Repeat or retreat – Break the cycle

Retreat or repeat means you can “repeat” the behaviors you display today and keep the cycle going. You can keep repeating the same mistakes time and time again that you learned as a kid, or you can repeat your behavior as an adult. Or as an update to this post, you can take accountability to your actions, recognize and then stop the behavior in your own life, and you in effect “retreat” from the pattern and break the cycle. While for the purpose of this website, we will once again try to keep it financial oriented (in particular the cycle of poverty), the concept really applies to many things in life, whether poverty, discrimination, anger, substance abuse, lying, and more. Some examples of repeating are as follows.

  • -You can be repeat the cycle of poverty you see in your family or the poverty you saw around where you grew up.
  • -You can repeat the same mistakes of not taking accountability for your actions, blaming others, and not changing.
  • -Repeat the cycle of substance abuse, such as alcohol or drugs, which often leads to poverty and a life of financial hardship.
  • -Personality traits such as anger or aggression that is learned from parents, verbal or physical violence.
  • -Set low goals for yourself around career, financial success, and educational achievements.
  • -Lack of motivation to get a job, earn an income, and be self-sufficient / try to end poverty.
  • -Keep the same prejudices, racism and discrimination against minorities, women, the poor, or the vulnerable.
  • -Child abuse, whether physical or sexual.
  • -Do not get an education, whether a GED or college degree, as maybe the older adults in your family do not get one.

Psychologists, including an article from Steven Stosny, state that people tend to retreat to habits of emotions that are often formed in their toddlerhood. Other therapists say people refuse to take accountability for their actions and blame others for their failings around employment, anger, and their “place in life”.

This is why people repeating the bad behaviors (lack of motivation to work out of poverty, anger, lack education, abuse, etc.) is so common and hard to break. It can be challenging for people to retreat from those patterns they learned as a kid, or to be self-aware as an adult. Most people, especially when under stress as Mr Stosny indicates, go back and act to how they were raised.

As we have said before, we do not employ or have therapists or psychologists on staff at needhelppayingbills, so this is our own thoughts on the issue, incorporates some items we read on websites or learned from professionals (such as therapists) and from our experiences. There are also case management services from community action agencies which can help break the cycle of poverty, and maybe free medical care/therapy from community clinics.

We think that half the battle in almost anything in life is becoming aware there is an issue. It is hard for people to be self-reflective, but it is critical for this to be done to stop repeating a cycle. After all, you can’t change what you are not aware of.

If you see or recall when growing up your parents were sitting on the couch everyday and not working, or not giving effort to get a better higher paying job, that is not a good example for someone who wants to break a cycle of being a low income family. If your family was abusing alcohol or had anger issues (like money) you need to be aware of this.

Taking ownership is also critical to retreating from some behavior. You need to admit there is a problem and admit you need help, and then go get it. If your parents were not stressing school, which can lead to a better education and financial future, and if you do not have a great education now, don’t just blame them. Take ownership, and get help. Go to school, get an education, take a deep breath to calm yourself before expressing anger, and take the steps (which may be hard) to “retreat” for the cycle of being uneducated. Find assistance in any way possible, whether it is free medical care from a therapist, case manager from a job center for employment matters, or whatever, finding help is very beneficial.

Take responsibility and ownership, whether it is around your anger, employment, overspending, anger, drug abuse, poverty, or whatever. Get help, observe others, and be patient. Talk to a professional. People need to stop blaming others. But taking ownership will help you retreat from the cycle. To many people lack accountability and blame their problems, whether anger, lack of education or motivation, and more on others, including their parents. Taking ownership and showing accountability is critical as well.

Patient and practice may be the next step. So many people speak or act before thinking….they lack self-control. We think when people are aware, thoughtful and take ownership, and go and get help, then be patient with the process. Practice, be mindful of the challenge every day, and be committed. The act you are trying to retreat from needs to be on the forefront of your mind every day.

Along with practice, you also need to make changes in your life. If your parents abused alcohol, and maybe your friends are a group that drinks, then maybe you need new friends. If your parents were lazy and did not work and lived off government financial assistance, be aware of this and act. Get a job, do not repeat the cycle of welfare, and retreat from that lifestyle. If your parents were racists or hateful, try to recognize that in then and be kind to others. Take a deep breath when under stress, and consider your actions before acting.

While poverty, underemployment, substance abuse and other challenges are very complicated, we think the cycles can be broken. If they are committed every single day, people can stop the negative they may have learned from childhood and “retreat” from that stage of their life. If they are thoughful to how they act at work or around others, instead of being hot headed, this can improve their financial status in life.

And while the solution is complicated to these issues, and there is not generally one answer, and the pattern is not easy to break, we think it is critical for people to make a conscious decision everyday to not repeat the patterns. But of course this means they were aware of them and admitted there was a problem/took ownership. But people have it in them to retreat from the behaviors, and do what it takes to be successful.

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