by Ella Miller

We are always learning in life, and experience is one of the greatest teachers. As we navigate our daily lives, sometimes we make decisions that have fruitful results and move our lives forward in ways that feel good. We usually view these instances as successes.

Other times, we make decisions that prove to be not in our best interest, harmful, or leave us saddened or regretful. We typically view these instances as mistakes.

Although people often attach negative thoughts and feelings to the word “mistake,” believe it or not, mistakes DO have benefits. They can teach us what not to do next time, how to pivot, adapt or react differently, or how to start all over again with a clean slate.

If you’re able to see the lesson, you’re able to grow, change and can make different (or keener) decisions in the future.

However, if you don’t take away the lesson, then similar situations will arise again and again, and you will keep falling into the same trap or pattern. You will keep making the same mistakes and wondering why these same scenarios keep happening. This can lead to personal frustration.

Do any of these instances sound familiar?...

• You keep taking a specific type of job and repeatedly find yourself unhappy and unfulfilled.

• You keep dating the same type of person and you keep feeling unappreciated.

• You keep letting your guard down and people keep taking advantage of your kindness.

• You keep having the same frustrating arguments with people about the same topics.

• You keep hanging out with the same type of people and they keep bringing you down or holding you back instead of adding joy to your life.

If the same kinds of situations keep appearing in your life, it’s most likely because you haven’t learned your lesson yet. You will keeping getting the same outcomes until you learn the lesson then work to stop the cycle.

There’s a wonderful saying by Albert Einstein, debatably one of the greatest minds of all time: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

SO, HOW DO YOU STOP THE CYCLE? Stopping the cycle comes from the following action steps:

Step 1: Identifying the issues that keep repeating and keep holding you back or brining you down; this requires healthy self-reflection and may take some time to think about as you “peel back the layers” relating to what you keep doing and why. Step 2:

Taking responsibility and coming to peace with how your personal choices added to the end result that made you unhappy; doing this will help your “own” your decisions and, more importantyl, own your power to change the game and create fresh, more satisfying, and even joyful decisions/outcomes. Step 3: Committing to making new and different choices to get you new and different results as you move ahead in life. Remember: in order to get a different result, you must do something different.

DURING THE PROCESS, ASK YOURSELF A FEW KEY QUESTIONS Here are questions to ask yourself that will help guide you in doing something different:

a. What is it that you REALLY want? Take the time you need to make sure you are doing what YOU want and not what others want or expect you to do.

b. Is the result you want coming from a place of positivity and what you would consider “responsible”? (positivity = doing something for reasons such as self-love, to heal your mind and body, to help others, to create a better life for yourself, etc. as opposed to coming from a place negativity = doing something due to spite, jealousy, anger or retaliation)

c. Can you envision yourself living out that new option? How does it feel when you visualize yourself in that new state of being? Does it bring you happiness?

d. What actions or behaviors can you change to get you to the result(s) you really want? This isn’t about dwelling in the past and feeling regretful for what’s already happened. This is about looking forward and setting a clear path as to what you can/will do in the future to avoid the same pattern from repeating.

Although it’s natural to “get stuck” sometimes and have specific scenarios adversely playing out over and over in a similar way, know that it doesn’t have to be that way. With deeper self-awareness, you can harness your inner strength and decision-making ability to break old patterns and make exciting new strides that take your life in promising directions. I hope you find these empowering tips

helpful in doing so!

Another way to make positive strides in life is to Give Up Grudges that have been holding you back from realizing true inner happiness. Read more now.