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Is It Time To Break Your Pattern?


When I was training in the martial arts several years ago, I was asked to help out with black belt candidates who were having trouble running three miles in under 24 minutes. It was often the last and most frustrating hurdle for many, the only thing keeping them from achieving their goal of becoming a black belt. What was even more frustrating for some was that they were stuck while working really hard at their running. Unfortunately, they were stuck in a pattern of running the same distance and same speed over and over again, getting the same unsatisfactory results.

The solution involved getting them to break up their training program routine by introducing speed work and interval training. These new training techniques involve running at specifically faster rates of speed over shorter distances, with defined resting intervals between repetitions. These workouts improve speed by increasing heart rate capacity and muscle memory to teach the body what it’s like to run faster.

What patterns are you in that may be limiting your performance? It could be your negative self-talk of “I’m not good enough, smart enough, or strategic enough.” Or it could be that in most of your interactions, you show up the same way, rarely if ever varying your approach. Maybe you’re consistently calm, nervous, quiet, rigid, flexible, or overbearing. These patterns make you predictable, less interesting, and sometimes ineffective.

Consider showing a different side of yourself today, if you tend to be more fierce, try kindness; if you tend to be more kind, try being fierce. If you usually have all the answers, try “not knowing” and instead let others share their solutions without judgement and criticism.

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