· By Case Kenny
How to break toxic cycles
I'm a firm believer that a pattern is only a pattern until it’s not a pattern anymore.
That's pretty obvious, right?
But when we're in a pattern we fail to remember that simple fact.
We are the ones who break the patterns we find ourselves in.
- Maybe it's a long cycle of a frustrating dating experiences?
- Maybe it's a pattern of just feeling lost in your life?
- Maybe it's a pattern of low self esteem or anxiety?
How do you break free of those patterns?
Make a choice that a pattern does not define you. A pattern does not define WHO you are.
A pattern defines WHAT you’ve experienced.
WHAT... not WHO.
A pattern is simply a series of events and that’s it. It might be incredibly frustrating when they persist for a long period of time. It might be the literal opposite of what you deserve or want.
But let's see a pattern for what it is - it’s a series of events. That's it.
We tend to not challenge HOW we see patterns. We see a pattern as evidence of WHO we are and we look to it to support the negative assumptions we make about ourselves.
- Six bad dates in a row? Two failed long term relationships in a row? Ghosted twice in a month? We see that as evidence and we LEARN through it that we’re not worthy of more, better, commitment, intention, etc.
- Friends didn't text you to come out with them? Don’t like the way you look in the mirror at the gym? Flopped that presentation at work? We see that as evidence and we LEARN through it that we’re not confident, we’re not fun to be around, we’re not meant to be successful, etc.
We are self taught through the patterns in our life.
Left unchecked we allow those experiences to teach us our identities.
Picture yourself at a fork in the road.
Left is… "I’m going to continue on this course because all the evidence suggests and has taught me that this is who I am."
Right is... "I will no longer look to my past expenses as proof that this is who I am."
Say: "I will not allow a pattern of experiences to become a pattern of emotional assumptions. I won’t let a frustrating pattern of bad dates, bad days at work or bad days in general become an assumption of insecurity, lack of worth, or lower standards."
Each day is a fork in the road.
Left is allowing that pattern to become who you are… and right is a new day.
Good things are on the other side of bad patterns. In fact, I think the most rewarding things ARE on the other side of bad patterns. The most rewarding things in life - love, self esteem, confidence, inner peace - are developed through those patterns.
You are traveling through them on your way to what you deserve.
You are traveling through a pattern in order to break free of the pattern itself.
That is a choice. Stop looking for proof that you’re insecure, unworthy or falling behind.
A pattern will ALWAYS support that notion.
Are you looking for proof that you’re falling behind? No problem. Here's exhibit A C and C.
OR are you looking for proof that you’re on the right track?
Well, that lies on the other side of the pattern because YOU decide it.
What evidence are you looking for?
If you’re stuck in a cycle right now… what would happen if you stopped looking for evidence to support that pattern and instead looked for evidence that you're about to break through it?
- What if you stopped seeing the people who rejected or ghosted you as proof that you’re unworthy of commitment and instead you laughed at those people for having missed out on greatness? What if you chose the right fork and said that’s their loss?
- What if you stopped seeing your own self criticism as a reflection of facts and instead started to assume that people were admiring you? What if you chose the right fork and said people enjoyed your presentation at work, that person on the street who looked at you was admiring you, etc.?
Are you looking for evidence to support a pattern? Or are you giving yourself the gift of being at a fork in the road?