Sometimes, we may come to the realization that we have been trained into judging our experiences on whether or not we have had them before. It’s part of the disposable cultural and tied to expectations for instant gratification. We live amidst messages of expecting to always have new and exciting experiences and with that the belief that in the journey to change or grow, we will be instantly changed by moving through something one time. This can then bring up feelings of failure, insufficiency, and shame when we feel as if we need to go through the process again.
As a personal development course leader, I clearly see (and fpersonally experience) the deeper, lasting impact repetition has in the process of change.
In shifting our mental, emotional or behavioral patterns, it is unrealistic to expect that we can clearly recognize the pattern, learn all the steps to shift the pattern, effectively get to the root of how the pattern started, and create lasting change all in one go. If we have been using the process or behavior we are attempting to shift for a long time, we must expect that it can take some time to unwind. We may, in fact, be working to change a habit that has become our default process in coping with our lives.
When we are talking about uncovering unhelpful ways that we cope or attempt to not feel pain in our lives, repetition and revisiting what we are doing can help us dig deeper toward the root with every round. Resistance will often surface in the process of changing who we are and how we show up in the world as our nervous system can interpret change as a threat. And over time, we can fall back into the old ways of doing things for the comfort of knowing what to expect.
So, in the great process of working on ourselves to become who we want to be and taking on the work of shifting what we say, how we act, and how we process our emotions, repetition is not only neccesary, but deeply valuable. When we revisit patterns that pop up, we can dig deeper into ourselves to gain clearer perspectives around the pattern and we have the opportunity to befriend ourselves and approach what we uncover with love and kindness.
Change is an unfolding process and it can take many iterations over time. When we understand that, we can let go of unrealistic expectations of limiting ourselves to one try. In the process, we must first learn to recognize the pattern that is not helping us to show up in our lives as our best selves. Next, we uncover how changing that pattern may be possible and what steps we may begin to experiment with. Then, we begin the experimentation, we track the effectiveness, make changes if needed and try again. Over time, we can begin to see the root of how and why it started and heal that part of ourselves so that we can move on.
Revisiting a process and repeating the steps can illuminate things that may have been keeping us stuck without our even knowing it. In the process of creating who we want to be next, we refine and we slowly heal the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that were originally used to protect us. As we begin to trust ourselves and flex our own strength in shaping, guiding, and leading the life we desire, we can shift out of protective and reactive mode and into expansion in our own lives.
I invite you to be open to the power of repetition and reiteration; to revisiting and revising.
I will be practicing right along with you. Again and again.
Chat again soon,