We all have our favorite poisons, patterns we fall into that prevent us from being our best selves and making our best contributions. They’re ruts that we get stuck in. Once we name the pattern, the next step to getting out of the rut is to diagnose the pattern’s root cause. 

Maybe your pattern is you talk too much in meetings, or that you don’t talk enough. Maybe you tend to fly off the handle or quietly simmer when things get sporty on your team. 

When we slow down enough to ask ourselves why we do those things, we often notice something curious. Our behavior is linked to a story we tell ourselves about something we really, really want – or really, really don’t want. If you talk too much in meetings, the story may be, “I really want to be noticed and valued around here, so I need to get some attention.” If you talk too little, your story may be, “I don’t want to be embarrassed or targeted, so I’m going to keep my trap shut.”

As you go through The Grind, pay attention to the connection between your patterns, the stories you tell yourself, and what you really want. Since many days will feel the same, you’ll get multiple looks at the same patterns until you start to really understand. And understanding is the beginning of change.

Be bright