We all have core patterns that hold us up and keep us stuck. It can be really helpful to start recognising what these are, so we don’t get caught in cycles where we unintentionally self-harm and limit our joy.
Some of my core patterns include piling the pressure on, being too much in my head and too rigid in my thinking, over-analysing, having huge expectations of myself, and taking things too seriously.
This is not a fun way to live! So it can be really helpful to recognise when we’re falling into some of these patterns. We all have them, but these things are not who we really are.
They are protective tendencies we’ve fallen into over the years. At times they will have served us, but often they’re not serving us anymore, and so we need to spot them and gently and lovingly choose again.
We need to not beat ourselves up for beating ourselves up! We need to cut ourselves some slack.
We need to recognise where we’re doing well, as well as where we could be doing better.
We need to cut loose and have some fun. We need to love ourselves for all of it, unconditionally.
Often we sabotage ourselves without even realising. We kill our own fun and squeeze the life out of things that could be really enjoyable.
We use these patterns as a way to generate resistance that we then rebel against, keeping ourselves stuck. This means we get to remain in our comfort zones, even if they’re uncomfortable! We’re afraid of what we may actually be capable of if we break through some of these barriers.
We think we’re doing ourselves a favour by setting ourselves high standards and pushing ourselves hard, and of course in some situations this serves us. It may have generated a certain level of success or accomplishment. But it also creates a lot of tension.
Is there a way we can still be successful, yet relaxed? Is there a way we can take things more lightly and be less punishing with ourselves?
Oftentimes our bodies and minds talk to us when we’re falling into these patterns. We get signals that can be really helpful allies if we choose to listen rather than to override.
We may feel tension in certain areas. This is a signal for us to relax, to breathe and to feel into what our bodies may need from us.
We may notice our anxiety levels rising. Anxiety can be a really helpful reminder to check in and notice where we’re not treating ourselves kindly. It can be a reminder to love and be more gentle with ourselves, to release the firm grip. It can also be a sign that we’re becoming too future focussed, and that we need to come back to the present.
A busy mind is usually telling us we’ve disconnected from our bodies and our inner wisdom. We’re relying too much on our minds to figure things out and over-analysing, or we’re distracting ourselves from emotions that need to be felt. It’s a signal to check back in with our bodies, our emotions and our deeper wisdom.
Poor sleep can be a signal that we need more rest and more time for stillness, to tune into what’s wanting our attention so that it doesn’t need to keep us up at night.
Overwhelm can be an invitation to do things differently, to break things down into the tiniest chunks, to take the pressure off and make things easier. To be much kinder to ourselves and to get clear on our priorities.
What are your core patterns? And what traps do you notice yourself falling into?
Listen to the signals so that you can smile at yourself and your efforts, and find the way back to your centre.
Cut yourself some slack and connect back to whatever it is that brings you joy.
In the long run driving yourself hard will serve neither you or those around you. A gentle and loving approach that allows space for lightness, laughter and who you really are will.