Expecting the Pattern to Repeat Develops Continued Repetitions


Leadership coaching Michael Cardus

   Since expectations help determine the nature of subsequent events, it seems clear that the behavior will change when the expectation changes.

   When a goal is defined, the expectation of a different, more satisfactory future starts to develop and behavior changes in the present become possible. The future is made salient to the present; thus, the goal and the consequences of its achievement can “determine” or shape what happens next. Therefore the question, “How are you going to know when the problem is solved?” is crucial to the development of a successful solution.

  • (Steve de Shazer; Keys to Solution Brief Therapy. 1985)


Defining the goal and creating an expectation of achievement that is tangible and concrete “How are you going to know when the problem is solved?” moves the loop.

By expecting that actions will repeat you find repetition in behavior and these continue to build upon themselves into an Inward Spiraling Doom Loop.

The challenge is to determine when this Doom Loop is broken how will you know? What physically will be different? How will your interactions be different? What financial gains will be in your bank? How will your treat your employees? your boss? your loved ones? What will the mornings be like? How will you sleep? etc…

Once you create a goal in a solution statement and the future is made salient to the present that breaks the Doom Loop.


1. Determine the problem

2. Define the goal

3. Explain in detail How you will know when the problem is solved?

4. Look for interactions and behaviors that align with #3 and take notice of the environment, the situation, who you are with, the time of day, all the physical factors.

5. Repeat.


It is time to STOP BEING A VICTIM and time to reverse the Inward Spiraling Doom Loop into an Outward Success Spin.


michael cardus is create-learning

image by by Lenny Montana