6 Patterns That Derail Success and Happiness

life-begins-at-the-end-of-your-comfort-zoneLast year, I leapt out of my comfort zone and launched a 4-month, virtual group program into the world. The program didn’t even have a name at the time, but nonetheless I began reaching out to women in my circle who I thought might be interested.

Have I mentioned that it’s super uncomfortable for me to show up without my Is dotted and Ts crossed?!

I’m so glad I gave myself permission to walk through that discomfort! I’ve just finished the second iteration of the Bold Move Coaching Program (yes, it now has a name), and I could never have imagined how much I’d love this incarnation of my work.

However, there was an alternate path sitting in front of me. I could have gotten stuck in a well-worn pattern of getting ready to be ready, making absolutely sure every one of those Is was dotted and every single T was crossed … and the program would still be languishing on my I’d-love-to-do-this list.

It wasn’t an automatic choice. As soon as I reached the point where I knew it was time to pick a date for the pilot and start the enrollment process, my inner critic (who often goes by the names of Fear and Worry) started in on me.

Inner Critic: You can’t put this out there! The details aren’t all nailed down!
Me: But I can’t work out the details without doing the pilot.
Inner Critic: But what if you’ve missed something important? That would be horrible!!!
Me: I’m quite sure I’ve missed something since I’ve never done this before. I’ll just fix it during the pilot.
Inner Critic: What?!! You’re going to jump into this knowing you’ve missed something? OMG, YOU CAN’T DO THAT!! What if you screw it up? What will everyone think?
Me: Well, if it blows up, which it probably won’t, it won’t feel great. But it’ll feel much worse to not even try.
Inner critic (in her snarky voice): Okay, just don’t blame me when …

You get the picture :-).

My inner critic was doing her darndest to keep me safely ensconced in my comfort zone by tapping into the pattern she knew I was most susceptible to: getting ready to be ready.

Happily, this time I took a deep breath and gave myself permission to step over the edge of my comfort zone – even though that’s the path of most resistance.

Even when they’re keeping us from going for what we want, comfort zones are comfortable places to be.

And we all have at least one pattern that will keep us stuck in our comfort zone, if we aren’t careful.

Are you thinking about a bold professional move? Here are the six common patterns most likely to flare up!

  1. Getting ready to get ready. This pattern has two flavors: “dot every I and cross every T” or “get everything else on my plate taken care of first.”
  2. All or nothing.  “I can’t get started until I can do it all at once.”
  3. Dabbling … dipping a toe into the water and quickly pulling it back out.
  4. Overthinking. You invest a lot of mental energy thinking about taking action instead of investing the energy to actually take action and go after what you want.
  5. Getting stuck in overwhelm. Exactly what it sounds like.
  6. “As soon as I have more time” syndrome. Sure, there are times when it doesn’t make sense to add something else to your plate. But if you’re frequently waiting to go after what you want until you have more time versus taking small, steady steps forward, that’s a pattern.

Which is your default pattern(s)? And what bold move is it holding you back from?

It’s absolutely within your power to change your pattern as long as you’re willing to give yourself permission to make a different choice. It will be uncomfortable, but it’s worth it – because you deserve success and happiness!

“You can choose discomfort or you can choose regret.” ~ Brene Brown

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