The Butterfly Effect and Our Problems

· March 16, 2018

Problems, problems, problems… who doesn’t have them? It’s normal to find yourself in problematic situations at some point in your life, although that doesn’t mean we know how to solve them. Because the truth is that we don’t learn from all of our experiences.

Speaking of problems, it’s not uncommon to get carried away by the vicious cycles that we ourselves may start. In fact, our problems are so heavily influenced by our patterns of behavior that the latter ensures the survival of the former. It is frustrating. From a systemic point of view, that’s how they turn into systems of behaviors and meanings that feed on each other.

In other words, when a problem flaps its wings like a butterfly, it influences many of our behaviors, relationships and thoughts. You could say that the problems end up directing behavior. Without realizing it, we get caught in a vicious cycle. The butterfly effect.

When a problem flaps its wings, the earthquake shakes our lives.

The butterfly effect lifting a woman up.


How can we break that “butterfly effect” of our problems?

To break this butterfly effect or vicious circle, we must try to halt the related sequence of behaviors. The idea is to trade them for alternatives that bring us closer to a good solution to the problem. At the very least, the idea is to stop the cycle.

This means that if we usually solve a problem the same way all the time, changing our strategy can help us come up with a different, better solution. But what seems so simple is actually very complicated. Keep in mind that we are creatures of habit. Therefore changing our way of acting, breaking the butterfly effect we’ve set off, is not easy.

Man is the only animal that is able to trip twice on the same stone, as if the stone itself is the cause of all his problems.

In order to change this association of behaviors, systemic psychology offers us two ways:

  • Redefine some element of the sequence of the problem or change the whole sequence. The point is to see what’s happening and become aware of the vicious cycle of behaviors that feed the problem. An example: instead of reading into something said in an argument, you ask the person what they mean.
  • Do some action that modifies some of the sequences of behaviors involved. The intention is for us to interfere with the problem instead of the other way around. For example, you could add an element to the problem’s sequence. If you have problems with alcohol, putting on gloves when you go to drink alters the cycle of behavior.
Butterflies being released.

Realize your freedom

Maybe these solutions seem too simple to have significant results, but the truth is that altering the automated sequence of our problems is very effective. When we become aware of what we do instead of being carried away by situations, we can see more clearly.

We are in charge of our behavior if we are aware of what we do and why we do it at all times. Otherwise our problems will flap their wings and we will feel the butterfly effect in our lives.

So, if you want to feel free to try to find effective solutions, changing what you usually do, even just a tiny bit, will help. Because you don’t want to go through life without having lived it. You don’t want to let yourself be led by circumstances, but instead take control and make small changes. These changes will make the butterfly effect not be earthquakes and disaster but rather beautiful opportunities.