Years back I read Tony Robbin’s book Awaken the Giant Within, an inspiring self-help book on the attributes of living a happy and prosperous life. I’ve read similar books over the years, by various authors, and while I usually fall short of adhering to the inherent step-by-step instructions for success, I always mentally file away a few positives for future reference. Awaken the Giant Within was one such book, pivotal in helping to redefine my aspirations and goals, at a time of uncertainty.
While my career path did not alter dramatically, my mindset did, and to this day, when I find myself regressing, slipping back to the dark side, a tiny voice pipes up and reminds me to break the (negative) pattern. The concept, one I utilize, is ingrained in my thought processes, and (hopefully) kicks in when life’s challenges begin to overwhelm.
Breaking the pattern is not an original concept, nor is it unique to the arena of life/career management. Simply put, the ideal refers to changing one’s routine when things go off the rails; a pattern interrupt, embarking upon a different path, embracing a new tactic in order to avoid a personal, relational, or career rut. Not unlike the adage of ‘taking the road less travelled’, and to a slightly lesser extent, the definition of insanity, often attributed to Albert Einstein; “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.
Change is the only constant.
We all fall into patterns, good and bad, ones we repeat due to familiarity, frustration, or helplessness. Negative patterns, those insidious behavioural responses that manifest themselves in times of challenge and stress, are difficult to circumvent, but often predictable. Recognizing the spirals, before they consume us, is the key to redirecting our energy and moving forward. Interrupt the flow.
While we are all different, our experiences are not. How we deal with the curve balls and sliders, sets us apart. If unchecked, failed relationships for instance, can pave the way for a downward spiral of Tinder trolling, Häagen-Dazs, and all day pajamas. Writer’s block, if left to fester, evolves into Netflix marathons, Pinterest obsession, and becoming a Blogger. The list goes on.
I’ve become better at recognizing an oncoming spiral, before life’s curve ball leaves me swinging blind. While I’m not batting a thousand, my average is improving. I admit, Walking Dead marathons and ice cream binges occur, but the guilt associated with the aftermath does not go unpunished. Recognizing and interrupting the cycle before the spiral gains momentum is not easy, but remains the key component in personal success. A change-up is often the best response.
If things go south, don’t follow. Break the pattern. Head elsewhere on paths unknown. See where that gets you.
For anyone interested, a free downloadable copy of Re–Awaken the Giant Within (updated by Tony Robbins) is available here. The original book is also available for free download.
Until next time,