Many of us are at a crossroads of some kind, ready for change but unsure what comes next. Consciously creating the next phase is something we all need to do at some point. How do we do that? A recent study from Harvard suggested that 90 percent of our day is spent on autopilot; our thoughts, words, actions and behavioral patterns are done automatically. Before you decide to suddenly become someone you are not, it is best to realize who you are right now. This type of self-examination can help you make better decisions further down the new path you choose. If things are good but not great, you may be settling. So it may not be long before your inner voice starts challenging you to reach for more. Instead of letting your subconscious patterns make the choices for you, take that power back.

Choice is our greatest power, more powerful than love. For instance, you choose if you love conditionally or unconditionally. How would you honestly answer if asked how you choose to love? It will tell you a lot about yourself and whether or not you are “fit enough” to take yourself into a new phase. Maybe you need to do more self-examination before proceeding.

Do you filter?

We all filter; but the sooner you are aware of it, the sooner you can improve your relationships with yourself first and foremost, and then those around you. Filtering is a classic subconscious pattern, and one that can keep you in the cycle of pain and pleasure. You are doing one of two things when engaging others. You are either listening, which is being present, or hearing, which is just waiting to talk and, in this case, filtering. The second keeps you stuck and missing big opportunities to transform a key area of your life.

The differences in engaging can cause stress and communication gaps in relationships. For example, you may come home one day and excitedly tell your spouse about an action you are going to take. S/he could turn to you stating that they have been telling you that for years, but you only acted when you heard it from someone else. It might be helpful to become a better listener more often.

These may be indicative of some of your struggles that you are not aware of. Before you can consciously create the second phase of your life, investigate where and who you are now. It may help to work with a guide, coach or mentor to efficiently get answers now rather than spending time learning by trial and error. The latter may eventually end up costing you more than coaching due to lost time, money and missed opportunities.

What pattern controls you?

Recognizing your patterns and changing them is bringing them from your subconscious to conscious.

What would happen if you simply cut out the bad habits, stopped indulging in limited thinking, and ceased believing the negative thoughts floating in your mind? When you do, you will be happier, evolving as effectively as possible by learning about yourself and your environment rather than changing to improve it. You will have more freedom with less anxiety and stress. Having more control in your life and not simply reacting to whatever comes up will enable you to become your own coach at your own speed.

Tom Scally is an intuitive life and stress coach. He has worked with hundreds of clients, facilitated workshops and presented seminars. His mission is to help unlock your hidden talents and abilities so you can live a life by design and not default. Connect at and