A pattern would not be a pattern if it did not produce a familiar, repeated, result: these results can be life affirming or undermining. To live an empowered life it is important to learn how to recognize the patterns that undermine your wellbeing and desired outcomes.
When it comes to a pattern that generates a negative result it is, ironically, the act of avoiding a situation (or person) which guarantees a continuing cycle of upset and suffering!
In the DSM programs we show you a process for revealing patterns and then de-energizing them. Here are a few basics you can use to start unlocking the personal power that lies beyond the patterns that run your life!
- The first step is to recognize that there are things that have occurred in your lifetime that you just don’t care to think about very much or hang out with for very long (if at all). In the perpetual avoidance of those things it is necessary to create beliefs, emotions, feelings, and behaviors that become tendencies in how you live your life.
- If these avoidance tendencies actually worked, the hard stuff would go away! Sadly they don’t! So begins a rinse and repeat cycle of undesirable results from avoiding what you don’t want to look at!
- The result of avoidance to the “hard stuff” is that aspects of your wholeness get shut down and un-expressed. In DSM we like to say that when energy gets repressed it will always –- ALWAYS! — find a way out: It will “squirt” in all sorts of unexpected, uncontrolled, unseemly and unruly directions!
Just look at the news any day of the week for examples of what this can look like.
Patterns of all variety — including ones that lead to positive results and are Life affirming — are in continual operation 24/7. That is, it is vital to recognize that patterns are forever functioning at levels that are out of our awareness.
For example, self-destructive patterns, which no one would say they want, often result from not handling a difficult issue in a courageous way (danger is scary!). In an effort to find ease and comfort in a tough spot, a pattern is born to resist the perceived danger. Inadvertently, a sequence of responses are set in motion that moves energy toward what is not wanted, because that is where the focus of attention is placed
These sequences (patterns) are usually far more devastating to a desired outcome than facing the challenge of the original discomfort. In Danger, Sex and Magic we refer to the dilemma of danger in all directions as, “The Range of Danger.”
The bottom line is that, unchecked, patterns are repetitive in nature and, over time, can leave a trail of suffering and distress. A good coach will assist a client in discerning the undermining the patterns that repeat in different environments (work, relationships, finances, etc).
Identifying patterns is important personal work, so we’d like to support you with few thoughts about what to do with the patterns that may be impacting your success.
Second, spend some time thinking through this short exercise from the pages of Life Lives Through You: Presence. It is the starting place for de-energizing non-useful patterns.
What situations, circumstances, and people do I most make an effort to avoid? Write down at least one for each:
- Situations I make an effort to avoid:_________
- Circumstances I make an effort to avoid:______
- People I make an effort to avoid: ____________
Examples—I avoid standing up for myself; visiting people in hospital; being around people who have more money than I do; talking to or being around (name of a specific person).
What Life Affirming Power is suppressed when I put my energy into this avoiding?
Examples—the power of Confidence; the Courage to meet challenges head-on; the thrill of Enthusiasm.
Now that you have begun the process of identifying patterns, you can also begin to take control of them: You can learn how to keep and grow the ones that work and how to disengage from the ones that do not, so that you can live the life that you were meant to live.