I have had a variety of clients in the past week who are trying to break free from repeating the same patterns. While they realize that the results each time are exactly the same, there seems to be something that propels them forward into madness, frustration and disappointment.
That said, how can you immediately stop making the same mistake and empower yourself? How can you make your decision to break free from your romantic rut from within — Not because your friend thinks you are “crazy,” to continue. Or, because your mother emphatically said, “Darling….you deserve better.”
How can you, then, say to yourself,
“I choose to stop seeing Steve,” rather than
“I should stop seeing Steve,” or
“Damn. I just have to stop seeing Steve.”
The words “should” and “have to” do not reflect “buy-in,” or what some refer to as “intrinsic motivation,” that is motivation that comes from within yourself. So then, how can you begin to choose to make different decisions?
The first step is begin looking at the Vicious Cycles you have created pertaining to the specific situation. For example, if you are trying to break up with Steve, knowing that it is the best choice for your long-term happiness, you could write the following scenario based on (1) your actions, (2) the feelings or thoughts that result from that action, and (3) the resultant action. You then repeat this process until you find yourself back to action #1. Here is an example:
1. I tell Steve it’s over. (action)
2. I feel good, strong, empowered (resultant feeling)
(Steve, in reaction, begins to “push” your buttons, stating, “How could you be so cold?”)
3. I feel guilty. I question myself? Am I being selfish? (resultant feeling)
4. I write Steve an email, explaining myself, re-telling the dramatic history of the relationship etc. (resultant action)
(Steve, in reaction, feels powerful, and replies with a “cold” email telling you it’s “too late,” for this kind of pathetic bullshit.
5. I feel angry. I feel betrayed, once again. I feel self-doubt, shame. In short, I feel like crap once again. (resultant feeling)
(Return to step #1, I tell Steve, again, that the relationship is over)
Wow? Do you see how this cycle will repeat itself in infinitum until you decide, at any one point in the cycle, to make a different choice. It’s that simple. You just stop.Write out your cycle, on paper, carry it with you if necessary in your purse or pocket. Then, when you get the email from Steve, (which you will) you simply pull out this piece of paper to remind yourself what will come next if you don’t take a different action.
Therefore, the choice to stop making the same mistakes becomes just that — your choice. Which, in turn, leaves you with three powerful words at your avail:
I CHOOSE TO…..
I heard an amazing quote yesterday from Bruce Schneider, a brilliant psychologist and Life Coach, who said that while most people will tell you they want to change, they are reticent to do the work required to make the significant change they desire. What they truly want, says Schneider, is the result that would occur after the work required is complete. They want to simply fast-forward to the “new” life.
Guess what? It’s just not possible.
If you truly want to make change in your life, it is a requirement that you dig deep,get dirty, and “loosen the plaque,” so to speak, as described so eloquently by my friend and best-selling author Christie Mellor. As Christie said, whether it’s dental care, or healing your heart to create a life you love, flossing is most definitely required.