I met James on an online dating site and after a few weeks of talking on the phone we decided to meet. Our first date was great, but as it ended, he casually mentioned that he wasn’t ready for a relationship—he only wanted to be friends.
In hindsight, there are a few questions I could have asked him. Better yet, I should have told him to keep his offer of “friendship.” But the truth was I enjoyed talking to James—and secretly there was a part of me hoping to change his mind.
After a month or two, a clear pattern emerged—whenever we had a real heart-to-heart, James would do a disappearing act. Like the electric slide, I knew what would be next. He was great at appearing to be open, but truthfully, he was committed to being emotionally unavailable, while keeping my emotions on the hook.
Thankfully, I got clued into the pattern early and was able to put the relationship in its proper perspective. Eventually, our friendship ended. I was content to really just be friends, but when I chose to stop playing his emotional games, he was forced to engage in his dysfunction alone.
In the New Year, I am challenging myself to recognize and deal with the negative patterns in my life. I’d like to invite you to do the same. Ask yourself:
1. What Keeps Repeating In My Life? We need start by identifying the patterns in our lives and relationships. Are we always the ones people turn to but don’t have anyone to call when we’re on the edge? Do we consistently find ourselves in dead-end jobs or relationships? Wherever we find deja-vu, it’s imperative that we dig in to learn the lesson. Take a moment to think about your 2013, what negative experiences did you find yourself repeating?
2. What Change Do I Want to See? It’s not enough to know what we want to be changed from—what do we want to be changed into? Repeating patterns can be comfortable, but comfort doesn’t always result in our happiness or fulfillment. We can change our behaviors when we count the cost of actions that don’t benefit us. We must pay the price now for what we want in the future. A precise vision of the future will give us the strength to act at a higher level than we feel capable.
3. How Can I Get There? Disruption is necessary to change a pattern. We must purposely do things differently. Realizing James didn’t value—and couldn’t handle—my transparency, I learned to stop being vulnerable. He immediately noticed the disruption and accused me of being distant. I told him that I wasn’t going to ask him to change. I valued myself enough to adjust my behavior. My pattern no longer fed his ego, so he for good.
Identify the recurring disappointments in your life. Ask others to help you identify the patterns—trust me they are there! Then ask for help crafting action steps to disrupt the pattern. Find out how I can help you disrupt your patterns, schedule a free 20-minute laser coaching session at coachfelicia.com/coaching-session.
Affirm out loud, “Right now I choose to have a different experience by choosing a different course of action!”
Named the “North America’s Next Greatest Speaker” by eWomenNetwork, Felicia T. Scott is a Certified Empowerment Coach™ who empowers her clients to turn their Worth into Wealth as she partners with them to DISCOVER their WORTH, DO the WORK and DEFINE their WEALTH. Get more insight, download the FREE “8 Choices Winners Must Make” seminar MP3 on her website.