In my last newsletter, I discussed the difference between dependability and responsibility. I also touched on how our life experiences can affect our responses in the way we self-manage. One thing is obvious, a trauma in any form can interfere with our ability to respond in a more balanced manner. Our response or reaction to these experiences creates many ripple effects in all aspects of our lives.
Some response patterns can look like these:
- Overachieving or over-committing
- Co-dependency or people-pleasing
- Being domineering or autocratic
- Being undependable or unreliable
- Developing addictive behaviors
- Being consistently inconsistent
- Self-sabotage or procrastination
So what happens next?
Once we have an idea of what types of patterns there are and how they are being used, we then get to decide if a change is something we’d like to embrace. Before change occurs, there must be a motivation to do something different. Especially when we realize these behaviors no longer work for us.
If we don’t question our actions, notice patterns we are currently exhibiting, and accept personal responsibility to create change, then by default we choose to do the same things.
Asking questions is the first step towards awareness.
- Are there patterns of behaviors in my life that I’d like to change?
- Am I reacting instead of responding to stressful situations in the same way?
- Is my lack of willingness to change more valuable to me than taking action to change?
- What reward am I getting from my current behavior?
- Am I willing to take steps to implement the changes I’d like?
Taking steps for personal growth
By answering these questions honestly, we may gain more clarity about our behaviors. The next step is to identify when we exhibit the behaviors and then develop an action plan to implement a change.
What action steps do you have in place to assist you with creating change?
I became aware that I was engaging in a limiting behavior. I realized I did this out of boredom, to procrastinate and avoid uncomfortable tasks. After I answered the questions about my behavior, I became aware that my procrastination really stemmed from self-doubt which undermined my confidence.
Once I became aware I was undermining my future success, I became willing to completely stop participating in it. I no longer want to give it any more energy and I disliked the results of my participation.
My plan: Change direction. Turn away and disengage from the behavior altogether. State my goals and develop steps to achieve them on a daily basis.
My steps: Break down my larger goal into manageable tasks to avoid feelings of being overwhelmed. Have a task list for each day and a statement of my objective, not only of the goals I’d like to achieve but also the consequences of my actions if I don’t shift to something different…staying stuck in the same behavior.
As I implemented this change I noticed I became anxious and worried. I felt fearful at different times of the day. To deal with this, I created an affirmation and a breathing exercise to assist myself through the anxious feelings.
Inhale and state,( “Insert an affirmation here) “. Exhale. Repeat until I have shifted my feelings and thoughts to a more calm state.
Then I ask a question. What tasks on my list haven’t I accomplished for the day? What action can I take to shift my thoughts to something else?
As simplistic as it may seem, breathing in and using the affirmations is soothing to me and gives me something else to do besides feeling overwhelmed. I know that I can shift my feelings and thoughts. Although my emotions may give a different impression that I don’t feel safe. I am working through letting go of the behavior that was creating self-sabotage.
I am willing to breathe through the uncomfortable times. I am invested in creating change. I am even willing to have an accountability buddy if I notice that I am losing my determination and confidence to go through with my decision. My success at disengaging from this pattern is continuing to improve even in small increments, which is still an achievement. I am determined to continue until my behavior has changed because I already know what the results of my inaction will continue to be.
I know that my life will be better once I have completely let go of this old pattern. The reward is that I stop avoiding my professional and personal goals and develop more self-confidence to go forward.
Connecting to your breath with intention and affirmation is one of the ways to be more connected to the body. It is a great way to distract the mind from circular thinking. As a bonus, changing behaviors enhances brain pathways and brain health. Have patience with yourself as you go through these shifts, you didn’t create your old patterns in one day. Allow yourself to shift on a daily basis and breathe through the feelings. Remind yourself that you are changing for yourself!
Would you like assistance to shift your actions? Reach out and we can develop a plan for you! Creating changes can be rewarding! You get to reap the benefits!