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Current of Life by Viriginia Kravitz

Interrupt the Pattern

Flying Into Windows

In the last issue, I told the story of the red cardinal bird who visits my friend. I offered the metaphor of "flying into the window" to represent the behaviors that hamper your effectiveness. I stated that the important thing is to get yourself to try something new. In order to do that, you've got to "bang on the window" in the moment you recognize that you're caught up in the old habit and flying that familiar pattern. It's the awareness and the ability to catch yourself in the moment that's key. So how do you do that?

Get Your Attention

Here are three ways to interrupt the pattern:

  1. Talk to yourself, and when you do, say things that will help. Instead of describing the old behavior as if it were a permanent condition, use language that moves you into the new behavior. What was "I always doubt myself" becomes "I'm learning to trust myself." Change the life-sentence-sounding statement: "I'm a procrastinator" to: "In the past I've struggled with procrastination, but now I'm finding ways to help me get started on things faster."

  2. Step Over the Line. Stand up and imagine a vertical line at your feet. Step over the line to the left. Feel what it's like to be in the old pattern. For instance, using one of the examples above, stand the way you would if you were doubting yourself. Then, step to the right of the line and assume the posture of trusting yourself. Notice the difference in your stance and in how you feel. Remember it and use this technique with the realization that you have the ability to step over the line any time. Changing your posture, your breathing, or using a symbolic physical move, can snap you out of the old pattern and jump-start the new behavior.

  3. Customize it, get creative, or do something silly. From sticky notes on refrigerator doors to music that puts you in the right frame of mind, do whatever works to get your attention in that critical moment of decision. I recently attended a presentation by Dr. Michael Breus, The Sleep Doctor. He gave a prime example of interrupting an old pattern. Dr. Breus suggested that if you're trying to get more sleep, rather than using an alarm clock in the morning, use it at night and set it for the time you need to settle down and start getting ready for bed. Brilliant! How might you use an alarm clock to remind you of the new habit you want to institute?

Be Ready For It

If one way of operating isn't working for you, let go and try a new way. Be ready for your own resistance, and rather than berate yourself, get in touch with what you're thinking and feeling in that moment. Expect the pull toward ways that are familiar. Notice it, catch yourself, and create something new.

This Week's Call To Action:

  • Use one of the techniques above to interrupt the pattern. Instead of flying on autopilot, realize your ability to choose.

The moment you interrupt the old pattern is the pivotal moment of decision and the point of power.

See you in the current,
Ginny Kravitz's signature

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photo of Ginny Kravitz Current of Life, by Virginia Kravitz, is a free, biweekly ezine for accomplished professionals who want to have more fulfilling careers and lives. Each issue provides practical guidance and inspiration to embrace a new and joyful momentum as you navigate the important decisions of your life. As a subscriber, you have exclusive access to special events such as teleclasses, call-in days, program previews, and Current Conversations, a monthly community call.

Learn more about my unique approach which incorporates the Five Stages of Living in the Current.

© 2014, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved.
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