Learn how to pause, observe, and identify the emotion that is driving any repeating pattern in your life, large or small.
The key to breaking a repeating pattern is to identify the emotion that is driving the pattern, so that we can apply emotional intelligence techniques to the underlying emotion, and thereby break the pattern.
This week, we will talk about the best types of pattern to start breaking first, and choose one pattern to be the focus for this week’s and next week’s practices.
- Watch videos (0701, 0703)
- Try the guided Emotional Drivers practice (0702) to identify the emotion behind a repeating pattern
- Reflect and/or journal about
a) the video content and
b) your emotional drivers
- Continue practising the Emotional Pressure Release technique – see whether any information about emotional drivers emerges during this practice
- Make a time with your coach to guide you through a personalized Pattern Release Practice.
Video 0701: Choosing A Pattern To Break
Taking stock of the repeating patterns in your life, and selecting the right one to use for next week’s Pattern Break practice.
Guided Practice: The Emotional Driver
Once you have identified a pattern you wish to break, it is essential that you locate the underlying emotion that is driving that pattern. This guided practice takes you step by step through the process.
The Emotional Driver (audio)
During a transformation, it’s understandable to be hesitant about moving too fast, especially at the outset.
Video 0703: Resistance to Change
Why do we resist the changes we most want to make in life? How can we overcome our resistance and break the patterns that hold us prisoner?
- What is the first repeating pattern you would like to break? (Choose one that is non-trivial, but not too overwhelming.)
- What happens when you do the Emotional Drivers practice?
- Have your chosen Emotional First Aid techniques become habits now, or do you need more practice? Are there any obstacles to practising the techniques?
Review Earlier Weeks
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why can’t we simply break repeating patterns through willpower and developing better habits?
A: Repeating patterns emerge when there are internal conflicts – either a conflict between the analytical mind and the subconscious, or a conflict between two different subconscious processes.
Often, the subconscious is trying to protect us from feeling an emotion that we decided earlier in life was too dangerous to feel. At other times, the subconscious is trying to keep us alive by keeping us from doing anything new and different, or by keeping us from doing things that produced painful experiences in our childhood.
Until we understand what the subconscious is achieving by running the pattern, we will not be able to break the pattern. Through willpower, we might be able to suppress the pattern for a while, but as soon as we are tired, sick, stressed, or emotionally triggered, back it will come.
We can only free ourselves of the pattern permanently when we resolve the internal conflict – and that requires the emotional intelligence skill of coordination between the analytical and the experiencing consciousnesses.
Q: When I think about changing my attachment style, I feel terrified and hopeless. Is it really possible to change such a deep need with these simple practices?
A: It is one of the blessings of living in the 21st century that we now know how to heal these developmental traumas.
When a pattern is founded on an early childhood trauma, it seems as though it is as immovable as a mountain. 40 years ago, you would have been told to learn to live with it, as nothing could be done.
But we now know that we always have access to neuroplasticity – the ability of the brain to rewire itself ongoingly throughout your lifetime.
The practices you have learned so far are building in you the skills and habits that will allow you to make deep, permanent changes to your emotional system. Even these early practices alone can enable powerful shifts. In later weeks, we will learn more complex and directive practices to access specific emotional information and change specific patterns. The more practised you are at the early exercises, the faster you will master the more complex ones in the coming weeks.
About Ross Rosenberg
Ross Rosenberg is a psychotherapist, educator, expert witness and author, with more than 30 years of experience. He owns Clinical Care Consultants, a Chicago area counseling center, and Self Love Recovery Institute. A psychotherapist since 1988, Ross is also an international speaker, author, and professional trainer. He is an expert in codependency (Self-Love Deficit Disorder (SLDD)™), narcissism, trauma and sex addiction. Ross’s Human Magnet Syndrome books (2013 and 2018) have sold over 90,000 copies and are translated into five other languages.
For those seeking to break deep-seated relationship patterns, Ross’ work provides a useful guide as to the underlying emotional drivers of damaging relationship patterns.