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  • Writer's picture Zalman Nelson - Therapist

What Are Life Patterns?

Updated: Feb 9

What Are Life Patterns

✅Life Patterns are the key to being more positive and productive…having fulfilling relationships…getting free of anxiety, fear, and panic...overcoming feelings of insecurity and rejection...and breaking the cycles of self-defeating behavior.

You aren’t the problem in your life. Your Life Patterns are.

A Life Pattern is a pattern that starts in childhood and reverberates throughout life. It began with something that was done to us by our families or by other children. We were abandoned, criticized, overprotected, excluded, or deprived–we were damaged in some way.

Eventually, the Life pattern becomes part of us. Long after we leave the home we grew up in, we continue to create situations in which we are mistreated, ignored, put down, or controlled and in which we fail to reach our most desired goals.

They are deeply entrenched beliefs about ourselves and the world that were learned early in life. They are central to our sense of self: giving them up means surrendering the security of knowing who we are and what the world is like. Therefore, we cling to it, even when it hurts us.

These beliefs provide us with a sentence of predictability and certainty: they’re comfortable and familiar. In an odd sense, they make us feel at home. This is why Life patterns are so difficult to change.

So, there are two sides to you, two voices at odds with each other inside you. The loud and dominant side is your ego, your inner critic, your Life Patterns. It’s a mask covering who you truly are. A fake picture of the real you. You’ve become addicted to a false sense of self; an untrue story you tell yourself about who you are.🤬

Underneath it, is the true, authentic, essential you. The part that grows, builds, connects, gives, lives, loves, and achieves. But the Patterns part of you dominates. For years it was who you were told you are by those around you, in their words, and in the way they interacted with you and treated you. You came to believe it really was you. ❤️

Now, your Life Patterns can be challenging.

They are lifelong patterns or themes:

They started in childhood and repeat throughout life. As an adult, we recreate the conditions of our childhood that were most harmful to us.

They are self-destructive: We are drawn to situations that trigger our Life Patterns. The Patterns damages our sense of self, our health, our relationships with others, our work, our happiness, our moods – they touch every aspect of our lives.

They struggle for survival: We feel a strong push to maintain it the pattern is what we know. Although it is painful, it is comfortable and familiar. Therefore, it is very difficult to change. Our Life Patterns were appropriate adaptations to the family we grew up in. Realistic when we were kids, but we continue to do them now when they no longer serve a useful purpose.

But you are not your Patterns. You are two. The real you is right there under a layer of patterns and others’ opinions of you. Know what that means? You don’t have to change and become something new! You only have to allow the real you to emerge. You just have to be you.

😎And that’s a doable process:

First, a free assessment to determine your primary pattern(s).

And then, a workbook (coming soon, here, in the Life Patterns Shop) tailored to that pattern, which guides you to:

1. connect to the pattern’s presence in your life and increase your awareness;

2. challenge, disprove, and break the pattern; and

3. bring the real you out to the forefront, in your thinking and all your interactions.

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