Caught in a never ending cycle? Tips for changing your behaviour!

Tired of doing the same thing over and over? Are you familiar with the saying ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different outcome’?

Oh yeah. Me too. So I asked myself some questions:

Am I comfortable doing the same thing over and over? Or is it that I’m comfortable knowing the outcome before it occurs? And the deal breaker? Do I want to be stuck in this pattern forever?

The answer? No. I want to break out and change the ending.

Behaviour change? But how?

So here’s the road to beginning to break out of the cycle of the ‘over and over again outcome’.

  1. Think about what you want to change. What is holding you back from going for what you want? What’s holding you back from finding your dream job, being in a relationship that is positive and fulfilling, having friends that value and respect you? The thing you want to change is unique to you. But the steps are universal.
  2. Grab a pen a paper. Nothing crystallizes something more than writing it down, seeing it in black and white in front of you. Write down your journey, your behaviour as it has happened when you have previously tried to attain the thing you really want. Yes, this can be difficult, painful even. But keep going. Pace yourself. Take a break from it and come back to it later. Remember, this is not a judgement exercise, it’s a pattern identifying exercise.
  3. Now put that writing aside. Let it, and you, take a breather. Congratulate yourself for getting this far.
  4. It’s time to take a look at the hard work you did. Ask yourself the following questions:
    • When I’m in X situation I do Y behaviour?
    • What is the usual outcome of doing Y behaviour?
    • How does that outcome make me feel?
    • How would I feel if I actually got what I really wanted instead of the outcome I know that I’m going to get?

How would it feel if I changed the outcome?

For many of us that last question is the $64 million dollar question. We don’t know because we’ve never given ourselves permission to get “it”. We’ve always resorted to the behaviour we know or feel comfortable with.

Life feels safer, more predictable if we don’t attain “it”. Attaining “it” will most likely mean that we have to start doing a whole lot of new behaviours. Whoa! Too much change, too challenging, too daunting!

But it doesn’t have to be.

Behaviour is habit, and habit that don’t give you the result you want can be redirected into something more positive.

Breaking the cycle of behaviour is possible. At a casual glance, it can appear complex and overwhelming. But you can make change happen. Take it step by step, give yourself time and patience, and forgiveness, when you feel like you are backsliding.  You can achieve the change you want and attain the goals you desire.

 

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