Do you ever stop and take a look at your breadcrumbs – your past and patterns?
Looking at your breadcrumbs is an important part of our process, because we all tell ourselves these stories about our lives that we believe – that we’re supposed to be a certain way, or we’re supposed to have a certain job, or we’re supposed to live a certain life.
And the question you have to ask yourself is, are these stories true? Are you really looking at your life through an unfiltered lens to make these decisions, or are you saying these things that aren’t necessarily true?
Over time, we all accumulate beliefs about ourselves, and about life itself, which becomes the lens that we view the world through. Everyone has different beliefs, opinions and perspectives. Finding the beliefs that don’t work and consciously choosing to change them to the ones that will serve you is what allows you to grow.
To do this, your beliefs must align with what you want. For example, if you want a loving relationship, you need to change the deep belief that you are unlovable. So this is why I feel like breadcrumbs are so important, and that’s why I dedicated my new podcast episode 055 all about finding our patterns and following our dreams.
One of the things you’ve heard me say before is that if you want to move forward, you have to begin by looking back. Reflection is such a key part to discovering who you really are, and the person you want to become. And I call those things breadcrumbs, the little things that have marked the path of where you’ve been.
Know that you do have a say in your patterns and cycles… it is not predetermined.
Our life is made up of two pattern types: one that lead to continued failure, and one that leads to success. Remember back in episode 45, where we talked about the power of choice? This is yet another choice for us to make.
Overcoming your negative patterns is a matter of replacing them with positive ones. But why do we keep repeating these patterns? Most habits are acted out subconsciously… but they all have a trigger and a reward that we can pinpoint and change. The failure in our patterns isn’t in the action, but in the result of the actions.
And on the other side of the coin, consistent patterns of success are consistent actions that result in movement towards your goals. If we can find and change unsuccessful patterns into positive ones, we can make progress towards our future self.
Patterns that run through your family too, are important to look at. That allows you to understand yourself and your own patterns. This includes your genes, your environment and your learned behaviors.
There are four different categories you should look at when seeing if these patterns run through your family. The first is beliefs about the world and personal values. Second is relationships and how you socialize with others. And third is healthy living, like eating habits and fitness. And category four, career, education, job choices. So in thinking about those four categories, do you start to see some patterns between some of your family members? You’ll likely find family influences on yourselves that are both positive and negative.
Patterns are very similar to habits in that they happen without thinking. So if you start being mindful about the patterns in your life, and you start looking around to discover them, you become more aware, and you can find ways to start building on those positive patterns, and change the negative ones.
Start looking around and ask yourself these two questions:
The thing I’ve learned through my own experiences, and through talking with others. Ideas need room and space to grow. We put them in these little containers instead of taking them out of their jars and allowing them to spread don’t uncover some patterns for yourself. It took a lot for me to figure out what my own patterns were, and it was because I was keeping them very contained and separated.
This is one of my favorite productivity tips (which I dedicated an entire episode to!) because it’s all about blocked out time for YOU.
Add on a future-self Friday element to your week, and make it a part of the regular routine. To have an effective future-self Friday, don’t start from a blank page, that makes it tempting to waste time and give in to procrastination. We have to give it a little bit of structure. So focus in on these things, goal-setting, skill-building, learning, working on future projects, things that don’t have short-term benefits, but really have long-term benefits. In other words, actively carving out time to invest in you every single week.
So if you’re doing goal-setting, this is your time to check in, to see how are you doing, writing down your clear goals, making sure that your goals are still working towards the person that you want to become. And then assessing how you’ve done this week.
This download goes through six ratings where you’ll rate the different areas of your life, and then answer a series of 15 questions to help you look at the highs and the lows of your past year. And that will help you to start thinking of possible patterns that you go through. This download looks at what brought you the most joy, and the experiences you would love to repeat, as well as those that you would never want to repeat.
CLICK HERE to get your Reflection download and see if you’ve had iterations of these experiences and these choices in the past. Is this a pattern in your life? Is this something that is happening again and again? One of the most useful questions, I think, is for goals you didn’t accomplish. Ask yourself, “what is holding me back?” I want you to think about the negative patterns, and if they could be at play here.
Here’s what I want you to take away: Use your breadcrumbs to help you grow. Knowing and understanding what patterns and cycles you have in your life, understanding what’s positive and what is negative, and what’s repeating again and again, is so powerful. Take the time to explore this topic and really think it through. Your breadcrumbs will help you to actually invest in YOU.