What's the Payoff?


When we start noticing more about ourselves, and strengthening that authentic voice inside us, we start to become aware of a special type of pattern.These patterns don't follow the typical: "awareness of pattern + understanding of pattern's genesis = ability to move past pattern" formula.They're like those gel toys kids used to have, designed to slip through your fingers as soon as you feel like you have a firm grasp.With these patterns, the formula goes more like: "awareness of pattern + understanding of pattern = pattern carries on regardless".One of my big patterns that falls into this category is money.Me and money: it's complicated.This is still a work in progress, so I'm not ready to go into details. A few weeks ago, I reached a point of ultimate frustration. I knew about some of my underlying beliefs that affect my comfort levels around earning money and having money. I was more than aware of how this was affecting me, yet that final part of the formula wasn't fitting into place. The issue still felt hazy: as soon as I felt I had a grasp of it, away it fell again.As part of my process, I've been working through a wonderful book called Overcoming Underearning by Barbara Stanny (highly recommended). At one point, she asks a question that changed the way I thought about my relationship with money, and is still changing it:

What's the payoff?

What is my payoff for underearning? What are the hidden benefits for me?And that made me thing: even when we identify the pattern, and we understand the pattern's genesis, we can miss out a crucial part of the pattern:

What's the payoff?

For me and underearning, lots of things. In summary: emotionally, it feels a lot more comfortable, it fits messages I internalised in the past, and it's familiar.And that made me realise: there's a lot to be said for comfort and familiarity. No wonder this pattern feels so difficult to rewrite.Going beyond what's comfortable and familiar requires we step into a place that is uncomfortable, and unfamiliar.It requires us to sit with that discomfort, with no guarantee or indication that it's going to let up in the future.So if you're struggling with a pattern. If the awareness and understanding are there, yet the issue still seems ungraspable, turn it around, and look at the positives. Ask yourself:

What's the payoff?

What's the payoff for procrastinating?What's the payoff for overeating?What's the payoff for this addiction?What's the payoff for this resistance?What's the payoff for this inaction?

What benefits do I get from this pattern?

The answer could give you a new awareness about yourself and your history you wouldn't have otherwise had.I'd love to hear how this resonates for you and your patterns. Leave a comment and let me know.