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Curiosity is one way out of Stuckness

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Are you stuck in a rut of a self-fulfilling prophecy?

One of the top complaints I hear from people who come into my office is “I’m stuck.” What they are saying without realizing it is that they’re stuck in repeating scenes with repetitive themes in their lives, either with the same or different people, over and over again. For instance, when we experience pain, we judge the pain and ourselves in relationship to the pain. We say things like, I was abandoned because I’m not good enough. I got rejected or betrayed because I’m not perfect. I don’t trust, so I’m not surprised when I get betrayed again.

We create our belief systems so quickly we don’t even realize what we’ve done. It happens so fast we don’t realize we’re judging ourselves in the moment. We just notice we don’t like ourselves or maybe we hate ourselves and cannot tolerate being with ourselves. Every time we experience pain, we judge it and support the belief system we unconsciously interpreted as a child.

That’s because we are stuck in a rut of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Fear keeps motivating certain actions where we end up acting out our own fear to ourselves. Curious how you might be doing this? If you’re afraid of being abandoned, look at where and when you abandon yourself. Afraid of rejection? Where do you reject yourself? Where do you betray yourself to show up for another, trying really hard to not get betrayed by the other? These can be a very painful patterns you keep reliving.

If you would like to start exploring your self-fulfilling prophecies, you can start by noticing some of your belief systems by finishing sentences such as “_______ always happens to me. People are_______. Life is ______…”  Notice when you speak in absolutes. Whether to yourself or when you speak to others. Notice your judgment about life, yourself, and others. Are you always the victim of situations? Do you keep finding yourself to be named as the villain? Are others always wrong, or bad? Are things always unfair? The more you find your answers to these questions, the more you know your belief systems. You get to understand your perspective on life better. When I repeat back some of the absolutes people say to me, they’re often very surprised at how strongly they believe in a perspective they weren’t aware of. The more you know you, the more chances to explore what you want to do with you. If you are able to identify the box you look at life through, then you can decide what you like about the box, how it serves you, how it doesn’t serve you and any changes you might want to make, now you can because you know what you are working with.

A way I have found to start breaking through this type of rut is through curiosity. By being curious to what is. By being curious about yourself and your reactions, you create the possibility for something different. Just the possibility already means you’re coming outside that rut. Stay curious to yourself. Notice your habits and expectations.

Stay curious to how your habits and expectations support your rut. You might notice how they serve you and how they don’t. The more you notice, the more choice you have. It is the most exciting thing to realize you have choices. You may not always like your choices. And you’re still not stuck anymore. There are ways out.

Because it’s outside of what you have known, you can be scared of these options. It takes time to get used to the idea of change. The thought is great and simple and, your perception gets threatened by it so much that you may perceive it as a dangerous threat. It takes a lot of curiosity and noticing to build that courage at first to take a different step.

If you need support to begin this journey of change, reach out. It is possible and scary and wonderful to explore a world outside of our rut. Do you dare? Or are you comfortable in your rut? Nothing wrong with staying put. Notice and be honest with yourself with what you want. That’s all that matters.

by Defne Dinler, LPC

Photo by Jimmy Larkin on Unsplash