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Getting Stuck In The Same Old Pattern

Do you find yourself spinning your wheels in pursuit of your goals?

Many people come to me for help because they are frustrated by their problems. It’s not the problems themselves that are too big but it is the SAME problem they face for years – be it with self-confidence, relationships, career path, feeling overwhelmed – that they can’t seem to figure out. Let me point out that my clients are generally intelligent, well educated and respectable. They are often quite competent at their jobs. So why can’t they figure this out?
To illustrate let me give you one example from my practice:
(The specific circumstances have been changed for confidentiality reasons)
I had a client who was confused about what he should do with his life. He came to see me and we had an intro session and then I didn’t see him again. He came again one year later and this time lasted a whopping 2 sessions. I next saw this man 4 years later. I asked him if this time he was going to stick around for more than just a coffee. He explained the whole story to me.
The first time he saw me was before he chose his major. However the pressure from his parents to choose a “practical” field was too much and he relented. He hated it and sought out my help (2nd time). But again he felt he would be letting his parents down so he changed majors (again for financial security) and this time got his BA just to prove to his parents that he could finish something. Predictably, when he began working in this area, he disliked it and sought me out a third time.
The problem was that he was focused on the wrong thing. He was focused on pleasing his parents. He was afraid he wouldn’t earn enough to support himself. He also focused on his friends and “how good they seemed to be doing”. Needless to say, none of this helped. He was focusing his attention on other people and things external to him. I call that the Outside-In game of life.
What he needed was a mirror – to turn the focus onto himself and where his authentic self aligned with a career path. he needed to begin playing the Inside-Out game of life. (similar to the Pixar film but different). This sounded strange because he had never heard this kind of logic before.
Of course it wasn’t his fault. He wasn’t doing this on purpose. It was just an old pattern that was surfacing. Growing up he repeatedly heard his parents tell him that he should get a “respectful” career, and preferably be a professional. His guidance counsellors spoke about the marks required to get into different universities. His high school sponsored talks that focused on what would be in demand in the future. No one spoke very much about HIM and his uniqueness.
I had a mentor who once told me, “When you know better, you can do better.” A corollary of that would be, “Until you know better you will likely cycle the same old pattern”. (okay, my saying doesn’t roll off the tongue but it is mine). After working with me he learned how his patterns were created in childhood, how they continue to cycle in adulthood and how now he can now create new empowering patterns.
He learned how to listen to himself for the first time in his life. He began paying attention to his personal strengths, style and passions and put his preferences FIRST. What a revelation this was for him. With some practice in honouring his feelings, he is now pursuing an area he’s passionate about. He had wasted 5 years because he didn’t understand how to use his mind to tap into his authentic self. Don’t you make the same mistake.
I have seen this frustrating recurring pattern with a variety of issues including:
• picking the wrong kind of partner for intimate relationships
• worrying about many things in life
• feeling an obligation to please everyone else but yourself
• being afraid of being yourself
• not taking chances due to a big fear of failure
• and more…
These issues all appear to be different but I have found that they can all be traced back to the same source – the person themselves and identifying the patterns they run and then changing those patterns.
Most people were never taught about this at home, in school or at work. Heck, most parents don’t understand their own patterns. It pains me to see good people stuck in patterns they don’t see. I feel this is one of the most important life skills you can have as it affects every part of your life – your health choices, career, relationships and your level of happiness.
What recurring problem are you facing?
relationships? work stress? anxiety and worry? indecisive?
Hamster wheel3 - woman
Isn’t it time to get off the hamster wheel and start moving your life in the direction you want?
Go to to learn how to change your own pattern.

Live Authentically,
Sam Gerstein
CDO, Dreams For Real Inc.

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