If you’re like most people, you’ve probably noticed some
patterns in your life. By “patterns,” I mean situations that
seem to show up over and over again; the cast of characters
may change a bit, but the end results remain the same.
In and of themselves, such patterns aren’t necessarily good
or bad. They can be the source of boundless joy or
tremendous frustration, economic abundance or financial
struggle. In fact, it’s quite likely that you have both
positive and negative patterns in your life right now.
For instance, maybe you’ve worked for numerous bosses who
have been very critical of you. No matter what company
you’re with, the same result occurs. This is a pattern.
If you honestly analyze your life, you will see that you
have created (and continue to create!) many patterns — some
that serve you and others that hinder your progress.
At the root of most patterns is a belief system (your
expectations about what you can achieve) and your level of
self esteem (how you feel about yourself). For instance, if
you don’t believe that you are capable of earning more than
a certain amount of money, you’ll go from one position or
career to another and find that in each case, you earn only
as much as your expectations will allow.
Similarly, if you have relatively low self esteem, you’ll
find that in one relationship after another, (both
personally and in your career) you will tend to attract
people who will put you down.
Let’s look at some specific steps you can take to create new
patterns that will improve every area of your life:
1. Identify your current patterns. Take stock of the results
you’ve produced in the following areas: your career,
financial circumstances, health status, professional and
Are you steadily advancing in your career … or are you
bouncing from job to job or stagnating in a position you
hate? Do you feel that colleagues appreciate your efforts or
are you regularly criticized “for no good reason”?
After identifying your patterns, ask yourself: What beliefs
do I have that contribute to these outcomes? For instance,
you may believe that “You can only earn money after a lot of
struggle” … or that “People will ultimately let you down.”
Make a list of your beliefs.
2. Stop placing the blame on others or on external
circumstances. If you’ve identified any patterns you don’t
like, the solution is not found in blaming your parents,
your employer or your spouse. And, guess what? It won’t help
to blame yourself either! You’ll just feel worse. Simply
acknowledge the fact that you are perpetuating the pattern
because of your thinking and your behavior.
3. Visualize the new pattern you wish to develop. Your mind
is now filled with pictures that support your existing
circumstances! To break free from this, you must substitute
images of what you choose to become.
So, if you want to be more confident, imagine yourself
acting with more assurance. For instance, you might think of
yourself delivering an effective presentation in front of a
large group in your company.
4. Watch your words. Be very careful about what you say,
both to yourself (“self talk”) and to others. Words and
phrases that put you down or describe your limitations will
keep you from establishing a new pattern.
5. Distance yourself from those who exhibit your “old”
pattern. If you want to break a dependency on drugs or
alcohol, you can’t continue to hang around people who abuse
these substances, right? Similarly, if you want to break a
chain of negative thinking, don’t keep company with negative
6. Take action that supports the new pattern. If you have
been putting off regular exercise for years, make the
commitment to take a walk every day for the next 30 days. In
just a few days, you’ll start developing a new pattern of
exercising. Perhaps you’ll choose to read a book for an hour
or two in the evenings instead of watching TV. Get a book
today and start reading tonight. The time to start your new
pattern is now. Action creates momentum.
Pay attention to recurring situations in your life. They
aren’t happening by “accident;” rather, they are a
reflection of what’s going on inside of you. When you
elevate your thinking about what’s possible — and feel good
about yourself — you’ll begin to produce miracles!
– Jeff Keller