Once the tracks are laid, it’s hard not to follow them. We are creatures of habit, our brains are wired that way. And we are so busy that much of our waking time is spent on auto-pilot just to get us through the week.
Therein lies the problem. We are not aware of our repetitive patterns until it is too late. So the trick here is to see the old mistake patterns coming before it’s too late to switch tracks.
Not to be confused with anxiety-creating levels of over-preparation, what we should aim for is just to be aware. This can be a gentle acceptance, a knowing that old patterns are likely to appear and allowing ourselves to recognise them.
When we accept that we may fall prey to running down old tracks on auto-pilot, without judging or blaming ourselves, but simply because it is human nature, then we don’t have to bury our heads in the sand out of fear or shame. We can go about life with our eyes open, not waiting for trouble, but seeing it as one possibility.
Have you ever listened to your gut and been proved right? Isn’t it just the most affirming and liberating feeling? When you start to feel the sinking familiarity of a bad situation in front of you, you don’t have to close your eyes, hold your breath and plow through it. You can pivot. Your gut will tell you when, if you listen.
Once you have stopped avoiding, denying or ignoring, you empower yourself to both see trouble coming and to say “no thank you”.
I know the feeling of being a runaway train on a disaster course. But you are not a train – those rails are not necessary. You can stop, pivot, or move laterally at any time.
I’m going to leave you with a quote…