Recognizing Negative Life Patterns

treeoflife negative rounded corners

We all have certain patterns that show up for us over and over again during our life spans. Recognizing and exploring these patterns can teach us a lot about ourselves and our lives.

Personally, exploring patterns has reminded me that to learn and grow all we have to do is look within. Patterns teach us something about ourselves, our lives, our path.

Let’s get right to it!

The 6 Main Negative Life Patterns

  • Negative Emotional Patterns: anger, sadness, anxiety/depression, worry, jealousy, fear, impatience, etc.
  • Negative Physical Patterns: chronic or periodic illness, injuries, pain, women’s cycle issues, etc.
  • Negative Mental Patterns: negative self-talk, self-sabotage, mental self-abuse, etc.
  • Negative Spiritual Patterns: feeling unworthy, resisting growth, ego-over-spirit, subconscious blockages/past-life issues resurfacing/karmic patterns that need to be worked out, etc. (these can be harder to recognize)
  • Negative Relationship Patterns: abuse, emotional or physical disconnection, co-dependency, etc.
  • Negative Holding Patterns: holding on to the past, clinging to a certain damaging view, closing your mind-body-spirit off, etc.

These show up for us not because we are powerless to change them, but because we are ready and capable to make the shift.

They show up to bring something to our attention that needs to be addressed, changed, shifted, and/or cleared in this life.

Most often, the change we have to make is a fundamental one in how we think, act, feel, or respond to a situation or circumstance. Changing our own behavior and outlook to overcome these limiting behaviors so that we can move on into our better selves can feel like an impossible, mountainous feat.

Until we prove ourselves otherwise.

So, what helps us overcome these stubborn ways of being? The faith in ourselves that we can do it, we can find a better way, we can become a better people. You are ready!

Some Well-Lived Personal Examples

Just for fun, why not?

Emotional: I have experienced the pattern of Anxiety and Depression on and off in my lifetime. I learned that I can choose my emotions, I can have control over them.

Physical: Years of Yo-Yo Dieting fits the bill here! I learned about the importance of self-care and self-love, that I have worth.

Mental: The negative self-talk of comparing myself as not good enough, and trying to push myself too hard and “prove” myself. I learned about not worrying about what others think, about being authentic and truly being myself. That what I have to offer is good enough.

Spiritual: Patterns of shrinking from my purpose, of getting in my own way and closing off from my path because of fear. I learned to not ignore the signs I receive from the Universe. To trust my expansion.

Relationships: I have lived many negative relational patterns including all forms of abuse. What I learned was, by loving and supporting myself first I can have loving, supportive, and fulfilling relationships with others.

Holding: For me, this shows up most as holding onto thoughts and feelings, encounters, and emotions. This could be as recent as just from the past day. I have learned to release as much as I can, to forgive myself, to turn fear into love and look at the best possible in myself, others, and in the situations that present themselves. This is my most difficult work.

I can only describe the sudden lightness of spirit when overcoming these patterns as freedom. Freedom that runs deep, right to the Soul.

Steps to Shifting These Patterns

Doing the transformational work of non-judgment and non-blaming, being easy on ourselves for the little steps we make in the right direction, revealing the patience within and trust it takes for personal growth, and cultivating the strength that comes with vulnerability, is truly Soul work.

The work that can take as little as 30 seconds, or as long as 30 lifetimes.

It starts with you!

Here are some steps we can intentionally take to help with this process (it could take only one or all nine):

  • Recognize – Choose to see the signs.
  • Acknowledge – Acknowledge the patterns that are showing up to be shifted.
  • Inquiry – Ask yourself the hard questions and listen to the answers that come.
  • Willingness – Affirm “I am ready and willing to shift these patterns and grow into my best self!”
  • Perseverance – Doing this work for as long as it takes, through the ups and downs.
  • Self-Love and Compassion – Cheering yourself on rather that beating yourself up.
  • Release – Permission to let go.
  • Imagination and Expansion: Stepping into and creating a new way of being.
  • Change – The prize: Transformation!

As old and new patterns continue to show up, we learn a little bit more about ourselves and step into our highest selves and closer to the lives we were meant to live. This work helps us on our path and with our lives purpose… and just may be part of the reason we are here in this lifetime.

Where are negative life patterns showing up in your life? Are you ready to make the shift? Let me know and share below!


Beautiful post, Brandy. I especially appreciated your personal examples and willingness to share your own journey. Big hugs to you and gratitude for your insight and tips on how to process our negative patterns.

by Minette on March 25, 2015 at 11:17 am. Reply #

I find that awareness and acknowledgement are HUGE in shifting patterns. I used to judge emotions like anger. Now I love my anger for it is signal that something needs to change. I know now I have the power to change myself.

by Lisa on March 25, 2015 at 12:12 pm. Reply #

Thank you for such a powerful post. I really like how you put it all together to show the cumulative effect that negativity can have in one’s life. Well done!

by sheila callaham on March 25, 2015 at 2:13 pm. Reply #

Beautiful post Brandy! Self-honesty, self-awareness, and self-acceptance are the path that I followed to clear my life patterns. I love it when I am able to use the hard won experiences of this life time to shine the diamond and live from an open and compassionate heart space. Thanks x

by Jacqueline Conroy on March 26, 2015 at 5:10 am. Reply #

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