Often I will hear clients say “it is happening all over again, I am doing or not doing what I always do. I’m stuck in this constant loop and I don’t know how to break out of it.”

They may be talking about not getting stuff done, procrastinating until the last minute, showing up to work late every day, not doing their fair share in a relationship, talking too much at social events and on and on. The frustration comes from not being able to disrupt the pattern or being able to disrupt the pattern only temporarily and then sliding back to their old ways.

I know how tough this is, I experience it myself and it is not only frustrating but disheartening also. One cannot help but ask oneself “Will it always be this way?” “Am I stuck with this behavior?”

Honestly, I don’t know. I have been successful with some disruptions working and some other things not working as well. But there are two simple things you can start doing on your own to try and get unstuck from a repeating behavior or loop.

First, practice inserting a pause before any action. Just a second or two pausing allows the thinking part of the brain to take over from the emotional part of the brain. This may give you the opportunity to question what are you doing, has this worked in the past, is there something else you could do?

Second, start slowing down your processes and really trying to observe every step. Question at every step if there is a flaw in the process and a way to try differently the next time.

Since you are now pausing before every action if you see new opportunities of disruptions you can implement them and see if they work.

This is all about awareness and experimentation. It is not a quick fix but a reflective process in and of itself. So rather than try it in every area of your life at once, pick one thing that you feel stuck in and try this out.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ― Ernest Hemingway