Do you ever wonder why people make the same mistakes over and over again? The answer to this question is both biological and psychological in my opinion. Patterns in our behavior come from deeply seated habits and beliefs that we have hardwired within our brains. In addition, our love of the chemical neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine can also play a role in promoting our non-productive behaviors, like screen addiction. Once a habit has been developed, it is really easy to repeat it because our brains have developed strong neuro pathways that make it effortless for us to perform these behaviors.
Messages From Our Childhood
Another belief that can keep us in a failure loop is the belief that we are not good enough, so why even bother to try to rise above the behaviors that keep us trapped. These beliefs are planted within our psyches in childhood by parents who knowingly and unknowingly shame, put down or neglect their children. The message that the child receives is that they are bad, not good enough or even unloveable. This forms a wound that can potentially haunt us for a lifetime leading to failed relationships, lost jobs, reckless behaviors, stagnation and addiction in order to desperately find love or numb out the pain.
Four Common Areas Where People Struggle And Fail
1. Money Habits - Many people have an unhealthy relationship with money. Once again our earliest memories about money start with our parents in childhood. If, for example, your parents argued about money or complained that they didn’t have enough to buy nice clothes and other things for us, we may have a scarcity complex that causes us to go on spending sprees as young adults. As a result we end up caught in a vicious cycle of credit card debt. It is important to break this pattern by becoming educated on how to properly manage our money so that we can live secure and prosperous lives.
2. Exercise - Exercise is another place where people commonly fail. It all starts with the good intention of losing weight and building muscle, however, we tend to go overboard in the beginning with the idea that exercise has to be hard to be affective. You know the old adage, no pain, no gain. The reality is that most of us are pain avoidant and if we don’t like lifting heavy weights at the gym or running long distance, then chances are that we will find an excuse to quit. This can become a cycle of starting and quitting workout routines throughout our lives. The lesson is to do and activity that you love, such as walking, hiking or riding a bike. If it brings you pleasure and enjoyment you are more likely to stay with it.
3. Dieting - Emotional eating can be a form of numbing, and diets eventually fail because they require deprivation. Yet many people over eat and then hate themselves for being obese, and dieters become disheartened as they go from one failed diet to another. To break this loop we must become aware of why we do these behaviors. Moreover, healthy eating should become a balanced way of living. When we come to love and respect ourselves it’s easier to make decisions that benefit our bodies.
4. Relationships - Relationships are also modeled after our parents as we are growing up. If our mom or dad tell us that we need to find a person who will take care of us financially because we’re not capable of doing it on our own, we may become codependent on our spouse/partner for that sole reason and find it scary to leave the relationship if it becomes abusive or painfully unfulfilling. This is a story that we have in our heads that keeps us stuck in fear. With awareness we can develop our financial independence and realize that we do have the ability to make it on our own. Another mistake that women commonly repeat is dating “bad boys” because they are “exciting.” Time and time again these guys leave them broken hearted and yet they continue chasing bad boys, never learning from their mistakes.
Lessons From My Journey
I’ve spent many years doing my inner work and healing abandonment wounds. Along my spiritual journey I have learned the importance of self love. I’ll admit, however, that I still have habits that are sometimes unproductive, such as being too attached to my iPhone screen for periods of time to check on my social media. I know the power of dopamine and how these platforms were developed to make us addicted to them. With awareness, however, any of us can set limits on how much time we can spend on our phones, in order to be more productive with our time. It’s been said that in order to break an old habit, we have to replace it with a healthy one. Habits are formed through repetition which causes the brain to rewire itself. By limiting ourselves to an hour of social media as a reward at the end of the day instead of repeatedly throughout the day, we can train our minds to resist the temptation of constantly glancing at our screens.
You Are Enough
If there is one take away regarding why we make the same mistakes over and over, perhaps it is because we feel like we are not enough and therefore we lack the self respect that we need to change our ways. Dive even deeper into the root of the problem and we may also discover that our underlying fear is that we are not even lovable. The reality, however, is that we all created from the love of the Divine and that we are all lovable. I’ve said it before that the most important journey that we can ever take is to go inward to discover the love that is in our hearts and in our souls. It is there that we will find our power and develop a deeper love and appreciation for ourselves that no one can take away
When You Have Love, You Have Hope
You may only have one shot at life and your days on this planet are numbered. Don’t live your life stuck in a pattern of making the same mistakes over and over again. Your negative thoughts do not have to become self fulfilling prophecies. You have the power to break free and become the author of your life. Do not settle for the crumbs under the table. Face your vulnerability and learn to love and accept yourself. When you have love, you have hope. Love is within you. It is your superpower. Unleash your potential, change your life and live a Total Soulful Journey.
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