Why Breaking the Cycle matters

Our brains are created and wired to find patterns, store them, and reference them.

This allows for great efficiency and is an intelligent design as the brain uses on average 20% of the body’s energy produced, yet only accounts for about 2% of the body’s mass. Brains need a lot of gas, so it uses the oldest part of the brain to store and retrieve the majority of its information.

95% of what we do (in general) is fed by the patterns we’ve stored – subconsciously. For the first 7 years or so, there is no filter and our brain builds out many pathways and patterns with no resistance. We continue to create patterns and some of the ways we talk about this everyday is referring to these as “experience”, “trauma”, “my childhood”, “habits”, etc. No matter how we speak about it, we can leverage all of this to our advantage to grow consciously.

Queue the Pattern Interrupt 💗

I didn’t have a name for this delicious tool prior to reaping its benefits.

It began 20+ years ago in the corporate world of high tech. We were developing a new paradigm of support for our largest customers – proactive (and later predictive) support. It wasn’t being done on the level and scale we were contemplating and we had an aggressive deadline to get it fleshed out and determine resources –  A big undertaking.

First thing I asked for – the go-ahead for gathering the stakeholders in one location, away from any main office, and certainly not at HQ (headquarters).

The first reaction was pushback, it wasn’t a normal request. I expected it and my response was, “I get it, we’re looking to do something we haven’t done before. It’s necessary to be undistracted by old ideas, and get in a room with one purpose and one focus.”

The trip got approved. We met for a few days without distraction. The result was a 9-figure, line of business and loyal, happy, customers with both raised expectations of their vendors, and raised satisfaction.

Quote from Carri Richard that to raise the bar, first step back

What I didn’t know at the time is this was a Pattern Interrupt and this nifty tool allowed us to really think out of the box.

Stepping back, breaking the cycle, and interrupting the day-to-day pattern, can be like time travel. It’s quick moving, full of energetic brainstorming with ideas arising like popcorn in an environment with defined purpose, and free from distractions. This is clear-seeing – and it’s tough to do in a noisy world.


Stepping back

We accomplished in 3 days what would have taken months with all of us juggling our ‘day jobs’. I’ve come to know with many more of these sessions, we’d also have been hard-pressed to have gotten that far out of the box – to that level of imagination.

Based on these results, I continued to ask for, and be given a budget to gather mindshare with focus, away from the noise for brainstorming, ideation, and innovation.

So yes, we’re not all trying to build 9-figure businesses and if you’ve read this far you may be asking, “what’s in it for me? Why is this important?” It’s is the difference between a fixed and growth mindset. It’s the difference between stuck and thriving. This is what can break the cycle.

What is Pattern Interrupt and why is it important?

Pattern Interruption is utilizing the function of our brain to open up possibilities, opportunities, perspectives, and inspiration that we may not otherwise see/feel/receive. It’s a catalyst for growth. Keep reading to learn more about this fabulous tool, what it can do, what it looks like, and where it is available to you.

In some eastern traditions a “beginner’s mind” is referenced and encouraged. In the west, we speak of an “open mind”. Pattern Interruption is how you do it. 

95% of what we do daily (in general) is fed by our patterns. Many say our subconscious. That means only 5% of what we’re doing is new, the result of a decision, stepping out of our comfort zone to name a few.

Growth happens in that 5%.

Pattern interruption, breaking the cycle, conscious intention is the space for the transformation of:

  • Ideas
  • Perspectives
  • Businesses
  • Relationships
  • Opportunities
  • Attitudes
  • Etc.

Symptoms that indicate you may need a pattern interrupt:

  • Burned out
  • Want to run or quit
  • Can’t find an answer (or just keep ruminating on the same problem)
  • “I’ve had enough”
  • Want to make a change, and don’t know where to start
  • Or already know the power of this tool and just pro-actively schedule these into your calendar (I recommend at least 2 times per year – a major pattern interrupt!)

breaking the cycle with Mindset on a note pad with a desk and a plant

I’m always a proponent of a retreat. This can be one day, a week, or more. What is common for a retreat is:

  • Dedicated time
  • Dedicated location
  • Clear, intentional purpose for the retreat

It’s not always realistic to hop on a plane for a week-long retreat after reading this. And not necessary either, you can practice this and reap the benefits right now in your own life.

Practical Ways to Implement Pattern Interruption

I want to share with you some ways to leverage this tool today, right now. The best tools are portable and this one can ALWAYS be in your back pocket.

  1. When you find yourself spinning, beating your head against a wall, not seeing the answer – please… pause.
    • In high-tech I did a lot of onsite troubleshooting at large corporations. I dealt in data and there was always pressure to get it fixed NOW. There were times when staying in front of the terminal/monitor/hardware was literally getting me nowhere, so I’d excuse myself, step away and this is where 80% of my aha’s would come.
  2. Shower time.  I’ve heard quite a few people use this phrase over the last years and well this stuff works. It’s often a natural pattern interrupt, an environment change, the relaxation of water, and focus on – well, what you do in a shower! I encourage you to just stay present here and you may find this is a great area for new ideas and downloads!
  3. Adjust your gaze. If you’re one who’s behind a computer screen, please please try this. In our modern world our “natural” gaze is stunted by being within an office, a building, and especially stunted when looking at a screen right in front of us. This exercise will reduce stress of your eyes as well as your nervous system. At least 1 time per hour and best every 20 minutes…gaze out the window or somewhere about 20 feet away.  Relax your eyes, just let them rest. This will refresh your systems and is easy to practice.
  4. Clear your slate, regularly. Sometimes it’s not just stepping back, it is also choosing what comes in. First 60 and last 60 minutes of the day – no outside media / electronics. 
  5. Meditation. There are countless studies and evidence that shows this is a game-changer to brain heath, mental well-being, creativity, healing, and is a root practice of a pattern interrupt. tm.org offers a view into meditation and a lot of support around it’s usefulness. (there are many ways to meditate, this is just one)
  6. Be aware of opportunity. Now you can’t “unknow” about pattern interrupts. I encourage you to see the opportunity to practice, and do so.

***And finally, any change we introduce can be met with resistance, remember our brains love a good pattern. So to this end, if you don’t have immediate relief, and may have the opposite response (I’ve had clients let me know they wanted to punch me in the face in the midst of slowing down 🙂 ), please stay the course. We speak to our brains with repetition and it takes time.***

The Impact of Pattern Interruption on Professional and Personal Growth

Retreats and VIP days are the thing I love to do all day everyday – Create a space, fill it with conscious intention and the results are amazing:

I’ve witnessed new careers, new wildly successful businesses, new service creations, legacy building, ideas born that change lives. And each of them started with a step-back, and intentional pause … and curiosity.

Practice this today. Clear your desk, get outside, take a deep breath (or a few), get off the subject that may be worrying you, go to the library to get that work done, sit at a coffee shop to think, change it up – break the cycle – with purpose and intention.

I’d love to hear what your favorite activities are that can create an interrupt for you. Remember one small shift consistently and consciously is what fuels transformation! 

Would you like to explore how this applies directly to you and define next steps in becoming a ninja at utilizing this tool?  Contact me here and I’ll be happy to support you!

Much love,