Hey Hey! It’s a new year, and I’m so happy you are here. Today, we are discussing how we easily become stuck, self-sabotage, and fall into the familiar.
Have you ever wondered why you keep going back to what is familiar? On the show, we discuss why we always go towards what is familiar and how to create habits to change and deepen our emotional maps.
Terra Mattson is a licensed marriage and family therapist and licensed professional counselor who has practiced for nearly two decades and oversees a team of 20 clinicians.
Terra’s first book, Courageous: Being Daughters Rooted in Grace, reminds us that the transformation of our relationships, communities, and culture begins with God’s work in our own lives. Her second book, Shrinking the Integrity Gap: Between What Leaders Preach and Live, calls readers to discover how real leadership is a way of being and how it’s sustained over the long haul.
Let’s dive in.
Terra teaches us that both from a neurological perspective, encompassing emotions and our brain’s preferences, and the concept that every human being desires peace and comfort, we are always moving towards an equilibrium state. So, in life, we tend to gravitate towards what feels familiar and what we grew up with, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
Our challenge then is learning what that is and deciding if it’s healthy. Is it serving me, God, and my relationships? But nonetheless, we are always going to draw to what is familiar in all of our relationships, including friendships, marriage, church, work environment, etc.
Terra explains that we need to recognize that the patterns frustrating us in our own marriages or friendships often serve as a cue for unresolved patterns within ourselves. She uses the example of her own marriage.
Early on in her marriage, she would get really frustrated with her husband because he would say what he thought directly. And he would ask for what he needed directly, which seemed to come easy for him, but she still felt unheard. She was unable to say what she needed and wanted. Terra would then pin it on him as if it was his issue.
She came to the realization that what was happening in her body when she spent time with that pattern was that she hadn’t really practiced in previous relationships, vocalizing what she wanted and needed. And having someone meet those needs with joy. It was a familiarity or a pattern from her childhood that needed to be changed. Luckily, her husband was on board to work on it.
This is how familiarity can keep women stuck.
“So whatever we do in life, we tend to be drawn towards what is familiar and what we grew up with intentionally or unintentionally. Part of the challenge is learning what that is, deciding if that is really healthy, and how to slowly start to make some shifts.”
“No matter how healthy we are or how aware we are we still can be in a fallen world around toxic people.”
“Anything that is unfamiliar is uncomfortable for a time.”
“Part of learning and growing in maturity is being able to trust your own discernment.”
“We do not change by knowledge alone. The way God made it, we change by new experiences over and over and over.”
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