How Can We Identify Repetitive Patterns And Get Out Of Them?

Last updated by Rosie Harlow

For a long time, I had the feeling that I was repeating the same mistakes. For example, on more than one occasion, I missed out on a career opportunity. All because I was convinced I was useless… Unfortunately, I bet I’m not the only one to have observed this kind of repetitive pattern. This kind of cycle is vicious, so how do you identify it and get out of it? Now that I’ve learned how to work on it, I’ll explain.

How Can We Identify Repetitive Patterns And Get Out Of Them?

What is a repetitive pattern?

It’s quite simple, a repetitive pattern is when you have behaviors, emotions, or even thoughts that are repeated regularly. For me, for example, I was a victim of imposter syndrome for a long time 😅. Because of this, I got caught up in self-sabotage. However, the repetitive pattern isn’t limited to that, it can also be found in love (why do I always get into a relationship with a narcissistic pervert?), at work (why do I always put off the same task endlessly?), at home (why do I want to avoid all meals with my loved ones?), etc.

📌

It’s a key concept in psychology for understanding ourselves better. In fact, one of the founding fathers of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Aaron Beck, who I often talk to you about, explains that because of these cognitive distortions, we often interpret things in a biased way.

How to identify repetitive patterns?

You need to bear in mind that not all repetitive patterns are negative 🧐. You can have habits that are good for you, and there’s nothing to worry about. On the other hand, if you’re experiencing situations that cause you to feel unwell and that are destructive, it’s important to spot them. I won’t hide the fact that it’s a long process, but here are a few tips to get you started, according to psychologists 👇:

1. Take a step back

We need to learn to look at our lives from an objective point of view 👀. Yes, I know, that’s easier said than done. We need to put ourselves in “we’re watching the film of our life” mode, as an outside spectator. So we need to take stock: what behaviors, thoughts, and feelings do we feel like we’re repeating endlessly?

2. Look for common themes

This time we go into detective mode. Are there common themes in situations where we find ourselves often 🤔? For example, do we regularly feel neglected in a relationship? Is there a professional task that we put off every time?

3. Examine your reactions

Our emotions are clearly beacons, like lighthouses in the night 🕯️. They make it easier to identify our repetitive patterns. In particular, if we have a very strong emotion in a particular situation, such as anger, fear, etc., this is a big clue about something that doesn’t suit us and that we experience regularly.

4. Think again about past experiences/childhood

Everything has its roots in our youth. Do we recognize certain mechanisms in our parents? Did we have any significant childhood experiences? By reflecting on these experiences, we can begin to identify the behaviors that we’ve inherited from our parents or that have been shaped by our upbringing.

5. Talk to your close ones

It’s like asking our friends and family to hold up a mirror. Sometimes others can see things about us that we don’t notice. By asking our close ones what they’ve noticed about our behavior, we can gain valuable insights that can help us spot the things we repeat. However, make sure you choose the right people, so you don’t end up with malicious and inappropriate comments 😅!

👋 An article to help you with this introspection: How to tackle limiting beliefs

Why do I keep repeating the same pattern?

In order to completely break free from this defense mechanism, we also need to understand where it comes from. In fact, if we tend to repeat the same things and/or encounter the same situations, it’s because we have “deeply rooted beliefs about ourselves and the world”, to quote Aaron Beck.

A model from childhood

And guess where these beliefs come from? From our childhood, bingo! I know that in psychology, we relate a lot of things to this period, but at the same time, these are our foundations and the way we learn to build ourselves! In fact, the English psychiatrist John Bowlby explains repetitive patterns through the theory of attachment. For him, the way we become attached to our parents influences the way we behave throughout our lives.

👉 For example, if our parents were distant and minimized our emotions, we will tend to develop an avoidant attachment.

Worth noting

If we repeat the same patterns, it’s also because we had basic needs that weren’t met during our childhood, according to psychologist Jeffrey Young.

Breaking out of the mold

It’s very difficult to get rid of our limiting beliefs. I can testify to this because even though I’m learning to deconstruct my way of thinking, sometimes the natural thing comes back at full tilt and I don’t dare take the plunge, because of absurd fears 😵. I’ve been going to therapy for several years now, not least to work on this, and it’s the best advice I can give. To get out of the matrix (no, I haven’t watched The Matrix recently 😬), the best thing is to have psychological support. It’s all very simple, but therapy has methods that allow you to do some real work, particularly CBT, which I mentioned earlier.

Getting rid of repetitive patterns isn’t easy, but it’s often necessary if you want to achieve true fulfillment. Even if the path is difficult, it’s worth the effort if you want to be the master of your actions rather than a slave to your demons 😈.

Editor’s note: Essential work on yourself

Understanding and breaking our repetitive patterns takes time and patience to work on yourself, but it’s essential for our personal development. If you recognize yourself in this article, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with one of our psychologists. They’re here to help you unravel these patterns and guide you toward a freer, more fulfilled life. Take the first step towards change today.

🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy... It’s here and now!
#BornToBeMe

Be sure to check out these articles too;

Article presented by Rosie Harlow

Writing has always been a form of therapy for me. For as long as I can remember, I have always used paper as a punching bag. Get to know me, I am Rosie Harlow.

Read our latest articles here:

Are Narcissists Born Or Made? - Let's Settle The Debate

There you have it, the nature vs nurture debate is back, only this time I want to focus it on those deviously manipulative personalities we refer to as narcissists. Now, evidently these folks get bad press and rightly so because they are often at the root of plenty of harm, but is it really their fault? Can they really be blamed for their terrifying and perhaps inherent traits, or are they simply just products and in this case victims of their environments? Let’s settle this debate once and for all and figure out how and when this disorder becomes apparent. So, are you born a narcissist or is it developed?

Do Narcissists Regret Hurting People?

From their lack of empathy to their scarily manipulative and controlling streak, narcissists arguably display despicable behavior that simply can’t be condoned. Once these people get their claws into a victim, they become ruthless and have absolutely no regard for the effects their behavior may have on their mental health. Now, as with many syndromes, nothing is black and white with these types of personality disorders. In fact, there are certainly many inaccurate theories regarding their relationship with remorse regarding their actions, and that’s why I’m here to set the record straight.

A Guide On How To Deal With Narcissist Silent Treatment Guide📕

If you've ever been involved with a narcissist, you'll know exactly how dangerous and vindictive they can be. Now, they won't use physical violence to break their victims down, although the tactics they use are just as painful and debilitating. These slippery characters operate under the shadow of darkness and use subtle mind games and tactics in order to exert a maximum amount of control and manipulation over their prey. You have no doubt already guessed it, but in case you haven't yet, the silent treatment is a narcissist's go-to tactic when it comes to punishing their victims and taking control of them. Find out here why these abusers use this method and how to deal with it.

8 Reasons Why Ghosters Always Come Back 👻

If you’ve ever given online dating a whirl, the chances are you’ve been ghosted by someone. Now, for those of you who are unaware of this practice, it involves putting a sudden end to a relationship without offering any form of explanation. If I had to estimate how many times this has happened to me, I’d say there are definitely over 10 guys out there who owe me an explanation as to why they suddenly disappeared off the face of the earth… However, all the confusion and short-lived heartbreak has taught me that ghosters always seem to reappear at one time or another.

Should You Really Confess Your Feelings?

Who hasn’t had a crush in their life? You know, it’s when you fall for someone and have feelings for them even though you don’t really know them. I’m one of those people who have had lots of crushes, and sometimes I’ve even admitted my feelings. In fact, a recent example was just before I started my relationship with my current partner. I offloaded what I was feeling all of a sudden… I’ll tell you why I did it and how to go about it.

How To Get Revenge On A Narcissist?

Narcissistic abuse is one of the most horrific challenges anyone can ever go through in life, but that’s not to say that their reign of terror will last forever. Evidently, breaking the cycle of abuse isn’t exactly straightforward, however, once the discard phase has been activated and victims realize that they can walk away with their heads held high, the revenge phase can commence 😈. Unsurprisingly, getting even with a raging egocentric narcissist needs to be carefully planned, but ironically, their self-centered personalities expose to many axes of revenge, which will evidently really get to them…

Are Narcissists Lonely?

Loneliness is one of society’s biggest enemies, and none of us are exempt from it, not even the most devilish of narcissists out there. In fact, throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, 36% of Americans claimed that they have never felt lonelier, which sets a scary benchmark for the wider population 😔. Now, lots of us would no doubt immediately assume that narcissists are too independent and strong-willed to feel alone, however, the truth is they are often the biggest victims of loneliness, yet simply have trouble expressing their inner malaise.

"Nobody Likes Me"

Never invited to parties, never listened to or solicited... It feels like you're just an ordinary person, who is pushed aside and has no value. If this is the case, we often end up coming to the sad conclusion that "nobody likes us! But, why do we think this? Now, this thought does not reflect reality, it hides deeper issues that need to be worked on to detach ourselves from this heavy feeling. Everyone deserves to be loved, including us!

6 Reasons Why Narcissists Never Apologize - They Hate Saying Sorry

I’ll be the first to admit that my stubbornness means I’m not exactly the most willing person when it comes to uttering the words ‘I’m sorry’, but I always push through my pride; although unfortunately, the same can’t be said for narcissists... Indeed, people who suffer from this personality disorder will simply never hold their hands up and accept responsibility for their actions, despite how deeply they’ve hurt your feelings. 😱 You know the idiom getting blood from a stone, right? Well, when it comes to apologies from these toxic personalities, nothing is more appropriate, and here are 6 reasons why!

Why Do I Feel Bad When People Don’t Message Me Back?

Friday night rolls around and after a hard week you were expecting to have a drink with a girlfriend, but she seems to have left you hanging on read... To make matters worse (and the humiliation?) you even saw the little typing sign appear, yet you never received a reply. Well, if that’s the case, obviously you or your "how about a drink tonight?" didn’t deserve an answer. Let’s take a look at why some people don't reply to messages, and why when someone doesn't reply to your text, this makes us feel so bad.



Wengood's favorite tunes 🎵

Wengood's playlist

wengood

  1. Only LoveBen Howard
    4:08
  2. Invalid date
  3. Fix YouColdplay
    4:55
  4. Beautiful DayU2
    4:08
  5. Thinking out LoudEd Sheeran
    4:41
  6. White FlagDido
    4:00
  7. Lay Me DownSam Smith
    4:13
  8. Nine Million BicyclesKatie Melua
    3:17
  9. Put Your Records OnCorinne Bailey Rae
    3:35
  10. Summertime SadnessLana Del Rey
    4:24
  11. Imagine - Remastered 2010John Lennon
    3:07
  12. Shake It OutFlorence + The Machine
    4:37
  13. Space Oddity - Love You Til Tuesday versionDavid Bowie
    3:46
  14. What A Wonderful WorldLouis Armstrong
    2:17
  15. With Or Without YouU2
    4:56
  16. HelloAdele
    4:55
  17. Don't Stop Me NowQueen
    3:29
  18. Skinny LoveBirdy
    3:21
  19. WingsBirdy
    4:12
  20. Californian SoilLondon Grammar
    3:41

How to detect a narcissist

How to detect a narcissist

How to soothe an anxiety attack

How to soothe an anxiety attack