FACT: Patterns Rule our Lives. (A quick Psychology 101 lesson).
If you think about our day to day lives - how many people, circumstances, pieces of information we encounter in any day - you can see how pretty soon it would be overwhelming if we had to analyze each thing as a new experience.
If every situation we experience, every person we meet, every color or object we see had to be ‘downloaded’ like a brand new thing, we would easily become overwhelmed. We would spend so much time trying to analyze and decode everything, that we couldn’t possibly enjoy or really ‘experience’ life.
So we have patterns. These patterns are called schemas. So, for example, I have a schema for upright beings who walk on two legs, have two arms, a head. I have a sub-schema for male or female beings of this sort. So when I meet a new one of these, I don’t have to reevaluate every single time ‘what is this thing’? I can simply and quickly categorize male or female human.
I do the same for four-legged creatures that go ‘woof’.
And so on, for every little and big thing, and every experience.
As you might imagine we need to have a lot of ‘schema’ or patterns so that we can focus on the little subtleties - the accents, color of eyes, tone of voice or other specifics so that we can make a specific little ‘sub-category’ for the new person or new situation.
We have these patterns and schemas so that we can save energy and time.
And we have exactly the same type of patterns and schema for how we RELATE to people and situations and circumstances.
For example, if you had had a negative experience with a four-legged-creature that says ‘woof’ when we were younger, we might always avoid dogs of all shapes and sizes and put them in the category of ‘unsafe’. Your schema around ‘dogs’ is keeping you safe.
We could do something similar with members of the opposite (or same) sex, based on early or earlier experiences that created a pattern or schema of ‘safe’ or ‘unsafe’. (For example, one of my schemas painted my encounters with men into a rigid pattern based on the belief that men were selfish and not trustworthy…)
And when it comes to doing things like putting ourselves out there, taking ‘risks’, promoting ourselves… Well, if we have schema or patterns of experience that suggest these behaviors typically end poorly (or we simply fear they will because of conditioning based on the patterns of the people we spent the most time around)… Well, you can imagine we will avoid these behaviors and situations too. We stay within the category of ‘safe’ behaviors because those behaviors fit our ‘schema’.
You can see how this can be bad news for those who are trying to build a successful business - online OR brick-and-mortar - right? (And waaayyyyy more common than you might expect).
All in the name of preserving energy (and safety).
(As an aside, it’s a small comfort to know that our patterns of acting and reacting almost always have a completely understandable beginning or root).
But when we do not acknowledge our patterns - when we live our lives on ‘autopilot’ - we are living lives that might give the illusion of ‘safety’ but are actually insulating us from new experiences and opportunities for growth.
There’s a reason why we stay in our patterns. It’s our ‘comfort zone’.
But at some point, that ‘zone’ gets so small, repetitive and uncomfortable that we need to get out of it. Which is difficult (but not impossible) to do alone, because when we see the world through the lens of our own patterns, it is very difficult to see it through a different lens. Having someone to support us not only with identifying the patterns, but also supporting us through changing our patterns of behavior to make lasting changes and create new schemas.
There is nothing wrong with you. You are not flawed, broken, or inadequate if you haven’t been able to break free of your patterns by yourself (despite your smarts and your best intentions).
Patterns of negative self-talk, patterns of unhealthy choices in relationships, patterns of self-sabotage with work and life goals, patterns of judgement, criticism and anger.
All of these patterns (and more) are understandable, but toxic - and definitely keeping you stuck in your life AND career.
If you are ready or interested, I’d be delighted to chat with you about how you can break free of the negative patterns in your life.
Or, check out the FREE eCourse where we talk all about PATTERNS and INNER CHILD!
You've got this!
Tanya Tinney is a mom of three beautiful girls (including fraternal twins), wife of an amazing entrepreneurial man, nature lover, wrangler of two large dogs and chaser of three bad cats. She is equally good at baking banana bread and whipping up a killer margarita.
Her passion is helping fabulous people get unstuck from their past so they can blast through current challenges and get really stuck into achieving their dreams.
With three University degrees and 14 years experience working as a psychologist, most of the time she knows what she’s talking about. The rest of the time she ‘wings it’ based on her own messy life experiences. Her approach is one of laser focus, empathy and intuition with a healthy dose of humor – along with a kick-in-the-you-know-what when necessary (and it often is!).
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