They say you repeat the same lessons until you finally learn them.
Creatures of Habit
Through conditioning and learned behavior we have an automatic response to stressful and negative situations.
Think about it, when something doesn’t quite go your way what’s the first thing you do (or maybe the second thing).
I recently read that your brain doesn’t like new things. It prefers to draw on past experiences and outcomes. Your brain will have you respond in a way that’s familiar to you but also potentially damaging to you say for instance smoking or overeating or abusing alcohol. Your brain does this because it knows the outcome and the feel good chemical is released and the pain from the stressful or negative moment is temporarily gone. This is also why it can be a challenge learning new ways to respond to familiar stimuli (exes showing up unannounced, running late, missed appointments, screaming kids, NSFs).
She’ll Be Coming Around The Mountain When She Comes
There’s a particular mountain I’d been circling for a good while and one of my closest friends was completely perplexed by it. She prayed for me often and wanted me to be done with this particular trek through the wilderness but there was something I wasn’t getting. When certain triggers were pulled, my automatic response kicked in and it always took me around the same mountain. Never away from the mountain or in a different direction…always around it…again and again and again. I knew the saying, if you want something different you had to do something different. I also knew that to keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome was crazy. But my conditioning fought me. It was much easier to fall into pity and self sabotage because I knew that and thus another trek around the mountain would ensue.
Then one day it clicked.
I finally got it.[tweet_box]I understood that in life uncertainty is certain and I could choose my response. [/tweet_box]
I didn’t have to stay stuck on auto pilot and keep doing laps around this same mountain. I could choose another course so I did.
When I saw the on ramp for that mountain again—I took control and decided to do something different. I created a new response. My response was one of faith, not fear. I was determined to keep living, laughing, and doing the things I needed to do. Pity, woe and self-sabotage were off the table as viable options—I didn’t care if it did make my brain nervous.
The cycle was broken that day.
That was the lesson I needed to learn and thankfully that mountain is a spec in my rear view mirror now.
I needed to see the pattern and break the cycle. I had a choice (I’d always had it) and God wanted me to choose differently. He couldn’t do it for me. I had to do it. I had to learn the lesson.
#ThisWomanKnows you can choose differently. You can create a new response to an old trigger and experience joy in your life. Real joy. Doesn’t that sound amazing? Doesn’t that sound a lot better than living on autopilot?
You can do it.
Lisa N. Alexander is the author and founder of This Woman Knows and What Million-Dollar Brands Know. She is an award-winning filmmaker, director, producer, and writer and is the owner of PrettyWork Creative.