A decision to create a life pattern may happen early in life or it may come at another time of unprocessed stress. Whenever it occurs, the decision made at that point in time becomes an answer that is practiced in the world and relationships. Often, it is processed as it happens without complete information or knowledge.

As a result, the person practices the decision as if it were real when it may be fragmented or impractical. Practice produces behaviors that support the decision and keep it in place, Despite information that could produce a much healthier outcome, the pattern continues to activate and the person expects it to manage their stress (up or down). A pattern simply negotiates stress at the time it is created. The outcome can be healthy or unhealhy.