Alliance of Moms Co-founder Jules Leyser and Jenna discuss how to identify and change patterns in your life that are no longer serving you. We then walk trough a few common patterns such as shifting from a fixed to a growth mindset, managing stress through mindfulness, and learning not to take things personally. We also chat about how to apologize purely and become more forgiving.
How To Change The Behavior That Holds You Back
When I read her quote, “Learn from your past, don’t repeat it,” I knew Jules Leyser was going to share meaningful advice on how we can stimulate our personal growth to become the people we want to be. What I couldn’t have predicted though, was just how approachable and attainable Jules would make change feel. She even makes the often daunting process of breaking old habits seem inviting.
Jules has had an incredible journey so far, from being an advertising executive to an actress, writer, poker instructor, and now Co-founder of the non-profit Alliance of Moms’, whose mission is to break the intergenerational cycle of babies being born to teens in foster care. Her insights have remained top of mind since our conversation and I’m very grateful to share a few here that were particularly eye-opening. You can learn all about her inspiring path and more of the lessons she shared in our podcast.
Change your mental programming
The ability to identify patterns in your life that aren’t serving you, but may not be obvious because they’re comfortable, is the insight I’ve been reflecting on most since our podcast. Having the courage to be introspective and ask — “Are there distinct similarities between the things that keep tripping me up?” — can help you identify and stop recurring problems from being a theme in your life.
Whether they stem from something deeply personal, like a traumatic experience, or are simply a bad habit, like not getting enough sleep, these patterns are often deeply ingrained in us. And, as a result, difficult to confront and break.
It’s worth reflecting on the patterns in your own life and determining if any aren’t serving you. If you identify one, Jules recommends asking:
- Where did it come from? (Is it an innate trait or something that’s been modeled by or picked up from others? Was it born out of a past experience or lasting need?)
- Why am I doing it?
- How is or isn’t it serving me?
Awareness is always the first step to change and “allows you to become mindful of when the pattern arises in your life,” she says. “Now, when you notice it, you’ll start thinking: 'A-ha! I see this, I know how it turns out and it’s not fruitful.’ Slowly, your awareness changes your experience.”
Jules’ refreshing honesty about change as an ongoing process, rather than an overnight transformation, is what makes her approach genuinely empowering. She added: “The process of gaining the awareness of a negative pattern, experiencing it with that knowing, and then realizing what changes can be made is a recipe for all of us to mature in life. You have to go through that process of realization and then journey with it in order to change your future.”
I admired Jules for bringing up the power of owning our actions and actively apologizing when they don’t match our intentions, even if it means apologizing often. The openness to apologize, in itself, is an important step towards becoming more conscious of how our behavior influences those around us. However, it was Jules perspective on how to best apologize that really stayed with me…
“Don’t apologize and explain…You end up justifying why you think you were right in the moment, which leaves people carrying the burden of why you’re apologizing…That’s your burden.”
When it comes to relieving that burden, she adds: “Apologizing isn’t just a gift you give to somebody you’ve wronged. It also relieves you of the burden you carry knowing that you never resolved it. Over the course of your life, those burdens can really weigh you down.”
Create a daily happiness barometer
Jules believes that “happiness is the ultimate success.” And, while many of us subscribe to a similar ideal, it can occasionally feel abstract which is why I was appreciative to learn about the “daily happiness barometer” she relies on to stay accountable to it. I’ve included an excerpt describing it below and hope you may find similar peace in creating your own.
“The success piece of happiness is very temporary…There has to be more to live for than just pining for trophies.
I try to focus on a daily base level of happiness, which when I get to it, is the ultimate banner of success. For me, that daily barometer is about not being too stressed, spending time with great people, learning and having enriching conversations, experiencing culture, and being present, especially with my son.
My default mode is to always be slightly fast forwarding to the next thing. But, happiness is the here and now…Being in one of those daily moments, acknowledging that it’s one of the best for me, and enjoying it for what it is…That’s what I think happiness is supposed to feel like.”