Shifting Any Pattern: The 3 Essential Steps

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again
and expecting different results."
~ Albert Einstein

Like all of us, you have ways you want to be better, healthier, happier. You have habits or patterns you would like to cease, or things you wish were different about yourself.

But where we all go astray is thinking that we need to fix or change something.

The thing is, there is no end to fixing or changing; it is not a real, sustainable solution. When you think you've gone and changed, finally fixed yourself, there you are again, back to square one.

Fixing and changing imply that you are broken or in need of an overhaul, and I say you are not. So, the point is not to try to fix or change your self, but to shift unhealthy or undesirable patterns to more healthy ones.

Up until now, your mind has been wired to repeat the unhealthy patterns, but you can re-wire it for ones that are better, happier, healthier.

Are you familiar with what a "paradigm" is? It is basically a particular perspective, worldview, or way of seeing things. If you really want to be able to be different, to shift a habit or pattern, what is called for is a paradigm shift. Shifting the paradigm you are using gives you the ability to see things differently. Which gives you the power to ACT differently and to DO things differently, and hence to get a different result

I break the process of shifting any pattern into 3 essential steps:

  • Noticing and Identifying The Pattern
  • Getting Fully Fed Up
  • The Doing of New Actions

Noticing and Identifying The Pattern

Noticing that you actually have this particular pattern or habit is fantastic. I think of any pattern or habit as a belief that is looking to get shook loose. The only way the belief knows to get your attention is to keep showing up. And it will keep trying to get your attention until it actually does. Yes, your pattern will keep showing up, over and over and over again. It is a pattern after all!

The good news is that you also keep getting the opportunity to shift that particular pattern – and to recognize the belief that is looking to be let go – over and over and over again.

The process of noticing helps you get to know your pattern so that it can tell you what it needs to tell you, and so that it can let you go.

When do you do the pattern? When does the pattern get triggered? By what kinds of interactions, by whom, how often? What happened just before you noticed your pattern kick in? What is the earliest time in your life you noticed this pattern? You are often on autopilot around a habit, so this might be hard at first, but the awareness, the noticing will begin to happen .

Getting Fully Fed Up

Until you are thoroughly fed up and sick to death with your pattern, you will not be sufficiently moved to shift it. What I mean is a thorough and complete understanding of what this pattern is "costing" you – the multitude of ways it causes you to suffer and be less than you can be.

You have to fully grasp the ways in which this pattern is making you – and others – miserable, and also to understand that it will continue to make you that particular brand of miserable for as long as you have this pattern.

If you are not really, truly fed up, it means you are still "getting" something out of the pattern, and what you are getting out of the pattern is still greater than your suffering.

Try asking, what in that pattern might be trying to get your attention? And also try asking, Is this suffering worth it?

If you weren't suffering in this way, what would be possible?

Once you are fully fed up, anything seems better than what you've got now. Shift to something else? No problem!

Ingrained beliefs are only true because you've spent a lifetime assuming they are true and building a case to affirm they are true. They are as true as you believe them to be. If they are limiting you and what you want in your life and relationship, deconstructing them is tantamount to success, freedom, and change.

The Doing of New Actions

Sometimes out of these first two steps you get a new perspective and you can therefore do new actions. Because you have a new paradigm, you can act differently.

But sometimes you just have to start straight away with doing new actions, and the new perspectives follow. This last step is the doing of these new actions, regardless of whether your paradigm has shifted yet. New actions shift your old patterns and "re-wire," your mind, if you will.

One type of new action is to actively "work on" your pattern.

If your health is suffering, but you are not that self-motivated, a new action could be to work with an ass-kicking personal trainer. You could read a book on your pattern, talk about it, do therapy, take a walk, contemplate it, journal about it. All these are active actions that have you moving in a new direction.

The other kind of new action is actually not actively DOING anything, but leaving space around it, the quietness of just being with your pattern or belief.

This one is tricky. It is not inaction.  It is, in essence, holding space for wisdom to come; for your current paradigm to shift. Often we just want to tackle an issue, make a concerted effort, work on it and get it over with. But the doing, as well as the not doing, are both important to shifting a pattern.

Up until now, mostly we use our limiting beliefs about life and ourselves as a space to create from. But what if you used the fertile ground of your juiciness, your joy? More on that in Joy and Celebration as your Touchstone.

Go to Joy and Celebration As Your Touchstone
Back to Relationship With Yourself

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