5 Ways to Break Generational Patterns & Create A New Legacy

5 Ways to Break Generational Patterns & Create A New Legacy
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Generational patterns are personality traits that are inherited from parent to child. This can also span to education and career choices. Although some are positive, patterns can also be negative, which may result in toxic relationships and habits. 

There is a silver lining: Negative generational patterns CAN BE BROKEN! However, it will not happen overnight. Here are 5 things that you can do to break those patterns and create your NEW legacy: 

1. Become Self-Aware of Destructive Patterns

As you grow and develop in life, you begin to recognize patterns in your family that cause discourse or conflict. These patterns can range from communication to conflict resolution and parenting. Yes, these patterns are your “norm,” but there is a little voice in your head telling you “That’s not right.” At this point, you cannot sit and do nothing, you must intervene...but how?

2. Ask About your Family History

Every pattern has an origin. Start by asking your parents or closest relatives how they inherited these patterns. Take note of how they justified the continued use of these patterns. Many times, the reason is “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” Sure, those patterns may have produced positive results, but at what cost mentally and emotionally? Weighing out the pros and cons of each pattern will help you to determine if the pattern is worth continuing in the future.

3. Take Accountability

Once you can identify the negative generational patterns, it’s time to do some self-evaluation. What have you done in your life that has contributed to the continuation of the generational patterns? Maybe you were unable to recognize the negative patterns at the time, or you recognized them and ignored it. Taking accountability within yourself must happen before giving accountability to others. Even though the negative pattern did not start with you, it can stop with you.

4. Work to Break the Pattern

Change is not easy. Typically, it can take at least 30 days (about 4 and a half weeks) before your new pattern is established. Consistency is key. Here are some steps to breaking negative generational patterns:

  • Recognize the negative pattern - Identify patterns that need to change
  • Address the pattern - State why there is a need for change
  • Create a positive pattern – Determine an alternative pattern that can counter the negative pattern
  • Reenforce change – Practice utilizing the new pattern consistently through modeling and positive reinforcement

5.  Seek Professional Help if Needed

Changing patterns in your family includes changing patterns within yourself. The goal of breaking generational patterns may provoke thoughts and feelings that you may not have had before. This may be too much for you to process alone. Seeking help from a professional gives you an additional means of support as you progress in your goal of positive change. 

Being the first to achieve something can bring a lot of challenges. Just remember, it is not a race, it is a marathon! The reward of your hard work will show in the healthy, positive family dynamics that YOU create. Let’s build a new legacy! Learn more about my approach to counseling here at Lifeologie Counseling Shreveport, or request an appointment to start exploring your generational patterns and improving your own mental health.

About Britney Page

Britney Page, LMFT, earnd a Master's in Psychology specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy from Our Lady of the Lake University – Houston. She is currently earning her PhD specializing in children and adolescent therapy from National University (formally Northcentral University). She is also being trained in trauma-based therapy and Gottman Couples Therapy. She use a s strengths-based narrative and collaborative approach to her practice, and sees children, couples and families at Lifeologie Counseling Shreveport.

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