Good intentions? 4 patterns that thwart them

When you work on your personal development, there are always good and bad moments. You have days when it all seems to come naturally, but on the other hand, unconsciously things creep in that are counterproductive to your intended growth. That’s okay! It even fits. It can become a problem if it becomes a pattern or a habit. Stay alert to those things and regularly reflect on whether there are certain things that are a harbinger of decay: it’s time for a do-it-yourself APK.

Are you doing those things you want to do?

Edwin Vreedeveld discusses in his book I matter (affiliate) 4 questions:

  1. Am I doing the things I want?
  2. Why do I do the things I do?
  3. What do I have to do to make adjustments?
  4. How am I going to keep that up in practice?

I found the first question confronting, because I notice that I often ‘just do’ things. Because they come my way, because it suits me, because I don’t know what else to do and so on.

Vreedeveld explains that it is best to start by determining what is right for you important values to be. What would you like to experience more in your life? Once you’ve mapped that out, you translate those values ​​into physical symbols. What is concrete then, what do you do on a daily basis, what do you see around you, so that you can say that you experience values ​​formulated by you?

How am I going to keep that up in practice?

He takes you through all the questions and he does that as a coach, so on the basis of practical examples. I like that it doesn’t stop with the theory, that makes his story believable. But while I was reading the book, a question quickly arose: how do I keep up with this? I have already thought of (and worked out) dozens of times what really makes me happy and what needs to be done differently to do that. Do you recognize that? In the delusion of the day, unfortunately, a lot disappears. Fortunately, Vreedeveld also devotes enough space to the question ‘How am I going to maintain that (the change) in practice?’


One of his advice is to regularly assess your own situation: the do-it-yourself APK. He describes 4 patterns that may indicate decay and with which you can determine whether and when you have unconsciously ended up in a certain recurring pattern that does not help to develop important things for you.

Pattern 1: Limiting thoughts away from your (new) plans

This pattern is often a harbinger of becoming lax in taking action or staying on track for things we set out to do. It’s actually a creative kind of justification for leaving things behind. Or even not complete at all. It can always happen that there are other priorities, but be honest with yourself if this happens too often and regularly. Think about thoughts and behaviors such as:

  • I need so much already
  • I can’t and enough has gone wrong lately
  • I don’t want anything
  • Now is a bad time because…
  • Mainly working on things that are not relevant to your development (and that can secretly be left behind)

But also downplaying the existing problems in your life, wondering whether it was really such a problem is part of this pattern:

  • Others are worse off
  • Others need me now
  • I shouldn’t complain, it’s not that bad actually…
  • It will blow over again

Pattern 2: Looking for things outside of yourself to feel good

These are activities or moments that you often look up and that distract you from your plans, just to feel good for a while. Also quick fix mentioned:

  • Being busy with too many different things and then still looking for extra activities (I really don’t recognize myself in this…)
  • Fear of missing out: mainly focus on fun things, friends or work
  • Making unnecessary expenses
  • Focus on quick results
  • Being alone is difficult and creates unrest

Pattern 3: Insufficient experience that you mainly live for yourself

Here you are no longer sufficiently connected with your daily activities. You have insufficient awareness of why you do the things you do:

  • Unrest, always having to do something or looking for something you don’t know exactly what it is
  • Daily activities have mainly become isolated goals with no relevance to higher goals
  • Difficult to enjoy the little things around you
  • Own desires and dreams are rarely reflected in daily practice

Pattern 4: Making others responsible for your own happiness

This pattern involves other people who influence how you feel and thus help determine your peace of mind:

  • Getting stuck in your own bad luck or bad luck of others
  • Especially looking at what others are not doing well
  • Allow yourself to be swept up in the negativity of others
  • Looking for the culprits of your problems

Learn to better fulfill your own agreements

Keeping an eye on whether you identify yourself sufficiently with things that matter to you and structurally help you further is a form of proactive maintenance that you can perform. You can do that by regularly reviewing the above four patterns. You will see that certain things come back more often, which you can then map out better. This makes it easy to manage yourself and to fulfill the agreements you have made with yourself. You will experience that you can trust yourself in realizing your own desires, because you know what your instructions for use are. That way you keep those plans in practice.

Of course that is very black and white, but if I speak for myself: I go on and on and take little time for reflection. It doesn’t hurt to consciously plan some time for an APK. Am I still doing the things that really matter to me? And if not, why not? Are there valid reasons or am I letting things slip?

Recognize your own destructive patterns and sharpen yourself again. And maybe I should be prepared: when I take my car to the garage for the annual MOT, there is always more to be done than I thought. It just might be the case with me as well. How about you?

I Matter Cover.About the book ‘I Matter’

Despite the fact that I completely agree with Vreedeveld’s story, I had to get into it. The book jumps a bit off the top of the head at times, but that lessened as I progressed. Right away side note: I would have liked the font to be a bit bigger, just like the line spacing.

Vredeveld puts you in I matter (affiliate) thinking, especially because of the questions that you can work out after each chapter in the book. Highly recommended for anyone who needs a change in their life, but doesn’t quite know how.

Source: Frankwatching by

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