How To Spot & Break Pattern Behaviors
Do you ever notice yourself responding to situations in the same way over and over again? Procrastination. Always showing up late. Starting projects and never finishing. These are all examples of pattern behaviors.
We all develop behavior patterns in our lifetime, some of them healthy and some of them not so healthy. These patterns can be instilled in us from childhood or developed later in life, usually in reaction to an experience.
When we identify a pattern in our life, our first reaction might be to break it. We make changes to our schedule or tell ourselves this time will be different. But these are band-aid solutions.
If you really want to make changes to your behavior, you need to get to the root of the issue. These roots can go WAY back. We often develop defense mechanisms when something hurts us in childhood. Identifying where the pattern stems from will give you a much better understanding of why you behave in a certain way, and it can give you a fighting chance at making changes. It can be useful to work with a coach or counselor when trying to pinpoint these triggers.
A better strategy than simply forcing change is to focus on the positive side of these patterns. The trick is identifying what was beneficial about this defense mechanism. For example, by never finishing projects it may have helped you to be more creative or efficient, or be seen as fun and fascinating, because you might tend to have lots of different things going on at once. Once you can find the value in your behavior, you can decide if it needs to be modified or let go.
If you know deep in your heart that you are called to something a little different or more fulfilling but recognize that certain blocks may be holding you back, it is time to make a change. You can find healthy ways to maintain the creativity, work/life balance, or compassion that may have come with some of the patterns, while knowing you will be your best self when you follow through on what you are called to do.
I would urge you to hone in on what lights you up instead of only focusing on what holds you back. I think when we focus on the moments that bring us joy and consciously delve into how to add more of those to our day, we start to naturally see why we weren’t allowing ourselves that joy before. We can then build from there until we start to create daily patterns of joy and fulfillment.
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