Aug. 26, 2011, Perfectionism: a New and Old Perspective

Recently we have begun to focus on how to change specific behavior patterns. Today’s subject is perfectionism.  You might be expecting another of the many articles on the subject that tell you what you already know:  perfectionism is both a mistake and a psychological disorder.  As it is impossible to be perfect, you have learned […]

Aug. 19, 2011: Procrastination

Previously we have looking at how troublesome patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior can be changed.  Today we begin to survey specific habits, starting with procrastination. The key to understanding procrastination is understanding the relationship between the level of stress and the level of performance.  When it comes to stress, performance rides along an inverted-U […]

Aug. 12, 2011: Six Pattern-Breakers

This week’s post shows how to apply last week’s pattern-interruption strategy with six specific pattern-breakers.  As I mentioned last week, the key will be that the pattern-breaker is incompatible with the old  pattern. A pattern is like a filter.  It keeps out thoughts and behaviors that do not fit it.  Thus,  a pianist who also […]

Aug. 5, 2011: Pattern Interruption Strategies

[Previously, we have explored awareness of old, rigid responses and the importance of new alternatives. ] I  have already explained  that new alternatives can be chained right onto old stress responses.  This is the most reliable way to have these new responses available when we need them.  A further way to strengthen our abilities to […]

July 22, 2011: Somewhere to Grow

[Previously:  We have been exploring and developing awareness as the first stage in changing our patterns and our lives.] Changing old patterns and breaking old habits is not enough.  We have to have somewhere better to go, that is, we have to have some  new way to grow. Otherwise, even with the best pattern-breaking skills, […]

July 15, 2011: The key awareness for unlocking rigid patterns

[Previously, we have been developing awareness as an important step to changing the old, rigid patterns that arise, especially during stress] Today, I want to disclose a surprising key to unlocking these old patterns.  We actually had a hint to this, when I described old patterns as old skills. The purpose of most skills is […]

July 8, 2011: How to know when you are stuck in a rigid, outdated response pattern

[previously: we have been exploring awareness as a first  step in interrupting the old patterns that come up during  stress] The most crucial form of awareness necessary to break the hold of a rigid pattern is to know that one is in its grip.  People often make the same mistakes every time they are stressed […]

July 1, 2011: The worst thing you can say about yourself

[Previously:  I identified how to perform an “instant analysis” of unwanted patterns of thought, actions, and feelings] Rigid patterns vary, but the reaction to them is the same, at least in people  who are honest with themselves.   People feel stuck within the same repetitive responses as always, the ones that seldom help the situation. During […]

June 24, 2011: Instant Analysis

[Previously: We have been considering  the power of awareness, in contrast to guilt or blame, as a first step in changing very old and automatic responses.  Today we will begin to see how to apply such awareness.] People often feel troubled by repetitive behavior that seems irrational in themselves.  From arguments that repeat, to self-doubts […]

June 17, 2011: Can we even break old, rigid patterns from childhood?

(Previously: Our subject the past few weeks has been those rigid, automatic patterns of thought and response that come up during stress.  Last week, I suggested that we can change many of them if we practice linking new options directly onto the old ones.   This is refreshingly effective, but it may not help us with […]