We’ve all had moments in our lives when things haven’t gone our way and we’ve experienced intense negative emotions. Unfortunately for many people, they stay stuck in these states by falling into the trap of the Crazy 8.
What Is The Crazy 8?
The Crazy 8 is a concept developed by Tony Robbins that demonstrates an emotional pattern of alternating between depression and anger that people experience when they feel like they are not in control of their life.
Understanding how the Crazy 8 works and its consequences can help you break out of disempowering and unhealthy patterns of meeting your needs and instead create new empowering and healthy patterns.
How The Crazy 8 Works
The Crazy 8 pattern ultimately solves our contradictory emotional needs for feeling connected and vulnerable and for feeling powerful and in control.
At one end of the Crazy 8 is depression. This is when the person feels weak and disempowered and so they withdraw in an attempt to gain control by feeling connected with themselves. This creates a low energy state.
At the other end of the Crazy 8 is anger. This is when the person feels strong and empowered and so they take action in an attempt to gain control by feeling important. This creates a high energy state.
When the person has had enough of being in a state of depression because they either hit a threshold of feeling too weak or because the situation hasn’t been resolved, they will swing into a state of anger. Likewise, when the person has had enough of being in a state of anger, they will swing back into a state of depression.
The person swings between depression and anger because the body cannot maintain these emotional extremes for long. Each swing is designed to give the person the illusion of control where they would otherwise feel powerless. The problem with both extremes is that they are temporary, thus creating a self-perpetuating cycle.
Breaking The Crazy 8
In order to break the cycle of the Crazy 8, we seek an outlet. Most people try to distract themselves in the form of temporary pleasure or a “quick fix” such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, gaming or work. Unfortunately, not only are these choices unhealthy, but they are unsustainable and create a downward spiral that in many cases results in addiction.
Therefore, the key to successfully breaking the Crazy 8 is by changing our Model Of The World. When we reframe our problems and transform our beliefs so that they reflect how life actually is rather than how we think it should be, we shift our emotional state and the filter through which we perceive and experience our reality, leading us to engage in more empowering and healthy behaviours.
The Crazy 8 illustrates the interlinking of emotional states between depression and anger that we experience when we feel like life is not in our control. These responses are our attempt at regaining control or rather, our attempt at trying to convince ourselves we are gaining control. Unfortunately, this pattern is simply unhealthy and not sustainable.
The key to successfully breaking this emotional pattern is by changing our beliefs so that they align with objective reality rather than our own subjective reality. Doing so transforms our state into one of empowerment and gives us a true sense of control in our lives.