Why the lesson you struggle with will repeat itself until you learn from it


Kevin Mangelschots

Ever wondered why the same experiences keep happening to us, even though we desperately want those occurrences to stop happening?

It’s because life keeps giving us the same lesson, until we decide to learn our teaching, that is. Unconsciously, we often keep repeating the same mistakes and actions that allow these same situations to keep happening over, and over again.

That’s why we need to learn to actively change our beliefs, habits, and behavior to prevent these same circumstances from occurring once more.

Let me explain why the lesson you struggle with will repeat itself until you learn from it.

An illustration of two white arrows making a circle, hinting at a vicious circle.

In life, your situation will keep repeating itself until you learn your lesson. That’s almost always the case, although we rarely realize this.

Sure, perhaps it’s not the same situation or circumstances. But chances are large that you are stuck in that situation because you continue to repeat the same mistakes, and thus refuse to learn your lesson.

Thus, we can conclude that life keeps repeating the same life lessons because:

  1. We haven’t fully learned the life lesson yet
  2. We’ve forgotten the life lesson
  3. We haven’t fully internalized and integrated that life lesson into our lives

We have not yet fully learned the required life lesson

Image of the words “learn more” written with white and red scrabble blocks.

Let’s say that you’re too afraid and insecure, and as a result, refuse to stand up for yourself. This might lead to issues at work, where your boss and coworkers keep piling up work on top of your shoulders instead of fairly dividing the work. In all likelihood, they most likely would fairly divide the work if only you had the required courage to stand up for yourself.

You might rationalize your inability to stand up for yourself as, ‘Well it only impacts my work situation’, or, ‘It was just this one time’. Yet, the concern in all likelihood doesn’t stop there. Since you refuse to learn the lesson that you desperately need to learn to protect yourself, which is being assertive and defending yourself, you’ll keep making the same mistakes in other aspects of your life as well.

Your relationship with your spouse might get ruined because of your inability to engage in the much-needed conflict to resolve annoyances, which leads to much larger obstacles over time. It might also cause you to refuse to put your own needs and desires first from time to time, which might make you resentful, or deeply unhappy.

And no, simply changing partners won’t change the issue at play here. Because you’ll keep meeting the same person in different bodies until you learn the lesson.

Perhaps you’re the laughingstock in your social circle, since nobody actually respects you since you’re unwilling, and/or perhaps unable to stand up for yourself. There’s nothing virtuous about not standing up for yourself. It means you’re simply nice to others since you don’t know anything else, or can’t act in another manner. It means you’re stuck in that mode of living that serves as your defense mechanism, albeit a detrimental one in the long run.

Being kind to others would only be virtuous if we possess the capacity to be bad and rude. It means we have other options available if needed, but actively decide not to since we’ve decided that being kind and respectful to others is morally superior to pushing ourselves on others to get our way.

We’ve forgotten the life lesson

Lessons Learned statement on paper note pad. Office desk with electronic devices and computer, wood table from above, concept image for blog title or header image. Aged vintage color look.

While most of us are probably ecstatic when we’ve finally learned that harsh lesson that caused us a lot of pain and suffering, we humans are quick to forget those very same teachings when times are good. It turns out that pain, and even just the fear of pain, are excellent motivators to learn new things!

Tough times create strong men, but likewise, easy times create weak men indeed. And when times are too good, then we often forget to value what we have and have learned in the process.

Not just that, we’re only human. And that means that we tend to forget some stuff from time to time. Just because we know something, doesn’t mean that we actively try to implement these new understandings. It means changing our belief systems, routines, and actions to implement these new insights.

So you can’t simply pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for understanding the lesson. You need to actively implement the lesson so that you don’t even get the chance to forget it.

We haven’t fully internalized and integrated that life lesson into our lives

Image of a hand writing the quote, “learn from the past, live in the present, believe in the future” on a green blackboard with white chalk.

Again, we need to internalize and integrate the lessons we learn in life to prevent those same teachings from happening again.

This means that simply understanding what you did wrong, and why you failed, isn’t enough. It means that you actively need to make changes in your daily life. You need to make new, purposeful habits, change your mentality, and change your behavior, or the same mistakes will happen again.

Think about it. Why would we get different results if we keep doing the same thing over and over again? Even if the understanding is right, the same actions won’t magically result in different outcomes. That’s why simply waiting and doing nothing will rarely lead to better outcomes, contrary to the popular belief that “time will heal all wounds”. Time can sometimes help, but only if we actively undertake action to change the situation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does, “the cycle repeats itself” mean?

Image of two white curved arrows touching each other on a black background, signifying that the cycle repeats itself.

A cycle that repeats itself means that the same process keeps happening again and again in precisely the same order.

Reflections of a repeated cycle meaning

Reflections of a repeated cycle mean that they are manifestations of a sequence of incidents that keep happening over and over again in the same order.

Since it is a reflection, it means that this very same cycle has happened before, perhaps even many times.

Why does the same situation keep happening to me?

Image of the quote, “history repeats itself. It has to, because no one ever listens.” By Steve Turner.

One common question is, “Why do I feel like things are repeating”?

The answer is that it’s most likely because you’re repeating the same mistakes and actions that allow, and cause, the same thing to happen over and over again.

That’s perfectly fine and reasonable if you enjoy the outcomes of your behavior, but is a frustration for many when the results aren’t desirable.

That’s also why you’ll keep meeting the same person in different bodies until you learn the lesson that leads you to choose individuals with the same or remarkably similar personalities.

This can lead to the repetition compulsion

These issues can become traumas in some cases. And those traumas can lead to repetition compulsion, also called trauma re-enactment.

Repetition compulsion, to put it simply, is the unconscious desire and need to recreate the traumas that have happened previously in our lives. That’s exactly why we often repeat the same physically and/or emotionally painful experiences from the past.

Moral of the story: The lesson you struggle with will repeat itself until you learn from it. That’s why the universe will keep giving you the same lesson until you’ve acquired the instruction that you should’ve understood in the first place.

But, this also means that making a mistake or failing isn’t bad, and in a lot of cases should be heralded as an opportunity to learn. When we make a mistake, it is just another lesson that life is trying to teach us. Another chance for us to acquire the necessary teaching to do better next time. To prime ourselves for future success.


If you ever wonder why the same situation keeps happening to you, then it’s because sometimes in life, your situation will keep repeating itself until you learn your lesson.

The universe will keep giving you the same lesson over and over again until you change your course by changing your thoughts, habits, and actions as a whole.

That’s not to say that you should feel bad for making mistakes. On the contrary. They’re learning opportunities, and essential for the development of our character. That is if we decide to use our mistakes and failures to actively improve ourselves.

Call to action

Goal, plan, action text on light box on desk table in home office. Business motivation or inspiration, performance of human concepts ideas.

If you aren’t getting the outcomes that you desire, then you’ll need to change your actions to get different results.

When life keeps throwing the same situations at you that you want to avoid, then you should take the time for some much-needed introspection to figure out what you’re doing incorrectly.

Once you’ve figured out the issue, then you can take the necessary steps to change your trajectory to prevent those situations from happening in the future.