Kaleidoscope 3/40: Same Action, Different Outcome

Kaleidoscope 3/40: Same Action, Different Outcome
How DALL-E imagines an 'interrupting kaleidoscope' -- not sure I see that one so much!

Maybe you've heard the definition of insanity often attributed to Einstein (although no one knows if he actually said it!):

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again
and expecting different results.

If that's insanity, you need to count me in. I'd gander we'd need to count us all in.

Because we all have things that we fall back on: coping mechanisms, habits, things that worked for us in the past... Which is why, especially when it comes to big things, we need to ask ourselves:

Is this a pattern or an exception?

Let me share a story from a few years back.

I was coaching a woman who poured her heart into redesigning her website. But, just when it was time to launch, she decided to pivot her business, making all that effort go to waste.

It was a smart, difficult pivot and my heart went out to her. We worked together to tweak her existing site, trying to salvage what we could from the situation.

As a coach, I was incredibly supportive and helped her justify the decision.

A few months later, when she was on the verge of launching her first self-published book and – you guessed it – she wanted to make another last-minute pivot.

This time to convert her book into a course, which she believed would be more profitable. She was almost absolutely correct. I had coached her to pursue a course over a book — it was the better strategy. But this time, my response to her desire to pivot took a turn and had nothing to do with her strategy.

When she tried to make the second pivot, I saw it for what it was: a destructive pattern, not an exception.

I gently pointed out that what she was proposing wasn't about the book or the course or the profitability. (She disagreed, naturally.)

So we dug into her past — what else had she 'almost launched'? There was a vast graveyard of projects. It was hard to acknowledge.

As we talked, she started to see and own her tendency to pivot at the 95% completion mark, a pattern that hindered her from actually getting her ideas into the world.

Together, we dug in to see what we could do to address the issue behind this pattern — a real fear of putting herself out there, especially around money — which you would not have guessed based on her bubbly personality and 200,000+ email list!

But most of all, this experience taught me a valuable lesson because I have a similar pattern too.

I actually started a 'Good Question' project two years ago. And got it to 80%... and... launched it TWO YEARS LATER. oops

It is SO much easier to see other people's patterns than it is our own.

And because patterns are things that we fall back on and things that will likely continue until we intentionally interrupt them, we should all strive to be very aware of what they are.

Identifying patterns is the first step to being able to make a conscious choice about how you respond.

Just as with my client, identifying patterns will give you an opportunity to to interrupt the insanity... and you can find a way that the same action can lead to a radically different outcome.

Until tomorrow,