Have you ever noticed that some patterns in your life are haunting you over and over again? Do you know the feeling of repeatedly struggling with the same problems no matter in which area of your life, especially while you encounter a challenge such as a new job or relationship? You might be wondering why some inner block is standing in your way of acting differently in certain situations. Here is why:

Every thought and belief we have as human beings is connected to an emotion which ultimately determines how we act in life. All these actions summed up, create our unique reality. Think of your mind as being programmed by your experiences, parents, friends, culture, and religion. Finding a pattern in your life simply means that you’ve once made a decision based on your experience on how the world must be, which is now influencing how you choose to act without even being conscious about it.

Having a belief that robs you of the full experience of life, holds you back and even manipulates how you act is incredibly stressful and draining. No matter what you do, that one feeling just doesn’t seem to go away. If we want to change how we act and feel we need to literally rewire our mind, erase the belief that holds us back and replace it with a new one that’s empowering.

Here are five steps to dissolve an old pattern that actually work:

1. What is your pattern?
Get a pen and paper and write down which exact pattern you want to dissolve and let go of. Where does it currently hold you back in your life and in what situations did it show up in the past? Get clear on what exact feeling you’re experiencing.

2. Where do you feel it in your body?
After you know how it reflects and shows up in your life start examining the feeling itself. This part is incredibly interesting. Usually, we tend to turn away from unpleasant feelings and try to make ourselves feel better at any cost. With this exercise, you do the exact opposite.
Where can you feel it in your body? Is the feeling located in your chest, throat, stomach or head? Become curious about how it behaves when you put a spotlight on it. Close your eyes and observe what color and texture this feeling has, which temperature and characteristics. Is it brown, purple, hot or cold, rough or smooth? Again, get really specific and write down your answers.
On a scale from 1-10, how strong do you experience the feeling and what do you have to think to make it stronger? Sit with the painful emotion for about 3 minutes. Try to make it stronger and stronger. This part is essential. You now give the emotion what it has always wanted. Your attention. You’re asking for it.

3. When did you feel this particular emotion the first time?
When was the first time that you’ve experienced this specific feeling? Which situation comes to mind? Write down what exactly happened. Most likely you’ve been very young and can’t remember every detail. Either way, try to be as specific as you can. Sit with the feeling and situation and just be. Don’t try to push it away. Simply observe.

4. What does it want from you?
You now know in what moment your belief was created, when your thoughts became emotionally charged. You’ve been carrying this with you ever since.
Continue to be present with the uncomfortable feeling and try to visualize how you disconnect it from your body and put it in front of you as if it was something tangible. Continue “cleaning” your body from the feeling until you feel light again. You now look at your emotion from an objective point of view and that’s exactly what we need to do in order to transform it.
Go ahead and ask what it needs from you. Does it want you to hold it, touch it, make it feel safe? Play with your imagination and start making peace. See how the colors, texture, and form changes.

5. Let go
Visualize that you put the emotion back to where it was located in your body. Remind yourself that you’ll take care of it whenever it needs your attention.

I had clients quit therapy over this tool because it actually transforms deeply rooted fears, takes away their power over your decisions. Many times we resist fully experiencing our bad emotions and don’t let them get to us, which is convenient in the short run but builds up resistance and tension in the long run. With this tool, you literally relieve the situation.

Do you have a pattern that you just can’t seem to shake off? Have you been having fears or anxiety in a certain area of your life that stand in your way when you want to move forward and make decisions? Let us know in the comments how you can relate.