Monday, 16 April 2012

Circles and Patterns

A Perspective on Leaves
Hilary Thompson

Do you ever feel like you are going around and around in the same circle, never getting the results that you want?

Does life always seem to throw you into situations that are uncomfortable in some way? 

Time to take a look at what has been happening in your life and recognize the patterns that you are creating. Yes, you. You are the one that creates the patterns of your life by the choices that you make. So you are the only one who can change the pattern.

The trick is to discover the pattern of behaviour that is causing the problem. Questions are helpful. Ask yourself questions like: What do I do each time I am in this situation? How do I react? What do I say? How does this situation make me feel? How might my behaviour make the other person feel?

It is helpful to write down these questions and then answer them by writing down the first thing that comes to mind, even if it seems silly. This is all about gaining insight so that you can then choose to act in a different way next time. 

Hilary Thompson
The next thing to do is to invent a different way of reacting. In other words, create a new pattern. Try it out and see what happens. 

If you do not get the result that you want, then create another pattern and try that one. There is no right or wrong here. It's about having a go at using different patterns until you find what works for you so that you can get off the circle and move forward.

Remember, you can not change other people, you can only change yourself; so by changing your behaviour pattern, you will experience a different reaction from the person you are with.

Here is an easy exercise.Think of someone that you see often but do not like. Think about how you react to this person i.e. do you say a cheery  "Good Morning" to them or do you ignore them? Try saying a cheery "Good Morning" etc. each day when you see them and see what happens. You may have to do this  a few times before you see the results though, but be open to noticing even the smallest change.

Here is another test. Next time you are at the shopping center, walk around with a scowl on your face for a while; then walk around with a smile. Notice the difference in the way people react to you. The smile is a different pattern from the scowl. 

Sometime we need help to work out which behaviour patterns that we use are causing us trouble.

Hilary Thompson
The Out and About Therapist 
Facilitator at Flourishing Relationships Retreats

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