Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Destructiveness in Our Lives
The sky is the limit when we work on our defects of character. When we purposely look at our defects and continuously strive for self-improvement, unconsciously we strike an important concept that is associated with the primeval wisdom that lies within our bodies. The echoes of a million midnight shrieks from monkeys whose last sight was of a panther, have left their traces in our nervous system. Staying in the moment and reflecting on ourselves will in time re-awaken an ancient wisdom which lies in each and every one of us. The question is, “how did we get off track in our lives and what can we do to turn our lives around?”
Over time we lost track of our true selves and developed maladaptive characteristic thoughts and behavior patterns. These cycles must be identified, and then disrupted in order for us to change and become the people we were meant to be. Maladaptive behavior patterns can establish themselves as inconsistencies in the way we experience our feelings. Ultimately, we create faulty ideas about life, such as, “I don’t need help from anybody”, or “I can do everything on my own”. These troubling beliefs become ingrained in us and may lead to questions such as, “I try so hard, so why don’t things work out for me?” Over time, we start to focus on the negatives and continue to repeatedly ask ourselves the same tired old questions, producing the same old unsuccessful answers. Like a moth drawn to a flame, we may unwittingly and repeatedly create situations and destructive cycles, from which escape becomes impossible. The reality is that we lack the proper tools and resources to break these cycles.
Inconsistencies are deeply established patterns we repeat over and over in our lives. These negative patterns will continue to cause failure until we become able to actually learn from them. Being prepared, by knowing what is coming at us , can prevent us from sliding back to where we started by empowering us to change. Recognizing our disabling habits and destructive cycles and having the power to break their patterns, is similar to exposing mould to the sunlight….it vanishes.
It is important to recognize when the corrective strategy isn’t succeeding in producing the change we seek---things just aren’t turning around. Consequently, if we don’t try another approach, our efforts will probably produce more pain, a further increase in frustration, depression and worst of all, learned helplessness, “I give up”. For example have you ever seen a fly try to get out of a closed window? It just keeps trying to get out by banging its head on the window even though it never gets out. What this shows us is that being highly motivated and persistent doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll achieve the goals you’re seeking in life.
The first step is to recognize that if we keep doing things exactly the same way as we have always done them, nothing will change. What if the fly became informed that by waiting until someone opened the door, it could fly to freedom? We also can learn about new ways of behaving and develop the ability to ask for help instead of banging our heads in vain.
People can continue to hang on to false notions about themselves even though they cause harm, because realistically these ideas and beliefs are all that they know. A dog can chase its tail for awhile, and then in exhaustion it gives up. This behavior does not produce any meaningful results in his life. Likewise, by wasting our energy, we end up producing extra pain and frustration in our lives with our wasted, meaningless actions, while our sought-after goals never materialize due to emotional, spiritual or physical fatigue.
Focusing our energy on a life-long dream can is the answer. It is essential to seek leverage in dismantling destructive thought patterns in our lives. Sticking a cliché into the cycle can be very important. Truly, “there are no failures in life”. If we don’t get the results we are looking for, we can still learn from the experience in order not to make the same mistake in the future.
By slowing down we can get “in tune” with ourselves, long enough to recognize our faulty habits and thought patterns. We can then start navigating towards another way of doing things. Then, by setting goals, we will gain the power to tap into the vast reserve of power we all have within us. These goals must be more than just the mundane day-to-day drudgeries like paying the bills or other basic necessities or issues. We have to set goals that will force us to strive beyond our limits. The goals have to inspire a sense of excitement. Just thinking of the possibility of achieving them should inspire us to want to work toward achieving them. We will be driven to overcome fear and acquire the courage to go beyond our normal limits in life.
When I first entered university back in 1992 it was very exciting to me. After working on the line for 15 years at Chrysler’s, being in university seemed like a dream come true. I never realized how I stopped dreaming of achieving life-long goals. I had stopped challenging myself. The university was a God-send experience because it became a huge challenge for me. With this experience came a realization about all the untruths I held onto in my life. The surprising thing is that they were not the truth, but by hanging on to them, I had actually created an atmosphere of self-imposed misery. Another truth was that I didn’t like myself prior to taking on the new challenge. Why did I always quit everything I tried to accomplish in life? I had truly given up on myself. Deep down I’ve never come to grips with my own feelings associated with giving up on myself. In a lot of cases people cannot comprehend their extreme feelings of low self-worth on their own. I had tried going back to school in the past but I always quit. The attempt was different this time. I had support from other people and I was seeing a trained professional counselor who was guiding me and holding me accountable for my actions at the university. I perceived everything I did at the university as a challenge. Studying for an exam, writing the exam, and then getting the results from the exam, it was all a cycle I really got used to. This was actually goal-setting and feedback, two powerful tools that help us grow. In addition, I was reporting to my counselor on a regular basis. Many times I felt like quitting. Luckily, I received encouragement and strength from my counselor to keep going. He always had the utmost faith in my abilities, a lot more than I had in myself, back then. In the beginning going back to university was an impossible dream. In order for me to find the inspiration and determination, I had to suspend my old belief system, particularly concerning my ability to ultimately accomplish the goal—graduation. I had to take a chance and rely on others’ confidence in me for support.
Relying on others for support is a basic human need. We are social beings and we learn and grow in and through others. As children we had this ability, however, we somehow lose it as we grow older. As it happened, I was forced to rely on others for support. Once I regained this ability I was back on track with my life. This was an invaluable tool that enabled me to reach my dreams in life.
My first goal was met when I received my Bachelor’s degree in 2000. Then my counselor wanted me to go for my Master’s degree. I had a lot of trust in him, so I decided to take his advice. I went to Wayne State University and in 2002 received my Master’s degree in Social Work. Today I run my own private practice as a social worker and now I offer the same support I received from others to my clients, in order to guide them in achieving their dreams as well. Evaluate and re-evaluate yourself. The answers will come. When you start looking, you inadvertently tap into an ancient wisdom that we all possess. Hard work, perseverance and never giving up will bring you to your desired goal. If I can do it so can you!

Author's Bio: 

"I am a therapist who has a deep understanding of problems in relationships, addiction, depression, anxiety etc.. This understanding comes as a result of my academic background as well as from having been in active therapy myself. I know all too well what it's like to have challenges in life, and to try and struggle through problems. I personally have experienced difficult times in life, just like everyone else. I tried extremely hard to turn my life around on my own and eventually found that this was an impossible task. I kept trying to resolve my own problems but now understand that I had never been taught effective coping strategies and therefore lacked the appropriate skills necessary in order to turn my life around. I was only after I sought professional help myself back in 1985 that I was able to effectively change my life.