Old Patterns – New Solutions

MarilynDavisatTIERSStarred Page By MarilynDavisatTIERS, 3rd Jan 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/j5_ig6j_/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Personal Development>Self-awareness

“If we experience any failures or setbacks, we do not forget them because they offend our self-esteem. Instead we reflect on them deeply, trying to figure out what went wrong and discern whether there are any patterns to our mistakes.” Robert Greene, Mastery

Doing the Same Thing Gets the Same Results

Patterns of behaviors and attitudes develop over time and can become habitual, mechanical, or the predictable ways that you behave, act or react to people and situations in your life.

For instance if you had a drink each time you were stressed, then your pattern for dealing with stress is to drink.

Alternatively, if you started talking about someone else when you felt criticized and defensive, then your pattern is to deflect focus from yourself and onto others as quickly as possible.

Patterns Can Start in Childhood

Many patterns get set up in childhood. The person who sacrifices themselves for their family as an adult might have had siblings who got more attention or had special needs that meant that the adults in the family, and by extension, all others in the family, needed to have their wishes and wants come secondary.

People find change difficult sometimes. They may feel uncomfortable in the beginning; after all, it is a change. To help frame old patterns, look at some of the major aspects of life – jobs, family, relationships, and finances.

Examining and Breaking the Patterns

However, the mother who is putting all of her energies into the family and does not make time for herself and her interests may build up resentments that will come out in unhealthy and harmful ways. It is better to say no on occasion, or to make time to participate in activities that she enjoys independent of the family.

Not All Patterns are Self-Defeating

Patterns are also about inconsequential or unimportant choices. Friends ask you to go to dinner; you automatically pick the same restaurant that you have gone to the last three times you all got together.

Patterns are also learned; therefore, they can be unlearned; requiring effort to choose differently.

Aha Moments

When you begin to see the patterns of your life, you can decide that you have had enough of the negative outcomes and make the effort to change the pattern that created it.

When you review how you normally act, it is the beginning of awareness of these patterns.

If you have not liked your past outcomes, see if you can come up with some new solutions that will get you better outcomes.

“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” ―Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice

Stay the Same or Change the Pattern?

If you like the outcomes, then you probably do not need to change the pattern. However, if you decide that you are paying too much of a price for the patterns to continue, then find new solutions.

When you process what an action, thought or behavior has cost you, think of terms other than financial. Other costs to you for your patterns might be:

Self-esteem
• Fractured relationships
• Missed opportunities
• New Experiences
Spiritual, Professional or Personal Growth

180 Degrees May Not Be the Solution

A cautionary word though. Typically going 180 degrees may be the opposite reaction, but it is often not the solution. For instance, you have a friend and for the last few times you have gotten together, she has seemed very critical of you. So you make the rash decision to just drop her from your life altogether.

You completely forgot that you asked for her advice, you just did not like it.

A middle or more balanced approach might be to ask your friend to tell you one positive thing about you when she is going to give you some constructive criticism as you are feeling very sensitive right now.

Stop Commands and Altering the Patterns

Since many patterns are the mechanical predictable way we operate, when we have to make a choice, it is a good time to reflect on past outcomes.

A good way to get the mind’s attention is to say, “Stop, do I have other choices besides my predictable pattern?”

Using a “Stop Command,” can help set the mind up to be open to other alternative actions. A Stop Command is simply a way of halting or stopping a thought or freeing the mind to other options.

To use a Stop Command, say to yourself:

• “Stop. Is this an old thought or action?”
• “Stop. Did I like the outcomes when I thought or used it last?”
• “Stop. Is this part of my usual pattern of behavior?”

Motivation and Incentive for Continuing to Change

For patterns of behavior that get you less than favorable results, reinforcing that you are changing the patterns because you did not like your previous outcomes strengthens the motivation to change.

The same holds true for patterns in place since childhood. You can legitimately say to yourself that you are tired of the predictable outcomes or you have done that long enough; it is now time to adopt a new pattern and be motivated to think or do things differently.

Choosing new solutions means that you are taking control of your attitudes, actions and new solutions will bring new outcomes.

Tags

Change, Changing Habits, Changing Patterns Of Behavior, Changing Thoughts, New Solutions, Old Behaviors, Patterns Of Behavior, Self-Awareness, Self-Discovery

Meet the author

author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
A Certified Addiction Recovery Empowerment Specialist, with 25 years of abstinence-based recovery. I write about addictions, recovery, life lessons and general writing tips.

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Comments

author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
3rd Jan 2014 (#)

Good afternoon, Steve. Happy New Year. Blessings your way. Thank you for moderating and star. I appreciate both. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Jerry Walch
3rd Jan 2014 (#)

Good afternoon Marilyn. I have a great deal going on here today at the ministry offices, but I do want to spend a little time commenting and writing on Wikinut.

This was a well thought out article. You earned the star. You always do.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
3rd Jan 2014 (#)

Good afternoon, Jerry; thanks for stopping by. How bad is the weather your way? I imagine that people need additional services in the hard hit areas of the country. I'm off to do some volunteer counseling myself so know about being pulled in multiple directions. Take care. I appreciate your comment. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Jerry Walch
3rd Jan 2014 (#)

Actually the weather has been pretty mild here except for those ten days or so that we were hit with ice, snow, and sub zero chill factors. it's a bright, sunny, 54 degree day here today. I'm busy today supervising construction of new storage shed so we can get all the extra supplies and tools out of the building we have destined to become housing for a homeless transitional program.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
3rd Jan 2014 (#)

Marilyn, this is good advice for anyone who wants to make a change in his or her life. Sharing now.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
4th Jan 2014 (#)

Good evening, Connie; hope you are surviving the cold. Aren't you in Maine? And thanks for the share and comment. ~Marilyn

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author avatar M G Singh
3rd Jan 2014 (#)

Marilyn, this is a fine post. Voted up

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
4th Jan 2014 (#)

Good evening, Madan; wish we did have a voted up. Your comment is appreciated. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
4th Jan 2014 (#)

Well written and timely -- I think it is better to work to change patterns, esp in lieu of making New Year's Resolutions that don't stick. Sharing now.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
4th Jan 2014 (#)

Good morning, Phyl; I haven't made a resolution since I got into recovery. I either change something or don't depending on various factors. Perhaps my resolutions were so alcohol fueled as to be impossible anyway; who knows :) Thanks for the comment and share. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Pollyal
4th Jan 2014 (#)

Your articles always makes me analyze myself..somewhat like an eye opener, thanks for sharing :)

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
4th Jan 2014 (#)

a great post Marilyn many thanks for great advice...

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
4th Jan 2014 (#)

Good morning, Carolina; Happy New Year. I just have to remember to follow my own directions. I have a few things that need changing and started a personal old patterns table last night. The one for the article is a composite of clients yet the attitudes and behaviors apply to me in a certain situation. What is that expression, physician, heal thyself :) ~Marilyn

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
4th Jan 2014 (#)

Good morning, Pollyal; analyzing ourselves and having eye-opening experieces can be helpful. Glad this one was for you. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
5th Jan 2014 (#)

Thanks Marilyn for another incisive analysis to improve and change ourselves for the better. My main issue is how to say "no" as many tend to take me for granted! But I do now, diplomatically of course siva

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
5th Jan 2014 (#)

Good morning, Siva; I will tell you like my mentor told me, the way to say "no" is to think it first, then open my mouth and let the thought become verbal. No sarcasm intended. I usually say, "Not at this time", "Doesn't mean I do not care about you, however, I cannot do that now." These have helped me set some boundaries on time, resources and energy. It is an ongoing process, like most things in life. Thanks for your comment. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Jack Goblin
5th Jan 2014 (#)

Thank you much for this post!

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
5th Jan 2014 (#)

Good morning, Jack; you are welcome. I appreciate you reading and commenting. Hope it helps. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
6th Jan 2014 (#)

A well written and interesting post, kudos!

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
6th Jan 2014 (#)

Good evening, Fern. Hope you have a Happy New Year. I appreciate the kudos :) ~Marilyn

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author avatar Mariah
6th Jan 2014 (#)

Absolutely fantastic post Marilyn, you really are an inspiring life coach.
There's something for everyone to tap into here.
Thank you for sharing this.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
6th Jan 2014 (#)

Good morning, Mariah; could I use your comment on my newly forming blog? I have been doing recovery coaching for a few years now; however, the comments, like yours, on Wikinut lead me to believe that some of the coaching is life oriented, not just recovery. Thanks for considering. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Mariah
6th Jan 2014 (#)

Go for it Marilyn

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
6th Jan 2014 (#)

Good afternoon, Mariah; thanks. ~Marilyn

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