Self destructive repeating patterns hold us back. Often we don't even know they exist. We keep on fighting the uphill battles, month after month, year after year. From the outside we look like mice running on a wheel or a zombie blindly going through the motions in hopes we will end up some place relevant. We never get there when we don't address the issues holding us back.
First step – Wake up and be honest. Are you a mouse running on a wheel dreaming about a better place. Saying to yourself "If I keep going like this I will get to where I want to be". Yet you are really seeing no progress.
Second step - Find someone who you trust and cares about you and will really pay attention to you. I mean you can't get good observations from people who are too preoccupied with their own stuff. Ask them what observations they can make about your behaviors or attitudes that might be getting in the way with your progress.
Ask them to be honest and candid. Then just listen without getting defensive. You might be surprised how much a person who is paying attention can see and is obvious that we can't see ourselves.
Third step – Take some time to process and see if it fits. Does what they see make sense? Are you able to recognize behaviors that are unproductive patterns? Does it feel true?
Over the years, having worked with 100's of business owners and 1000's of individuals, here are some patterns I have observed. There are more but a sample includes:
Spending a lot of time doing things that are not related to achieving goals. They think they are important but they are not. They find personal value in their busyness.
Not willing to try something new because they feel uncomfortable. They avoid great opportunities because they might have to change their behavior or overcome some fears.
Here is a tough one. They create problems so they can solve them. Or they always have an excuse for not moving forward that has to do with outside circumstance. Some people are good problem solvers. So they create them so they can feel good about themselves and their ability to solve them. The problems they create and solve rarely have any bearing on moving forward. They stay stuck.
Step four – Once you've identified the area, develop a strategy that might include an accountability partner or some daily reminders and new action steps, to begin to make the changes.