Often when we want to make a change, it is because a pattern of behavior, beliefs and confirmation bias has become entrenched and isn’t working for us any longer, even though in the past it served us rather well. Once the commitment to change is activated, there is a strong push to kill the old pattern and eliminate it from our life. We just want to jump into the new way of being and live happily ever after.
Moving to kill the old pattern often finds us recognizing how entrenched the pattern is and when threatened with extinction, the pattern will assert itself and provide proof positive that this pattern is not going to leave without a fight. So, despite solid motivation and good reasons for why this change is desired, we struggle with implementing a shift into the new pattern that we believe would work better for us.
In the coaching method that I use, however, the first step to change is to really get to know how I do what I do right now. What triggers the pattern of response that I don’t want to have any more? What belief is behind the behavior that has developed over some long period of time and what do I look for that tells me this is the right path for the outcome I expect to receive?
Getting to know how I am in this space, allows me to see my pattern more objectively and to notice what I am telling myself and to question the whole truth of my beliefs. This way got me this far in life, it probably has some value even as it has created some pinch points. Maybe killing the pattern isn’t the solution, maybe it’s more an evolution—where we can transcend and include—keeping the valuable capabilities that this way has allowed me and including new capabilities that enhance and expand what is available to me.
So, for a while, I need to stay with me as I am right now and begin to see more clearly how this pattern shows up in my life and what its impact is on me and those around me. I want to get to know this pattern to the point that I can feel it arise and smile at it, giving it friendly attention with my awareness. Not changing it or pushing it away; simply holding it in my awareness and allowing it to be as it is and learning what it gives me and what it keeps me from experiencing.
With more appreciation for how my current way operates and what it does for me, I can find it easier to begin to build new capabilities that compliment what I already have on board and expand what is available to me in the moment. Every way has a positive intent behind the pattern, even if the original need has been outgrown or is outdated. When I embrace the positive intent and appreciate what that way has brought me, that part of me that holds the way can relax and allow new capabilities to come on board and shift the value of this way in a positive direction and I can begin to embody the new way.
So rather than moving quickly to bypass the way I have been maintaining, I want to give this way the love she deserves for supporting me as long as she has and let her gradually find her place in the new way. Going slow in order to go faster into the new way.
About the Author
Jody Jones, Ph.D. is an Integral Master Coach and on the faculty of Integral Coaching Canada, Inc. Her coaching focuses on the client’s wholeness while building new capabilities within which they can flourish and thrive.