When you read last month’s newsletter, I hope you clicked the link and learned about the way our brains make patterns. We make sense of our world through patterns. Let’s consider how the power of our brain transforms our experience.
Though all creature learn in patterns, humans have two natural tendencies that differentiate us:
1. We create meaning from every experience.
2. We can consciously interrupt an ineffective pattern. This is the secret to our success.
Since both of these tendencies have become automatic responses for us–and therefore unconscious–you might not be aware of–or have examined–them before. Let’s take a deeper look at them.
Create Meaning from Patterns
Our natural ability to create meaning makes us the only creatures on the planet who have a choice of how we respond to what we experience–even though we’re often unconscious of what we’re doing. The more skilled we are at anything, the more unconscious of it we become.
When we create a meaning for some pattern (usually our behavior or someone else’s) and we do it often enough, that meaning becomes the truth for us. We don’t have to think about it anymore, which makes it unconscious for us.
Think about it: how often are you consciously aware of the meaning of a red light or a smile or an offered hand? Learning patterns and giving them meaning is how we learn to maneuver through our world. Doing it all unconsciously is a mark of our skill.
This only becomes a problem for us when the meanings we’ve made–and use unconsciously–no longer work for us. That typically happens when something changes. It becomes challenging because it’s been unconscious and we have no idea what went wrong.
Here’s the great news about that challenging situation: it’s your invitation to get conscious about the patterns you use and the meanings you make.
In order to Move Into Your Power, you have to be able to distinguish the behavior patterns that move you forward, as well as those that hold you back. And you have to be conscious of the ways in which the meanings you make can move you forward or hold you back, as well.
Interrupt Ineffective Patterns
That question brings me to the second natural tendency that humans share: the ability to choose to interrupt any pattern we see.
Just in case you’ve never heard of it, the easiest way to describe a pattern interrupt is to think about sports.
Every game you can name is built upon pattern interrupts–knowing which patterns (plays) to use to best interrupt the other teams patterns (plays) to win the game. In sports, as in life, the most skilled pattern interrupters are the highest paid and the most celebrated.
Imagine your success if using strategic pattern interrupts were to become instinctive for you. When you become deliberate about interrupting behavior patterns that get in the way of your success, you begin to See Your Power in an entirely different way.