Your Thoughts are Patterns
Patterns are the basis of human behavior and everyone uses patterns in their daily lives. You’re not alone. Pay attention to the patterns and routines you choose and you’ll notice that your behaviors are often automatic, as in, you do them without thinking about doing them.
When we struggle with a problem or get stuck in an emotion, we’re simply running a pattern that doesn’t work anymore. This pattern is likely helping you meet some of your needs, but not helping you address the problem you want to solve. If you’re going to get on with your life and breakthrough your block, you must break the pattern! Whatever your thinking pattern may be you must break the pattern.
Interrupt Your Negative Pattern
There are tons of ways to break patterns. Lets focus on the problem of negative thinking. Everyone has struggled with negative thinking at some point in their lives. Did you know that merely thinking positive simply doesn’t break the pattern? You may think about something positive for a moment, a minute or a little longer if you’re lucky, but inevitably the negative thoughts return.
Negative thoughts are patterns of thinking. If you want to change your negative thinking you have to break the pattern and introduce a new way of thinking to crowd out negative thinking; there is no other way. Interrupting negative thought patterns begins with understanding what change expert Anthony Robbins refers to as the Emotional Triad.
Your patterns of behavior are created by your Focus/Beliefs, Physiology and Language. Using the Emotional Triad of Change you can take any negative pattern and break the emotional ties that are linked to that behavior. Simply by using what you Focus on, doing something different with your Physiology and/or changing how you talk about your problem (Language). All of these are ways to do something different and start the process of change in your life!
Change in Action
Let’s say you’re over-eating, you’re getting fat and you want to stop. Great! You’ve identified the pattern. Now, choose your change agent; will it be focus, physiology or language? Interrupt the pattern the next time it happens. If you regularly say to yourself, “I need more chips” right before you sit down to watch television, then you have to interrupt the pattern and start saying something different, like “I want chips but I can choose whether I eat them or not” or “Chips make me fat!” If your change agent is physiology then you must refrain from sitting in front of the television; and if your change agent is focus you must pause or turn off the television immediately and focus on something else! You must use any change agent to get your own attention immediately! Patterns run because you’re simply not paying attention. If you immediately interrupt your pattern then you will pay attention and when you’re paying attention, YOU CAN CHOOSE!
Repeat Your New Pattern
If you want to make your new pattern last, then you must repeat your pattern over and over until it sets in. If you used language as your change agent, then you likely changed your language from “I need more chips” to “Every chip I eat makes me more and more fat!” It’s that simple. Try it! See how long it takes before you feel silly and fat and put the chips away or better yet, before you throw them away! In this change process, emotion is everything; no emotion, no change. The more intense your emotion while you interrupt the pattern with your change agent, the deeper your change will be.