- Thoughts for inspired living

Decommissioning Your Conditioning - Grasshopper

We've all been conditioned. The result is our patterns – our conditioned way of doing things.

We have all sorts of patterns: patterns of thinking, believing, acting, walking, talking, shaving or putting on lip gloss. Once these patterns become ingrained, we too often defend their existence as being the "right" way to do something.


It takes some serious reflection to find out if our patterns are working for us or not. That means we have to observe them in the light of day, without emotion, and evaluate their efficacy. But first, you have to notice your patterns.


Noticing you have a pattern that's not working is the first step in this decommissioning process. Make no mistake; we all have patterns that aren't working for us. If you're in the dark about the ones not working for you, be brave and ask someone close to you to point them out. Don't be too surprised how quickly their answer comes.


Once discovered, patterns must be observed in their natural habitat. That means you have to observe them while they are happening. That's catching yourself in the act of executing a pattern. It's not effective to notice that you've run the pattern after the fact. It's imperative that you notice it while it's happening. This gives you the opportunity to move to the next step: Interrupting the pattern in midstream.


Once you notice you are running a pattern, you can then "throw in the clutch" and disengage from the gear that's going to drive you off a cliff, again. Just the interruption of a pattern is a major step in decommissioning that behavior.


Years ago, before I knew about patterns, I used this technique to advance my broadcasting career. I grew up in Philadelphia and like most places Philly folks have a distinct pattern of speech - an accent. At that time, most broadcasters had to sound like they were "nobody from nowhere." That meant having no discernable accent.  Once my speech pattern was pointed out to me, I had to go to work on it to be more employable.


It was no easy journey. I tried and tried with little to show for my efforts. Then it hit me. When I caught myself speaking in my accent, I immediately interrupted myself and corrected my speech in midstream. I got into the habit of noticing and interrupting and began to make rapid progress in decommissioning my pattern.


You may have a more "serious" pattern that needs decommissioning. The process is exactly the same: Noticing & Interrupting.


You can wonder for the rest of your life why you are the way you are OR you can notice the pattern that's causing you to "be that way" and interrupt it relentlessly until it goes away. It may be helpful to remember this mantra: "Interruption causes pattern disruption."


You absolutely will make the transition to decommission if you make it a mission. Noticing and interrupting is a formula that works every time over time. You don't have to believe in the formula, you just have to execute it to get results.


Pardon the interruption but I wonder how soon you'll notice.


All the best,


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