How Problems, Patterns and Perceptions Influence Your Behaviors

Woman pondering what If you’re anything like a lot of people, you’ve had your share of problems. And, that could be anything from a pesky leaky faucet to totaling your new car.

In the book, Power is Within You, written by the wise Louise Hays, she talks about how the problems we have with our cars may suggest some inner issue that we have not faced.  For example, if  you’re feeling stuck and can’t seem to move forward, that feeling might show up in the form of a flat tire preventing you from getting to your destination.

And, just as you would call your local auto club or a friend to fix your tire, you must call on your inner reserves and delve deep into the patterns and perceptions you embrace to repair the irrational beliefs that are keeping you stuck.

Maybe you believe you can’t do anything right. You may regularly find yourself making mistakes that you label “stupid or dumb” such as forgetting to put the trash out on trash day. That’s a simple mistake that can easily be remedied and has nothing to do with your capabilities or worth.

Whether you believe it or not, the events that occur in our lives are directly connected to what we believe about the world, other people and ourselves.

We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be. And our attitudes and behaviors grow out of these assumptions – Stephen Covey

Here are a few things to consider about problems, patterns and perceptions:

1. Inspect Your Expectations

Make a conscious effort to place realistic expectations on yourself and others. Try your best to consider the other person’s perspective. Ask yourself is your expectation is the result of a pattern or perception that the other person is not aware of. For example, your expectation might be that your daughter should rearrange her plans to take you to the mall today. Your may think that because she is your daughter, she should accommodate your request. If the word “should” enters your thoughts, it’s because you’re operating out of expectations.

2. Revise Your Patterns

A pattern is simply a blueprint of things you’ve always done. For example, if you’ve “always” hosted Sunday dinner for your in-laws, you’ve established a Sunday pattern. If you’ve ever sewn anything, you know that any pattern can easily be altered. The way to change a pattern is to measure and compare. Grade yourself on a scale of 1-10 as to whether or not you feel obligated, coerced or put upon by continuing this pattern,(with 10 being the most you are vested in sticking to the original pattern). If you find you’re stuck in a pattern that no longer works for you, change it to something that fits better with your timetable and lifestyle. And, of course, you can always say NO to anything you really don’t want to do!

3. Pesky Problems

Sometimes what we view as problems are nothing more than a bump in the road. It’s not a problem when you’re running late for an appointment and discover you have a flat tire. It’s an inconvenience. When your computer freezes up on you in the middle of a document, it’s not a problem. It’s an inconvenience. Many times we label inconveniences as problems when, in fact, it’s our perception and attitudes that allow “problems” to dictate our behavior and responses. It’s all about how you perceive them. If you view something as a problem, it will be a problem. But if you reframe it as an inconvenience, you know that it’s temporary and won’t change the course of your life.

Most of the time, it’s our perceptions and expectations that create “problems” and establish patterns that no longer fit. For more tips about how to align your perceptions with realistic expectations, I encourage you to contact me to get rid of the pesky problems, patterns and perceptions that influence your behaviors.

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