Steps to Finally Breaking the Cycle of Making the Same Old Mistakes

Personal Development

Do you constantly make poor business decisions?

Are you always caught up in the same pattern of passionate then painful relationships?

Do you frequently slip back to your old habits after working hard to overcome them?

Even the strongest and most intelligent people have an equal chance of making the same mistakes over and over again in spite of knowing that the consequences will be similar to past consequences. Why does this happen and how do you end the pattern of recurring mistakes?

The Child vs. Adult Brain

The Child Brain has a lot to do with why people fall into a pattern of making the same old mistakes. Unlike the Child Brain, the Adult Brain is capable of contextual analysis thereby identifying the consequences of actions with retrospect and introspect. The Child Brain on the other hand is controlled by feelings and is only able to see the world through the prism of these feelings. In effect, habits of instant gratification, impulsiveness, violence and manipulation arise from an overly predominant Child Brain.

Adults, in spite of having a more complex brain, can revert to using the Child Brain especially in times of emotional stress or excitement. As a result, it is common for someone who is on a diet to feed on a whole bowl of potato chips when they are under stress before thinking about the reversal effect this would have on their healthy eating progress. It is also the reason why some adults resort to violence, pouting or manipulation when they do not have their way before thinking of the negative consequences these acts may have.

Another reason why we tend to revert to the mistakes of the past is that these actions are familiar. Familiarity creates safety and it is simply the best way we know how to deal with the world. As you might imagine, letting go of familiarity and the safety it breeds takes a lot of awareness and confidence.

So, how you do you go about breaking the cycle?

Become aware of your action patterns

Sometimes, it takes 50 repeated mistakes to come to the realization that you are trapped in a cycle. But, you can stop the cycle of pain and disappointment by becoming aware of the pattern your life is taking. Awareness simply allows you to make better decisions and to develop the capacity for contextual analysis before taking any action. In other words, awareness allows you to learn from your past.

Make peace with the past

A common yet often unconscious reason why people repeat mistakes is the need to amend the past. For example, say you made a poor investment choice two years ago and you agonized a lot over the consequences. It is possible that you will choose to put your money in the same investment channel in the hope that you will be successful at it and in turn correct your mistake.

Stop overrating failure

In all likelihood, you have heard that for you to make a good decision, you need to make a series of poor decisions. Admittedly, many successful people have made numerous mistakes before they found their path to success. However, it is important that to realize the need to make insightful decisions and to fully anticipate the consequences to avoid too many costly mistakes. For example, constantly entering into relationships with people you know are unfit for you with the hope of changing these people only results in more pain than it brings you closer to someone who is a good match.

Defending against past mistakes

 Eliminating a bad habit presupposes that you will replace it with a good one. After identifying the mistake that you make repeatedly, a reasonable next step is to adopt a new action plan. Replacing your past actions with new ones sets you on a path of breaking free from a past that is not serving your best interests. For example, if playing casino games has resulted into financial instability, a good way to end the pattern of using family savings to play these games is to perhaps find a new hobby that replaces the gambling.

Stop Making The Same Mistakes

A primary trigger for making the same mistakes over and over again is stress or emotional excitement. Although belief systems and our relationship with the past also play a big role in decision-making, the ability to become aware of your life’s pattern is ultimately the greatest determinant of whether you can break free from these unhelpful patterns.

1 Comment

  1. The overrating failure one is huge! I see many well-meaning but poorly intended idioms out there, stressing how you should double and triple your failure rate. Really? You mean, people are looking to fail? Crazy. Where your attention goes, grows, so if you’re looking to fail many times over, you’ll just be a failure your whole life, LOL! On the flip side if you give your attention to succeeding and hold a clear intent most of the time you’ll find that success loves you.

    I enjoyed succeeding much more than failing, and part of my success in paradise happened when Kelli helped me address my Underdog Syndrome. I felt a compulsive need to fail, then, to work harder, then to fail, and work harder, and it wasn’t until I broke this cycle by being in love with winning and in love with being free, and, seeing myself as deserving of wonderful things, that my blog and brand took off. I became aware of my syndrome, and fell less in love with failing, and more in love with succeeding and naturally, success found me with greater ease.

    I also love catching myself with short, frequent breaks throughout the day. I just took a 2 hour break actually here on a Sunday…not in paradise, unless New Jersey qualifies, LOL! But anyway, as I’m here to visit fam for the holidays, I need to keep aligned, and in line with my good habits that I develop in paradise, because I’m always extra vigilant when I return home, and tend to fall out of my routine a bit with a bunch more time spent with friends and fam. They mean well, but I need to watch out for their habits to rub off on me….at least their low energy ones that I feel vulnerable to, lol!

    Andrew, awesome points. Thanks for sharing!


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