in the backyard. You may be fueled by your passions, or you may value collaboration above all other working styles. There is a reason for why you are the way you are; it is not by happenstance or strange luck. Your nature comes with its own set of skills and its own set of pitfalls or distortions. Knowing them will help you make informed decisions that will make you healthier in the present and future.
When challenged, you likely default to your nature to get you through. There is not necessarily anything wrong with this, but it could leave you in a familiar rut, wondering why you’re experiencing the same stress, same problems, same disappointments. Sometimes defaulting to type can lead to even bigger problems, however, like getting into extreme debt, spending years in an unhealthy relationship, stress-related health issues, or the bleak realization that you’ve lost time you’ll never get back. Below is a short overview of the strengths and distortions of each nature. However, we strongly suggest you pause here and take our seven-question, confidential survey to find your nature rather than try to guess which is yours. Feel free to share with others to gain a deeper understanding of one another.
Taker: Instinctive, First Chakra, Reactive, Survivalist
Takers not only survive in chaos, they thrive in it. They trust their guts and are quick to act. These are the people who will take the Hail Mary shot at the buzzer and seize opportunities in the moment. Because their nature is to react, Takers are often great at improvisation of any kind. They are blessed with the ability to wing it in any context. These are the people who are able to get themselves and others through just about any situation, no matter how confusing, chaotic, scary, or wild.
When Takers are unaware of their natures, they can create havoc rather than make sense of it. Without an understanding of their gift of being able to thrive through chaos, Takers often subconsciously create chaos so that they have something to react to, causing those close to them to live in chaos as well. Takers typically have a scarcity mindset, believing they don’t have enough of what they need in the moment, so they will take what they need from others. This is something that early humans needed to do to survive, but in the modern world this is less of a survival skill and is simply considered theft.
When Takers are in stressful situations, it is important to pause. Because Takers can act without thinking or thorough evaluation, they can inadvertently cause more suffering. Developing the habit of allowing space for conscious thought is a key skill for Takers. In trying times, Takers will often get overcome by the chaos they create in their own minds. Pausing will allow them to order their thinking, (by journaling, for example), so that they are not impulsively reacting to something that may not be real. Not every situation is made better by immediate reaction.
Spender: Emotional, Second Chakra, Up & Down, Confident
The Spender comes from a place of emotion and makes sense of self and the world through how they feel. They relate to others on an emotional level. In fact, they relate to everything on an emotional level. Decisions are made according to how the outcome would likely make them feel, and they subconsciously look for outcomes, situations, and options that will make them feel good. Spenders are inclined to spend their energy, money, or time when they have it, (when they are up), because it feels good, and they will spend until they have nothing left, (leaving them down).
If there is a symbol for this nature, it’s a roller coaster, and it’s hard to write about this nature with one distinct paragraph about the positive and one about the negative because this nature is characterized by ups and downs; there can’t be one without the other for Spenders. Because Spenders are emotional by nature, they run the risk of getting over-emotional, becoming immobilized by negative emotions, using emotions to manipulate others, and spending their resources, (most easily illustrated by their relationship with money), and thereby setting themselves up for not having what they need when they need it. For example, it feels good to take someone out to dinner at the best restaurant in town, but it’s emotionally damaging to, as a result, not have the money to pay a bill that’s due.
Spenders can help themselves avoid extreme ups and downs. Accepting that they are emotional can help them accept their emotions as they experience them. When people, places, and things get stressful, Spenders will want to spend more time, energy, or money in an effort to swing back up into positive emotions. (Think shopping sprees, reconnecting with a negative ex-partner, or spending time with an emotional vampire.) Knowing that this is their default, Spenders can protect themselves from becoming spent, exhausted, and crashing while staying focused on setting spending limits and staying neutral.
Earner: Hard-working, Efficient, Third Chakra, Determined
The Earner is the worker bee of the natures. They form their identities and sense of self-worth around the work they do, are most satisfied by a job well done, and they embrace effort and striving. At their best, Earners get stuff done.They are capable, industrious, and they make sense of the world through thinking and taking action. Being busy makes sense to Earners, and they will fill their time with work of one sort or another. Earners can be tenacious, even relentless when they’re trying to reach a goal. Earners try to solve problems by working harder, and while at time this is the best approach, sometimes it isn’t.
The biggest risk for Earners is becoming workaholics with blinders on, meaning they are only able to see their work and the goals for which they are striving. When the going gets tough, Earners get going, and going, and going. Understanding this part of themselves, Earners can refocus their energy on appropriate levels of effort and hard work because if they don’t they will end up burnt out or battling a stress-related illness. When Earners work all the time, their relationships suffer. Sometimes no amount of hard work will make a relationship healthy, though the Earner will try. Working longer or harder doesn’t always lead to increased income. Often what an Earner needs to do to get through a rough time is rest, relax, and let organic time do the hard work.
Saver: Prepared, Cautious, Independent, Fourth Chakra
Savers know how to relax, take a break, rest. They want to conserve their energy, stockpile things they find valuable, prepare for the future, and save their money. Savers understand the value of having extra of everything, something the previous natures don’t understand in the least. Savers find comfort and safety in being prepared. They often collect things, even things others think are junk. They tend to be frugal, live below their means, and are very at-home being independent.
However, Savers can take it all too far. They can cross the line from independent to isolated but believe they are perfectly healthy because they have plenty of money in the bank or buried in the yard, have their pantries stocked for any disaster, or have closets full of enough clothing for an entire town. In other words, they tend to hoard money and things, and they sometimes become consumed by greed. Sometimes Savers will try to save animals or other people. In our business, we see relatively few Savers, and we believe it’s because they create a sense of safety and preparedness through amassing collections of stuff then isolate themselves from others. Therefore, can prevent themselves from reaching a point of wanting to change and grow.
When under stress, a Saver may simply want to nap. This is healthy sometimes, but it’s not the best single strategy for stress management. Savers can save themselves by recognizing that sometimes they do need to put some effort and energy into something before relaxing. For example, maybe a Saver could do their homework before napping, ensuring they are prepared for class the next day. A Saver may need to evaluate whether taking an entire day to visit multiple stores for the best deal on a single item is actually the best use of their time. A Saver who understands their innate need to rest and accumulate can balance it with the reality of there being more to life, and in doing so they can better prepare for the future and live in a healthier present.
Investor: Thrilling, Productive, Fifth Chakra, Creative
Investors like to enjoy their lives, relationships, money, and time. They understand that putting their time, money, and resources into something, (in other words, investing them), often yields favorable results. They know, in their bones, the relationship between risk and reward. Investors are often creative, inventive, productive, innovative, and even charming. They are often entrepreneurs because of all the natures, Investors are unfazed by the possibility of their venture failing; that is part of the risk-and-reward relationship. Investors are often able to create what they need to be successful.
When unaware of their nature, Investors can get so stuck in seeking the return on their investments that they make a mess of their lives. Investors can ruin relationships by approaching them as investments, expecting other people to behave a certain way because they, the Investor, have “put in” their time, money, or energy in some way. Some Investors get addicted to the thrill of the win when their investments pay off well, but they can sometimes risk too much and lose everything. For example, putting all their money into a business that fails or a too-good-to-be-true opportunity that really isn’t true at all.
Because Investors can become dysfunctional speculators without knowing they’re headed that way, it’s important to know their nature and prevent disaster. Instead of investing more time, energy, or money into businesses, relationships, financial strategies that don’t yield results or worse, are bottomless pits, an Investor may be better served employing different skills. An Investor will want and expect to be productive and creative all the time, but often they may need to rest, gather information, prepare, get educated in some way before it’s possible to get back into creative and productive mode. Sometimes Investors need to reach out and collaborate with others in order to reach a higher level of productivity they couldn’t reach alone.
Lever: Collaborative, Cooperative, Sixth Chakra, Leverage
Levers like life to be easy and will subconsciously seek out ways to make everything easy for themselves and, when healthy and functional, those around them. They understand the power of a team and will choose to collaborate with others whenever possible. Levers are unafraid of debt and will leverage their assets to ease expenses. For example, someone with another nature may be unlikely to see the benefit of leveraging a high credit score to take out a loan which would pay for solar panels that would lower monthly energy costs. A Lever will immediately see the cost-saving benefit over time while others would only see the expense as a threat to savings, a black hole of debt, or a complete impossibility. Levers want to help others and don’t mind asking for help when they need it. Again, when healthy and functional, Levers want to bring their best to the table and expect others to do the same, because that way everyone wins.
When self-seeking and dysfunctional, Levers can get mean, manipulative, and they may exploit others for their own benefit. Sometimes Levers want to avoid putting effort into anything at all. They expect others to do their work for them and get nasty toward those people when they won’t. Some Levers will get other people to do the work for them and soak up the rewards for themselves. A Lever is the kid who does nothing on a group project but presents the work to the teacher and class as if he or she did it all. They get the kudos from everyone except the people on the team who no longer want to be friends with the Lever. Extreme examples of Levers who’ve gone off the rails can be people who run Ponzi schemes and plantation, sweatshop, and brothel owners.
A Lever who is aware of their nature and is not simply out for themselves is a great asset to their community. They are innately able to bring people together and see how a team can function best. However, Levers need to remember that these are their nature-specific gifts and not everyone understands the situation as they do. It may take some effort to help others see the benefit of collaboration and bring their gifts to the table. Levers may need to educate or train others, delegate tasks, or let go of seeing their way as the only way.
Giver: Visionary, Generous, Socially Conscious, Seventh Chakra
Givers are guided by intuition, and they are often very connected to something bigger than themselves. They are teachers, visionaries, social change-makers, leaders, and often Givers choose professions that allow them to help others make big life changes. Givers are naturally able to look back at their own experiences while looking ahead to how those experiences and knowledge can give rise to something new for themselves, others, or both. They are passionate, usually abundance-oriented, and truly want to make the world a better place.
Givers can fall apart before they can share their gifts or bungle their relationships, finances, health, and time. They’ll give until there is nothing left. For example, a Giver may give away services without billing clients and end up in financial stress. Givers may give their wisdom to others who don’t want it and be perceived as know-it-all, overbearing, or self-righteous and end up driving people away. The ultimate dysfunction for a Giver is to become a martyr and destroy themselves for the sake of others. Because it feels like fulfilling their purpose to give time, energy, wisdom, guidance, and money to others, Givers can easily become enablers which really hurts the ones they’re trying to help.
Two skills a Giver can learn which will help increase their capacity to give are receiving and asking for help. Neither of these will be easy, and it requires the knowledge of their nature and the ability to give to self what is needed to become a better Giver. A Giver may get stressed out by multiple job offers or be unable to hear and accept good advice. Sometimes a Giver can see what someone else’s needs, (to hire a financial advisor, a life coach, a personal trainer for example), but is unable to do the same themselves. An aware Giver can learn to receive the gifts of others and leverage those experiences and the new wisdom they gain so that they may share with others later.