“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.”
It’s one of those quotes you may have heard at some time or another, perhaps as a piece of advice when you’ve been stuck in a quandary. Attributed to Albert Einstein, it does make sense and pretty much states the obvious. Or does it?
In fact, there is an important message to take away from this statement if you take the time to stop and really ponder over it.
We are all creatures of habit. And it’s those habits which form patterns, which, in turn, contribute to our behaviour. Often we associate habits with something negative, however they can be good things and therefore extremely useful. They can enable us to go into ‘auto pilot’ and carry out functions subconsciously, like going through a daily routine or getting ourselves from A to B. Another way in which habits and patterns form part of our lives is the way in which we react to people and situations. Have you ever thought about why you react to things in a certain way?
When you meet someone, how do you react to the way they dress or look, or how they speak? The question is do you have the capacity to change your behaviour — if you want? Well the answer is yes, you do.
So how do you shift how you do things? There are various strategies for generating new behaviour or interrupting patterns (of behaviour). Focusing on your goal is the quickest way to achieve new behaviours and visualisation plays a big part in this type of learning. If you visualise a goal that you desire with real commitment, your subconscious mind will begin working to bring it into your reality.
In order to change a habit or behaviour, we need to ‘interrupt’ the pattern which currently exists. Here are some simple ways to interrupt your pattern when you find yourself in an ‘unresourceful state’ or in other words, stuck in a rut:
- Go for a walk or take time out when you feel stressed or angry
- Choose a different way of getting to work
- Take a week off from a typical activity e.g. watching TV
- ‘Sleep on it’ — go over your major goals right before bedtime so your mind can problem-solve and find a creative solution during the night
- Laugh about it. Choose to see the funny side.
Of course there can be a little more to it than that and if you’d like some pointers to help change your learning patterns then please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll finish with another of Einstein’s well known sayings which you may have heard before:
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”.
Tania Watson is the founder of Creative Coaching and an executive coach, organisational consultant and leadership specialist. Creative Coaching is a successful company dedicated to the development of senior leaders in organisations through one to one coaching, intact team development and group facilitation. If you or someone from your organisation would like to have a no obligation conversation about how Creative Coaching may be able to help, please email Tania directly at email@example.com.