We all have patterns. Thinking patterns, emotional patterns, behavioral patterns. All kinds of patterns! The majority of what we think, feel, and do is based on a pattern we run over and over and over. Some of these patterns are beneficial, and productive....allowing us to experience life enjoyably. Other patterns cause us to be stuck making us feel helpless so we believe we're victims of our circumstances. Patterns can provoke us to create the same problems in our relationships, work scenarios, and life in general.
One of my favorite Seinfeld episodes is when George declares it Opposite Day!!! He reasons that whatever he previously did (which resulted in his problem-filled life) he will now do the opposite of! Surely this will lead him to a different result!
At the start of this year....as my sister and I were discussing some life situations that have stubbornly persisted....we decided our thinking MUST change! Whatever we previously thought, felt, or did (which clearly has not helped), we would now replace it with the opposite! Rather than coming to the same old conclusions....which leads to closed doors, (see Arrow Tip #31), we decided to think new thoughts. Rather than responding in the same defeating ways, we would respond differently. Rather than feeling the same disempowering feelings, we would intentionally change those to better feelings. AND....rather than make it a heavy thing, we laugh and declare it Opposite Day!!
What patterns are you running? The real question is what patterns are actually running YOU? Just like a computer...new patterns will require new commands. Are the patterns you're running allowing you to change and grow? Are they creating better results in your life? Where do you feel stuck? Once you identify the area you want to improve, try to notice what your thinking pattern is regarding this area. You do this by identifying the thoughts and beliefs you have.
Someone wants to improve their health. They know what to do, they just can't seem to do it.
Let's identify the thinking pattern. "I feel stressed.....I need to have a glass(es) of wine so I can relax." "I'm sad...I need to eat something that will make me feel better." "I'm bored....I'll sit in front of the tv for a while" (which turns into hours). At this point, maybe these thoughts aren't even conscious anymore. The body may just move to do these things without a whole lot of consideration. Now it's become a behavioral pattern. Get home from work, pour a few glasses of wine, turn on the tv, eat comfort food. My body is now running the show. Nevertheless, new commands will need to be given to override these patterns.
At first, it may feel hard to change the patterns. That's because the brain loves what's familiar. When it receives a new command it's going to stand up and notice. It's designed this way. (See Arrow Tip #4 ) Don't freak out about it, and don't resist the thoughts. Just let your brain and body know everything's ok, we're just changing course to a better outcome.
Once you identify the current pattern that's running, choose a more empowering thought that leads you in the direction you want to go.
"I feel stressed...I think I'll hit the gym to blow off some steam." "I'm sad...I think I'll listen to some uplifting music to shift my mood." "I'm bored...maybe I can spend the next hour doing something to improve myself that I'm interested in."
Some patterns are so ingrained we aren't even aware of them. Try to identify what your patterns are when you're angry, stressed, fearful. Do they serve you? Do they allow you to grow and move forward?
Our patterns of response can be particularly interesting to notice. How do you respond when things don't go your way? When someone says something you don't agree with? When life throws you a curveball? Is your pattern of response an empowering one? If not, then change the thinking pattern. Implementing some good "What If" questions here is a great start. (See Arrow Tip #29). You have a choice to think in a new way.
In sports, coaches and players decide ahead of time on a pattern (play) they're going to run. Patterns lead to outcomes. If the pattern didn't give the intended result, then they switch the pattern. They run one pattern after the other, CHOOSING which one they think will be the most effective play for the outcome they want...which is to win. If you want to win at the game of life, you have to choose to run effective patterns rather than running the same play over and over and hoping for a different response. Think something different...something that points you in a better direction. Thinking better leads to feeling better leads to doing better. Make this new way of thinking a new pattern for you.
Join my sister and me, and let's declare it OPPOSITE YEAR! Disrupt and revamp even the smallest patterns that are less than lovely in your life.
Notice and identify your patterns.
Override the system by giving new commands that point you in a better direction.
Repeat these new commands over and over until they create a new, more lovely pattern.
Have fun declaring it OPPOSITE DAY!!!
*Remember: YOU ARE UNSTOPPABLE.