Breaking patterns; A scary thing

Feb 22nd, 2016 | By | Category: Insights

It doesn’t matter if it’s personal or business. One of the hardest, scariest thing to do is break a pattern. Why? Because we don’t know what will be on the other side. We get comfortable in the patterns and the habits we form. We know how to move and adjust, what to expect, it’s comfortable. Even though we know the pattern will land us right back where we started, we grab a hold of it because…well…it’s what we know to do. It’s like retying a knot the same way hoping for it to hold differently.  Frayed rope

Then one day someone has the courage to say, “Enough!” It’s time to break the pattern, to let go of the rope so to speak. And in a breath, the spell is broken. It might present as a break up in a relationship, the dissolution of a team, walking away from a project, or saying no to someone who holds a ‘higher’ role. There is usually shock, awe, mouth dropping, tears, feeling shitty, grief, and what no one wants to admit…RELIEF.

There is a sense of freedom when we break a pattern. The initial duck and roll to avoid any fall out is an instinctual reaction, but then, we get up look around and find hey I’m still here and guess what? You’re still here! Some might call looking at someone brave enough to break a pattern at work a CRM (career limiting move). This is only true if the powers that be are unwilling to admit it had to be done, or someone feels they look bad because they didn’t have the courage to do it themselves. That is the only time there is fallout. Most times, everyone breaths a sigh of relief, even if it’s under their breath.

The only thing that happens when we stay with the pattern is we get stuck, stuck in the same old place. Breaking the pattern creates the possibility of a new space, it allows for creativity and innovation, new life.

There are many spaces and places where each of us has the courage to break a pattern, and many places we are unable to. This is the wonderful thing about each of us being unique. The trick is to celebrate those who are willing to take the leap and severe the tether that binds us to the patterns and habituation. In the end the invitation to create something new is worth it.

Until the next time!




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  1. Also, I fully admit that the “psychological benefit of the doubt” can be a very self-righteous and condescending response to another person, but I don’t know of anything better yet. I suppose it’s less condescending if one remains open about ones own temporality of self-control. Emotions are just like that. Or so my experience has been thus far.

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