Many clients come to life coaching hoping to break a painful, restrictive cycle in their lives. The context is varied, from relationships to career to personal habits, but the problem is often the same. They are stuck on a repeat cycle that says something like: “I always attract people into my life who are unavailable…I can’t ever seem to find a job where I am valued…I am such a procrastinator, I never finish tasks on time…”  Notice the key words never and always.

We put yourselves into a sort of prison when we view life habitually through the lens of past pain rather than present opportunity. Take a moment right now and hold your hand up in front of your face with your fingers spread open. How does life look through this barrier? Limited, right? This is how we approach our lives when we allow the experiences of the past to dominate our perspective on the present.

Photo by Petras Gagilas, shared via Flickr

Photo by Petras Gagilas, shared via Flickr

It is a natural and human way of operating, so before you start to self-criticize, take a deep breath and recognize that we are all in this together.

What is the cure? First, we recognize what we are doing to ourselves. Then, we offer ourselves compassion for the pain and limitation we are experiencing. And, that gives us the opportunity to chose a wider, more expansive view, one that is firmly anchored in present reality.

Wake up and see life unfolding in front of you. I promise, you are not on repeat.