Self Development

Published on May 16th, 2012 | by thevyne

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Psychologically Speaking: Break Your Pattern

By Keesha B.

Have you ever noticed yourself making the same decisions, the same choices, experiencing the same outcomes and wondering, “why does this keep happening to me?” Perhaps it’s that you’ve been dating virtually the same man, different name, over and over again. Maybe you noticed that you continue to be in situations where you get taken advantage of or something simpler like your weekend routine is stuck in a rut, you’re chronically unable to stay on a diet, be on time, or stay on a workout routine. All of these situations, while on the surface may seem unrelated, are patterns.

Did you know that these patterns of repeated behaviors, thoughts, and actions that you’ve built up over the years have actually formed neurological connections and pathways in your brain? Translation, you have physically created pathways in your brain (like little bunny trails) about how to respond to different experiences in life based on repeated patterns of behavior in the past.

It’s a phenomenon called “brain plasticity” or “neuroplasticity” which is the brain’s ability to change and be malleable as a result of one’s experiences.   So the good news here is that, your “old habits” don’t have to “die hard” ladies. You can actually put a stop to those old patterns of behavior and ways of thinking and acting (and picking the same ol’ man) by changing and creating new neurological pathways/”bunny trails” in your brain. So you’ll no longer have to ask yourself, “why does this keep happening to me?” Here are a few tips to get you started:

Tips for Changing Old Patterns into New Patterns:

Monitor Your Thoughts – Try to be aware of the times when you hear your inner critic reinforcing negative feedback, doubts and fears. Then deliberately allow yourself to think the opposite thought. Continue to do this swap out every time you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts that you want to change.

Act on Your Inner Voice – We all have a little voice inside of us that lets us know if what we’re doing or what we’re about to do is the best course of action. All too often though, we don’t listen to it and instead make other choices based on past maladaptive experiences, emotions, esteem or feedback from others. Next time you hear your little voice inside telling you what to do, listen to it, instead of ignoring it…because it’s probably right.

Practice Makes Change Possible – Creating new neurological pathways/patterns takes consistent and physical work. It’s not enough to just “think” differently, you have to actually practice “doing” differently. The neurological connections that control your thinking are not the same as the ones that control your actions. Which is why you have to do both, think and act differently, if you want to create new habits of behaviors.

Choose to Affirm – As you continue to practice thinking differently and acting differently for the purpose of developing new life habits and experiences, you will be faced with choices; choices to affirm the “new” you and your new ways of thinking, acting and experiencing the world. Or choices to reaffirm the “old” you and your old ways of thinking, acting and experiencing the world. It will be hard, but choose to affirm and reaffirm the new you over and over again. That’s how new neurological patterns are built. That’s how old habits die. That’s how the new you comes to life.

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