There is a quote we have probably all heard hundreds of times – “A lesson will repeat itself until the lesson is learned.” While I do believe the universe “gives” us lessons to learn, I also see and understand how I am co-creating certain situations over and over again in my life. These situations are destined to repeat themselves until I change my thoughts. These new thoughts will change my actions, which will then change my results.
What about you?
Do you see any repeating situations in your life? Especially frustrating situations? Situations or events that you find yourself saying, “Why does this keep happening to me?” These situations could be in any area of life from your weight, to how co-workers treat you, to how much money is in your bank account, to whether or not you are in a job you enjoy, actually, ANY situation in your life!
One way this used to show up in my life was related to my weight. I used to be a yo-yo dieter. The cycle went something like this: I would hit my max weight (usually 10-15 pounds from where I felt the most comfortable). Then, I would get into project mode and make a goal, set a date, and put a plan together to lose the weight. I might not have hit the mark exactly as I laid it out, but eventually I would lose the weight. I was so happy, proud and excited for my accomplishment. I would SWEAR that this time would be different and I would never go through this again. Then, slowly but surely, I would put on weight. It might take a year or two or five, but there I go again! I’d eventually get back up to the extra 10 or 15 pounds.
Feeling frustrated, I’d say, “How did this happen? Why can’t I just lose the weight and keep it off?” I may have learned a few things about myself that helped me only gain 10 pounds instead of 15, but clearly there was something going on that I didn’t recognize or understand.
So, what did it for me? What eventually allowed me to break out of this old cycle of yo-yo dieting? I finally realized that I had some old stories, some old patterns that needed to be re-scripted. For me, most of these old stories revolved around using food to meet unfulfilled needs. Once I was able to acknowledge that I thought food would satisfy certain of these unmet needs, I was then able to consciously create new thoughts about food and my needs.
While this whole yo-yo dieting cycle took me close to 20 years to break, it was probably one of the toughest, deepest cycles for me personally. I have since been able to re-script other old patterns with a lot less effort!
The great news with breaking this particular cycle is that it really opened up time and space for me to pursue other activities that brought meaning and joy to my life. This has been the most meaningful benefit of breaking this pattern. It’s very hard to live a full life, to pursue deeper goals and dreams when we keep ourselves stuck in these self-limiting cycles.
So… how about you? What situations keep repeating in your life that may be holding you back from living life more fully or from being your best self?
I invite you to take some time this week (why not today?), with paper and pen, to journal and reflect on these questions:
- What situations do you find repeating in your life which cause you frustration, pain, anxiety, etc.? (Look at all aspects of your life: health, finances, career, relationships, home environment, play, spirituality, etc.).
- Get specific. What exactly is the pattern that you see? What does this repeating situation look like? How does it show up?
- What are your thoughts (and beliefs) behind this pattern? Are they true? Are they serving your highest good?
- What NEW thoughts and beliefs would allow you to break this cycle and create a new result? (TIP: Write them down and read them daily!)
- One big component of change is support. Who can you connect with as a resource for support and accountability? Think about resources such as: a close friend, a coach, a class or maybe even a book.
Continue to take small steps until you have created an entirely new thought pattern. Keep your eyes open. Stay aware in these situations to engage your new thoughts and beliefs. Eventually those old thought patterns will die off and you’ll find that you’ve broken the old cycle.