When we talk about the cycles in relationship to ourselves, we will often say things like, “I”m stuck in a rut.” We limit the scope of what we see to the negative, to the victim mentality. In the process, by focusing on the negativity, we also ensure that the cycle will continue and we will go through the same thing again.
We can change our repetitive cycles by changing our thought processes, actions and viewpoint. The first step is to recognize what we are doing. We have to actively acknowledge the repetitive negative thought process. Once we have done that, then we can move forward and begin to replace the negative thought with a positive one. In my experience, my process goes something like this: “Oh! There’s that negative ‘stuck in a rut’ thought again. Ok, (take a deep breath) Opportunity. That’s a good word. This is an opportunity to find something positive in the situation. Opportunity to learn. I’m learning something new.”
From the moment I catch the negative thought, the entire process becomes something new. It literally is a moment of new learning for me. As I continue the practice of actively changing my thoughts, over time, the practice becomes more passive. That doesn’t mean that I don’t stop watching my thoughts. I know that the old patterns and ways of thinking are still ingrained deep within my memory patterns and can resurface anytime.
I also set goals for myself. When I was first trying to do this, I would set goals like complimenting at least one person a day to help me stop judging people. I try and smile at people so that I can not be grouchy. I ask people how they are doing so that I don’t relapse into complaining. These are little steps. But it’s these little steps that can change the entire focus of your world and pull you out of your rut.