9 Steps To Overcome Problem Patterns
When you solve challenges by focusing on personal growth, magic happens and you feel more at peace with self. Plus it’s liberating, especially when you stop a repetitive problem from ever occurring again.
Are you dealing with issues that keep popping up in your life, like …
- Lovers cheating on you
- People controlling and suffocating you
- Untrustworthy and disrespectful people
- Unruly bosses
- You don’t keep jobs long
- You’ve always disliked your jobs
- Relationships with lovers are short-lived
- You have a history of saying the wrong thing and suffering painful consequences
- You keep losing arguments, because you are not as sharp when in the heat of the moment
If you have issues like these, and more, you need to be proactive to stop similar destructive problems from ever happening again.
Many people struggle with habitual issues that blind them from seeing how to get away from their detrimental situations. Moreover, the suffering experienced from the recurring problem cripples their mind from logically taking appropriate actions. They feel stuck and that there is no way to change the situation for the better. That is simply false.
In order to cease repetitive harmful incidences, you must make a change in self.
Know that, what you resist persists. So if you keep getting caught up in the same problem, the problem will continue to exist and haunt you. However if you solve the problem by making necessary changes in self, then the problem dissipates or terminates.
To free yourself from repetitive issues, you will first need seven pieces of blank paper. Number the pages and entitle each page with one of the following titles:
“My Best Traits”
“Goal & Solutions”
On “My Best Traits” page, annotate five of your best traits (if you can write more, do so).
On each “Challenge” page, write a different recurring personal challenge (issue) that causes you anguish. The three challenges must be separate issues from each other.
- List all of the people associated with each issue.
- Describe each person in detail. Don’t worry if people have similar detailed descriptions. Be sure to define who they are and what they do that causes a struggle for you. Write descriptions such as, “boss, lover, sibling, co-worker, female, male, domineering, bully, demanding, gives ultimatums, argumentative, overtly lies, deceptive, never satisfied, controlling, untrustworthy, demeaning, never follows through on promises” …
Review the words used to describe the people on each Challenge page. There will be descriptive words that you have written multiple times, or that give you a strong emotional reaction. Add these words to the “Their Actions” page.
For example, under a challenge, you may have described most people as, “controlling.” So you will write, controlling (on Their Actions page). Sometimes you may notice that there is a descriptive word that you wrote on all of the challenge pages, like, “female.” Add that word to the list too.
When doing this step, it helps identify patterns and traits to watch out for or overcome.
Now let’s return to the three Challenge pages.
- Write out the feelings you experience while in the middle of each challenge. These emotions must be what you struggle with the most, like, “I get red-hot angry,” “I feel cornered and trapped,” “I want to scream” …
- Annotate the reactions and actions you have for each challenge, like, “I say nasty and demeaning things,” “I hit someone,” “I get revenge,” “I gorge on food to feel better,” “I clam up” …
Review your reactions/actions you wrote on each Challenge page. This time, add to the “My Reactions/Actions” page, the most repeated reactions/actions, plus any that conjure unsavory emotions in you.
Select an issue to resolve. This will be your Goal.
- Look at cause and effect. Review the Their Action list with the My Reactions/Actions list.
- Select one critical issue, including a person and their related action, and your reaction/action that you want to mitigate or end. You should pick low hanging fruit. Meaning consider which of the three challenges is the easiest for you to assuage, and which one of your reactions is easiest for you to stop doing as well.
- Add the goal to the “Goal & Solutions” page. The goal will include the issue to be resolved, the associated person with their accompanying action, and your reaction/action.
Now it’s time to Detach. Detachment requires being as candid as possible with self – not harsh or mean, just honest. If you are successful at detaching from yourself, you can solve any issue. Detach from personal thoughts, feelings, and the challenging situation. You must take the intellectual and self-loving step and accept that all beings are different. People think and do based on their life’s experiences. So to expect another person to be like you is unreasonable.
When detaching you must accept what is, versus making excuses for what happens. It takes time to hone the skill of detachment. Even if it’s your first time, you can create great solutions.
- Get in a quiet space. Tell yourself you are your own boss and that you are stepping outside of yourself to get an objective look at you. Elevate, without emotional ties. Always question whether you are being neutral in your thoughts.
- When detached, you must honestly create solutions (aka actions) to achieve your goal. You have advised others many times and have been right, so do the same for yourself … without any emotional attachment. Yes, that’s the challenging part, but you can do it.
Consider questions, like:
- “How can I change or adjust to make this problem less painful or go away?”
- “What am I supposed to learn from this situation, so I can grow beyond it?”
- “If I were inside the other person’s head, what could possibly be their reasons and thoughts that motivate them to initiate and repeat the actions/words that I find challenging?”
When you have detached well, you get answers/solutions to your issues.
Solutions can just pop in your head or blurt out your mouth. When going through the steps and remaining detached from emotional responses, you get clarity and can formulate solutions.
For example you may realize that your co-worker is difficult with you, because he thinks “you don’t respect him.” While still being detached, you realize not only that he thinks you don’t respect him, but that it’s because you frequently interrupt him. That’s the true cause and effect that you need to know.
Then you have to ask, “How can I fix this or make it go away?” Your solutions may be:
2. Stop interrupting
3. Give the co-worker time to adjust to the new you
4. If you ever accidentally interrupt again, apologize immediately
There will be times when you just can’t figure the person out, but can deduce that “presently, the person is not able to stop causing me anguish, so distance is the best solution.” You can always check in with trustworthy people in your support network too. You will be surprised by the great advice you receive when you are detached.
When creating solutions, devise positive thoughts and actions to replace the negative thoughts/actions that are triggered during your challenging situation.
Add your solutions to the Goal & Solutions page. Then post this page in multiple places that you see often, so you have reminders to keep you focused. Post it in your wallet, on a mirror, in your desk drawer, on the refrigerator, in your car, anywhere you will see it.
Completion Deadline, or not.
If you truly believe that time is an illusion or you don’t want the pressure of a deadline, then establish a self-agreement that you will take actions (as defined on your Goal & Solutions page) toward overcoming your issue.
If you decide to set a deadline, make sure the time frame is generous. Do not be tough on yourself and give yourself a quick turnaround time frame. More often than not it took a while for the challenge to solidify in your life, so give yourself time to change your actions and thoughts. Add the deadline date to the Goal & Solutions page.
Additional Words Of Wisdom
Adopt the mindset that your challenge is a “growth opportunity” for you. It cannot be a burden, a fault, or a challenge you are trying to overcome for someone else. Only take on this growth opportunity, because it’s something you want to accomplish for you.
Shifting a challenging issue to either a manageable situation or no issue at all, is worth all the effort it took to accomplish it. The strength and self-confidence you gain is invaluable!
While you are trying to make the change, do your best to keep your spirits high. Surround yourself with supportive people. Refer to your My Best Traits list whenever you feel negatively impacted by life. You must wholeheartedly believe the items on this list and allow them to lift your spirits. That’s called, self-love.
Finally, if you try to enjoy the process, then it will be even more rewarding for you!
Wishing you happiness.