Be Aware of Your Patterns
If you're like most people, you've probably noticed some patterns in your life. By "patterns," I mean situations that seem to show up over and over again; the cast of characters may change a bit, but the end results remain the same.
In and of themselves, such patterns aren't necessarily good or bad. They can be the source of boundless joy or tremendous frustration, economic abundance or financial struggle. In fact, it's quite likely that you have both positive and negative patterns in your life right now.
For instance, maybe you've worked for numerous bosses who have been very critical of you. No matter what company you're with, the same result occurs. This is a pattern. If you honestly analyze your life, you will see that you have created (and continue to create!) many patterns — some that serve you and others that hinder your progress.
At the root of most patterns is a belief system (your expectations about what you can achieve) and your level of self-esteem (how you feel about yourself). For instance, if you don't believe that you are capable of earning more than a certain amount of money, you'll go from one position or career to another and find that, in each case, you earn only as much as your expectations will allow. Similarly, if you have relatively low self-esteem, you'll find that in one relationship after another (both personally and in your career), you will tend to attract people who will put you down.
Let's look at some specific steps you can take to create new patterns that will improve every area of your life:
- Identify Your Current Patterns
Take stock of the results you've produced in the following areas: your career, financial circumstances, health status, professional and personal relationships. Are you steadily advancing in your career ... or are you bouncing from job to job or stagnating in a position you hate? Do you feel that colleagues appreciate your efforts ... or are you regularly criticized "for no good reason"? After identifying your patterns, ask yourself: What beliefs do I have that contribute to these outcomes? For instance, you may believe that "You can only earn money after a lot of struggle" ... or that "People will ultimately let you down." Make a list of your beliefs.
- Stop Placing the Blame on Others or on External Circumstances
If you've identified any patterns you don't like, the solution is not found in blaming your parents, your employer, or your spouse. And, guess what? It won't help to blame yourself either! You'll just feel worse. Simply acknowledge the fact that you are perpetuating the pattern because of your thinking and your behavior.
- Visualize the New Pattern You Wish to Develop
Your mind is now filled with pictures that support your existing circumstances! To break free from this, you must substitute images of what you choose to become. So, if you want to be more confident, imagine yourself acting with more assurance. For instance, you might think of yourself delivering an effective presentation in front of a large group in your company.
- Watch Your Words
Be very careful about what you say, both to yourself ("self-talk") and to others. Words and phrases that put you down or describe your limitations will keep you from establishing a new pattern
- Distance Yourself from Those Who Exhibit Your "Old" Pattern
If you want to break a dependency on drugs or alcohol, you can't continue to hang around people who abuse these substances, right? Similarly, if you want to break a chain of negative thinking, don't keep company with negative thinkers.
- Take Action That Supports the New Pattern
For instance, those having financial problems might give up the idea of shopping around to save a few pennies on a gallon of milk. If you are obsessed with saving a few cents, the message you send to your mind is, Money is scarce and a few cents is going to make a difference to me. If you truly believe that you are going to earn a considerable amount of money in the near future, those few cents would not concern you. Start paying attention to recurring situations in your life. They aren't happening by "accident"; rather, they are a reflection of what's going on inside of you. When you elevate your thinking about what's possible — and feel good about yourself — you'll begin to produce miracles!