Breaking the Loop

wednesdays with wayne May 22, 2019

A gentleman just asked me something.  Actually, I asked him something first.  He’s a super creative guy who is pretty grounded.  And my question to him was, “what is your biggest challenge right now?”

What he came out with surprised me.  He was so thoughtful. He scrunched up his face, looked sideways, looked up, looked down.  He was searching.

And then he said, “I think it’s breaking the loops.”  

I wanted to understand more, so I inquired further.  And as he explained, I knew this would have to be a Wednesdays With Wayne blog post for you because we all have our “loops.”

He noted that he really endeavors to be mindful.  And yet… And yet there are times that he gets so focused in and so close to the thing that’s in front of him that when it doesn’t go smoothly, he gets into a cycle of telling himself things and not seeing any other potential outcomes.

How do smart people get lost?

They focus in and, instead of pulling back for greater perspective, they focus further in.

My recommendations were simple, hard to do in the moment, but simple:

  • Recognize triggers for being sucked into your particular loops.  Do your shoulders or jaw muscles get tight? Do you say something particular to yourself?



  • Interrupt the pattern


    • Stand up
    • Smile
    • Look up
    • Splash cold water on yourself
    • Ask, “what would Captain Kirk do?”
    • Ask, “what would Captain Ahab do?”
      • Remember that you’re after a different perspective and an interruption of the loop you got yourself into
    • Turn on another light
    • Take off one shoe

Hey, these are ideas and the DO work.  You might think they’re a little bizarre and, well, that’s the point.  To interrupt patterns go for the absurd.

I’m a big fan of the absurd.
I’m a big fan of curiosity.
And I’m a big fan of monkeys.  

Mix that together and you get a grown man who carries a stuffed Curious George monkey around.  What’s with the monkey? Well, when I have a “loops” issue, I ask George for his perspective. Immediately, I’m smiling because it’s so absurd as to be funny.  And, George reminds me to Stay Curious.

Once the loops are broken, you can get back to mindfulness.  Get back to the focus that you intended. Was that focus your project, your partner, your team member, or something else.

Breathe a sigh of “well that was something.”  Recognize that you had a little break from your path, and get back into it.

You break loops by doing something different, far outside of the loop itself.
Then you choose to enter back into your focus area deliberately.

And that, my friends, makes you more productive and enhances your relationships.  And because of an expanded perspective, it allows you to feel more fulfilled.

Try that.

Enjoy that.

See you here next week, loop-less!

Keep making your magic!

~ Dr P ~


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