Yup. I’m going to do that. I will have it done by next week.
Next week comes around and it’s not done.
I just had a breakdown in my commitment.
Ok, I’ll double down. I’ll have it done by tomorrow.
Tomorrow comes around and its done!
Maybe. Unless putting things off and missing deadlines and then pulling through under the gun is a pattern.
If the breakdown is a one-off, no big deal.
But if it is a pattern, you may need a breakthrough.
Here’s how. Ask yourself, what is familiar about this?
For example, I used to be in the habit of quitting jobs when I felt upset. Many times, my employer would hire me back once I cooled off. But it was just a matter of time before I would get upset again and quit.
If I get upset with a friend and want to cut him out of my life, that seems kind of familiar. I get upset. I quit. Hmmm.
Once you discover what is familiar about your breakdown, ask yourself what is predictable if nothing changes? What comes next?
For example, I get upset and want to quit the friendship. What’s predictable is that I will ignore my friend’s attempts to communicate and I will talk about him behind his back. If I must interact with him, I will act like everything is okay. But I will continue to avoid him.
Now you see that the way you deal with your upset is to blame something or someone. You avoid responsibility and feel resentful and misunderstood. You recognize the pattern. What do you want to do about it?
For example, I go to my friend and admit that I don’t know how to deal with being upset so I do all I can to avoid getting more upset. That includes blaming and avoiding him. I apologize and commit to finding ways to deal with my extreme emotions. I make an appointment with a coach or a therapist and start doing my work.
Taking these steps won’t guarantee a breakthrough. But if you don’t take these steps, expect to repeat your breakdowns and the cycles they are a part of.
Step 1. Acknowledge your breakdown.
Step 2. Notice what is familiar about the breakdown.
Step 3. Based on what is familiar, ask yourself what is predictable if nothing changes.
Step 4. Ask yourself what you will commit to doing about it.
Step 5. Break the pattern to access a breakthrough.