Here’s a fun game to play.
It’s called the ‘what reward do I get’ game.
It’s a personal favourite of mine, a great process I use to own my shit.
I’ve messed with so many of my unconscious patterns - and their payoffs - by doing this.
First: Select a target
Pick something you dislike that you do. You know, something you do over and over and you wonder why you keep doing it but somehow you just can’t help yourself.
Like procrastinating, handing your power over, getting together with people who do X, being reactive…
You get the picture.
Second: find the reward
Now ask yourself: “so what do I get out of doing this?”
And it’s probably not “feeling shit”. There’s a payoff. A reason you’re doing it. Go deeper.
It could be a type of pleasure you get. It could be you’ve been conditioned to feeling something.
- Example: you’ve felt disempowered your whole life, and you’re just getting back to your comfort zone.
- Example: You love feeling overwhelmed as it gives you an ‘out’ on taking responsibility for your situation.
- Example: You procrastinate as it helps you to avoid taking risks (which you may want to do but are terrified of doing).
I could give plenty more examples (I do this quite a bit with my clients)
Third: Get Honest
What ever it is, if you can find your payoff, spend some time being really honest with yourself.
“Yes, I do “X” so I can get reward “Y”.
Once here, you’ve got options. Because you’ve been honest.
As one of my hero’s Dan Sullivan says, “All change starts with telling the truth”.
So what do you do then? I don’t have a simple easy process for that. My encouragement would be rather than leaping into changing anything, sit with the honesty for a while.
Sometimes simply that is enough to mess with the pattern.
Would love to hear how you go.