Searching for Patterns

Overflow Weekly

Issue # 054
| 03/17/2024

I love patterns! People love patterns. Humans are fascinated with finding patterns in the world around them. It’s a thing. So much so that they have a word to describe it. This innate tendency to seek out patterns and impose order on the world around us is called “patternicity.”

Last week, I asked the question, “What if I told you there are patterns to your behavior?”

Far too often, we get used to operating in a certain way, and when we try to make changes, it seems like too much. We go about trying to change external behaviors, hoping we can quit doing something or start behaving in a certain way. We might experience some initial success, but eventually, we crash and burn.

Over the last few weeks, we have focused on identifying the negative patterns so we can face them and ultimately get to the root of our behaviors. Debra Fileta says that thoughts lead to feelings, which lead to behaviors.

I’ve been challenging people in the Overflow Community to search for patterns in their negative thoughts. I never stopped to think just how difficult this process would be until I did it. The last few weeks and this process were a lot! I want to take a moment to acknowledge that.

If you took the time to work through this exercise over the last week or two, bravo! 👏 Well done! 🙌 Great job doing the hard work! If you haven’t, there’s never been a better time to begin the work.

Now that you have done a little reflecting on your negative thoughts, who knows, you might have identified a few patterns.

So, what are your next steps?

  1. Spend some time in prayer, asking God for help in recognizing your default negative patterns. Ask God to replacing them with God’s truth – whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy.
  2. Write out the top five negative thoughts or themes that seem to come up again and again. On the other side, write out something true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy to replace the negative default thinking with positive truthful thinking.
  3. Read the positive list out loud five times, focusing on each one as you read. Repeat this activity on a weekly or daily basis, as needed, until you notice your negative thinking begin to shift and change. Spend some time in prayer asking God to help identify patterns.

With intentionality and effort applied over time, we can change our thoughts.

If you or someone you care about are experiencing depression or anxiety, please know you don’t have to face them alone.

Check out the Overflow Community by tapping “Join the Overflow Community “. 👇

Last updated on: 03/19/2024
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