I’m going to talk to you today about pattern interrupts and what patterns are, and why they’re a good thing and why they’re a bad thing. So what happens basically is we live our life. We don’t live our life in a bubble or isolation. We live in a world around us. And what happens is that world casts influence on us. Obviously a lot of influence is cast when we’re a little kid.
Video version of this patterns and pattern interrupt blog
Influencers in our childhood [00:28]
So when we’re a little kid who are our influencers? Our influencers are people like our mum and dad and our teachers and our siblings and those other people around us, and that’s why our parents are always concerned for us and we’re concerned for our kids when they get older, do they get in with the wrong crowd. Because obviously the wrong crowd is going to influence them in a certain way.
Patterns form [00:51]
Back then, when we see things happening, we start behaving a certain way. We start reacting to situations in a certain way. So, for instance, if we grow up in an environment where we are told, and where we know we’re poor, we know we’ve got no money to spend.
Pattern example from Gerry Robert [01:08]
So, for instance, we go to the supermarket and we would never buy a red capsicum, because the red capsicums are way too expensive. We would only ever buy a green capsicum. And this is an example from a video I heard the other day, and that’s why I thought I’d bring it up. In the example, the guy had just had a phone call with his accountant. This guy is Gerry Robert, who does a program called Publish a Book and Grow Rich.
He basically had heard from his accountant that day that he had made two hundred and thirty two thousand dollars, not in a year, but in a single month, one month, two hundred thirty two thousand dollars. And he got the phone call from his accountant. He then got a call from his wife saying, hey, can you go to the supermarket and buy me some some groceries, including some red capsicums?
Anyway, he went to the supermarket. He goes there and he picks up five red capsicums, puts them in his trolley, in his little basket and goes towards the cashier. And then he just stops and he freezes. He looks down and goes, no, no. And it goes back and he puts the red capsicums back and that into the veggie bin and he grabs two green capsicums instead. Even though red capsicums much, much nicer. I get really annoyed with my partner when he buys green instead of red. Oh my gosh, why bother?
Patterns formed in his childhood [02:24]
So the whole point is, is that the reason he did that was because, even though he didn’t realise it at the time, and he realised it a little bit later, it was what had happened in his past. That was what caused him to put those capsicums back. Clearly, if you just earned two hundred and thirty two thousand dollars in a month, then paying for five capsicums was not going to be a big deal. But his patterns, his brain, his voices, his thing, his head was telling him, no, no, no, you cannot buy those.They are too expensive. You can’t afford those.
So the problem is we have things that come into our being. Patterns that start forming, because of the things that we do, things that we experienced and they start forming lifelong patterns.
Example of buying patterns [03:11]
Another prime example is me with dishwashing detergent. When I moved out of home, I you know did my first shop and ra ra ra, and of course, I bought Sunlight dishwashing detergent because that’s what my parents used. Now for me, I’m allergic to a lot of stuff and I just thought I was allergic to dishwashing detergent as a whole.
But you still have to use it. So I was just like, you know, I put up with the red hands and the rash and stuff. It wasn’t till I think a few years later, it just suddenly occurred to me when I saw it, you know, one of the ads for Palmolive and it’s soft on your hands and all that stuff. And I went, ah, I wonder if I should just try a different brand. And so finally, I went and tried a different brand, and I went and tried Palmolive. Oh, my gosh I’m not allergic to Palmolive. So all those years growing up with my parents and then the first few years I went out on my own, I suffered with Sunlight detergent that I was allergic to. I’m like how freaking ridiculous is that.
Patterns are ingrained – there’s no thought involved [04:08]
But it was because it was what was ingrained in me. I didn’t even think I didn’t think on my own account to go and do things.
So what we do is every year we set goals. So we set goals, for instance or New Year’s resolutions we’ll take as a prime example. We set our New Year’s resolution to lose weight. I’m going to lose weight this year. Clearly, I’m in a position I need to lose weight. OK, for a start, when we talk like that, we’re talking down about ourselves, which is not a good thing.
Reframe goals into a positive target [04:36]
We are also talking in negative terms in goal setting. That’s not a good thing. So instead, what you need to do is you reframe that in a more positive way. So it might be so that I can fit in my, you know, size 10 jeans to go to some event or something. You know, like there we can reframe in a different way. But that’s a whole different story about goal setting. But the point is, what happens, right?
Fail to achieve goals due to repeating patterns [04:58]
You set that goal. Well, that New Year’s resolution. By halfway through January, you’ve probably already dropped off. And again, it just becomes oh that’s alright, there’s always next year. Next year I’ll do it, and you just don’t do it. Now, a lot of that comes down to we’re repeating the same patterns. Same thing in our business.
Self-sabotage can be caused by subconscious patterns [05:16]
I’ve got a lady I’m working with. She’ll do something like she will stall and procrastinate. So her current one for stalling and procrastinating is trying to find banner images for her website she stalls, she procrastinates. She just doesn’t put anything up. And because it’s got nothing to do with the images that she’s finding. Nothing. There were plenty of images that would have suited her website perfectly fine. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was she is self sabotaging.
There is something that’s holding her back. She doesn’t believe she’s good enough to be a business owner. She doesn’t believe she’s ready. And the problem is, I can see this. I can have conversations with her, but until she’s willing to deal with it, I can’t help her.
In need of a pattern interrupt [06:00]
I can lead her to water, you know you can lead the horse to water thing, but I can’t make her drink and it’s really frustrating. So that is something that there’s a pattern interrupt that’s got to happen. If she wants to change, if she wants to get her business going, then she actually has to make change. And this is where this is what I’m talking about today is pattern interrupt. That’s what we need to do, is we need to go what is causing that pattern? Why do we have this pattern?
Self-sabotaging can come from a place of protection [06:27]
Why are we self-sabotaging? Because when we’re self-sabotaging like that, what we’re often doing is protecting. When we’re doing these patterns, these protections were there for a reason. So she has been through, this particular lady, she’s been through a bad relationship and things. She’s had a lot of bad things happen to her, and she’s just making that call that this is going to be another bad thing that’s going to happen to her.
And she’s just not willing yet to unlock the bad or open up the bad, open up the Pandora’s box to actually dig in and work out why she’s doing this to herself. So with this, it is really important to work out why you’re not getting something done.
So if you have something that keeps happening, you know, the whole thing about which one is it Freud thing is that if you repeat the same mistake over and over again, that’s a sign of crazy, you know, being crazy.
If you can’t work out why you’re not getting what you want [07:24]
If you keep repeating the same thing over again, if you keep doing the same thing, and the same thing keeps happening and it’s not what you want. You’ve got to go. Stop, stop, stop, stop. What am I doing? Why am I doing this? And sometimes it is a lot of deeper work. Sometimes it’s quite superficial, but usually it’s much, much, much deeper. We’ve got to go down, down, down and work out what is causing that.
Pattern interrupt exercise – the Vision Walk [07:48]
And often it is it’s going way back to childhood. I completed a coaching course last year and there was an exercise we had to do called the Vision Walk. And honestly, I’m not a touchy feely person. And as you kind of know, I’m a tell it like it is kind of girl. Anyway, this particular exercise was a bit touchy feely and it was a bit woo woo and all that. And I’m like, I don’t even know, like I’m really into this. I don’t really get it.
Anyway, this lady was walking on this thing guided by me, you know, doing all the nice guiding stuff and, you know, trying to talk empathetically and quietly. And that in itself is freaking hard. You know, I’m trying to do that anyway. So she’s walking along. And her thing, this particular scenario, you look at your childhood and you look at a time when you are a leader in your childhood.
Leader in your past (ideally childhood) [08:34]
And so she talked about a time she was a leader in her childhood. She said, ‘you know, when I was like about five years old, six years old, I used to (me and this other little girl), used to get together. We’d skip around the school and we get everyone to come behind us and they’d form this whole little posse’. This whole little group behind her, and she’d be this leader. And so she talked about that.
Pattern interrupt – everything opened up [08:52]
And then she moves towards the next step and blah, blah, blah, and we ask her certain questions and that. I’m thinking, this isn’t do anything. It’s not working. She literally moved to the next step, and she burst into tears. And I’m like, holy moly. Like what just happened? Because like I said, it didn’t seem like it was connecting. And she moved to the next step and it was like, holy moly, it just everything opened up.
And so I let cry. I gave her her space to cry, and then I said to her, so you know, what are you feeling? What’s this bringing up? It came out that she realised that what she’s doing now, which is actually being a sales coach and sales trainer, was something she had effectively pushed down since she was a little kid. She looked back at that time and she goes ‘back then I was this happy, you know, out there person. And I was pushing myself and I was doing all this amazing stuff. Then because of other people and suppression she felt from certain quarters, she put all that aside and became that little meek mild person that didn’t want to put herself out there’.
And then she’s going because she was in her 50s I think, she just felt like that moment. She felt, ‘oh my gosh, all these years I’ve wasted. All these years, I could have been sharing and communicating and helping people’. And it just hit her like a ton of bricks.
Breaking the pattern for a mindset change [10:12]
So that is what patterns are about and about where they’re formed. In her childhood, after that leadership sort of time when she had that great leadership, she had a time of very negative, very compressed, very pushed down. And that is what created the pattern for her future. And she lived by that for many years before she finally started breaking from it.
Now, she had obviously done stuff to break from it, but she was still talking quite negatively at these sessions. She was still bringing in a lot of negativity and she’d still had that hanging over her. And once she had this this cry and this freedom to realise what it was from. Completely changed her.
Roll on a year later, she’s just released a book recently (which hopefully will arrive today in the mail), but she’s just a completely different person. She is so out there and so bubbly. And she’s that person she was when she was five or six years old before she got squashed.
So I want you to think about things that you do that you go, I don’t know why this is not working for me. I don’t know why I’m not getting ahead.
Coaching tools to trigger pattern interrupts [11:17]
I don’t know why I’m doing this. This, you know, this goal and it’s just not getting anywhere. So that’s what I want you to think about, because there are definitely reasons for it. And I can take you on a vision walk, and there are a number of other coaching techniques we can use to actually uncover what has caused that particular issue.
But hopefully that will resonate with some of you. And I hope this will actually just spark a little bit of thought for you guys and you will find something useful in that.
So thanks guys. I’ll catch you later. Bye, team.
About the author – Jane Tweedy
Jane is the founder of FAQ Business Training. Jane is a trained personal and business coach, and has been coaching and advising individuals since 2014. She is a member of International Coaching Federation (ICF). Jane would love to help you go through your own mindset shift. Find out more about Jane here. If you are ready to explore what is holding you back please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us.