4 Common Patterns That Hold Us Back

coaching, anxiety

Is it the issue or is it you?

Who was it that said "You're only as good as your last success"?

We all want to bask in our glories, and a good pat on the shoulder does wonders for our motivation to move ahead and grow even more. But how do we ensure we leave our last success behind and concentrate on the next one?

Improvement and growing is a process of learning, implementing, growing, learning and repeating. It’s about constantly challenging yourself and once you set the bar at a certain level, to exceed that. Growing means never settling; it means always looking for ways to improve something or to improve you. However, often we encounter patterns that hold us back.

We may have the best intentions to move forward, to take what works from the past and repeat it, and learn from mistakes and replace it with something that is better. But so often we are short-changed by the same revolving patterns of behaviour, and before we know it, we are ‘stuck’. We all know the sad phenomenon of someone unable to cut loose from reminiscing over a past success. And most of us know someone not able to move forward (often ourselves).

self-reflection, thoughtfulness

As with a lot of things in life, awareness is the first key to change it. Once we realise we are stuck, we often pride ourselves on having nailed the issue. Identifying the issue might feel like a breakthrough, but sadly won’t get us anywhere unless we break the pattern. It’s never the issue that causes us to stay stuck. It’s always the pattern.

The brain is wired to repeat the same pattern as that is the familiar (and safe) way for it; geared for survival and not necessarily for growth. It’s only when you realise your pattern of behaviour that you can do something about it. There are four main patterns (and sometimes a combination) to be aware of. See if any of these sound familiar to you…

4 patterns that hold us back

1. Carrying the issue with you

Have you become so attached to your issue that you can’t seem to drop it? Some people constantly carry the problem they face on their back. One gets the sense that they get some satisfaction out of it. It’s rarely about the issue; it’s the habit of constantly carrying it. In a way we become addicted to our issues, sometimes even carrying it with pride.

2. Constantly checking on the issue

We drop the issue, but we constantly check on it. This pattern is like someone putting a baby down to sleep and then lifting the covers so often to check if it is still asleep, that soon it wakes up. Scratching until it itches, just to make 1000% sure. Again, it is not the baby (issue) that is awake, but the person waking it with their pattern. This person really does not have any intention to drop the issue.

yoga, relaxation, behavior

3. When this happens, then I’ll…

We have probably all been guilty of this pattern at some point or another. Constantly holding out for something else, getting ready, waiting, never doing. We actually get to believe ourselves when we say that, but who are we fooling? Only ourselves!

4. Not being totally committed

Talk is cheap but if in your heart you are not totally committed and prepared to break the pattern, you won’t. You can’t have one foot in, and one foot out. This pattern is actually easier to break than one would think - sometimes just asking yourself whether you are committed will already help you make a shift.

Stop it completely. Now.

So now what? Remember I said once we realise the patterns that hold us back we can do something about it. So stop doing it! Don’t do less of it; stop totally, and turn around. Notice it constantly and break its neck. Get help if you need to, a coach or a confidante, but there is no going halfway - the only way out of a pattern is to break it!

How have you coped with behavioral patterns that held you back? Drop a comment below!

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Celeste Du Toit Life Coach, Spirituality Coach

Hi, I’m Celeste. I guide you to discover, unlock and grow your passion and potential to create more joy, fulfilment and a sense of personal mastery. Read more