Do you feel like you’re getting in your own way? Whether it’s staying in a crappy relationship, not leaving a job that sucks or something as simple as being late all the time or any other bad habit you know you should break but you still do it anyway…most of us get in our own way to some degree.
In this week’s episode, I’m giving you three steps you can take to help you finally get out of your own way, plus a little guide to help you decode your behavior so that you can CHANGE it.
You can watch my Video on this below.
What we’re really talking about here is resistance. Originally defined by Freud within the context of psychoanalysis, resistance is an individual’s unwillingness to change. Anna Freud expanded on resistance in her work on psychological defense mechanisms. Basically, we employ unconscious behaviors in order to protect ourselves and avoid perceived pain.
Resistance, along with self-sabotage and denial, is one of the ways we protect our egos and keep ourselves “safe” in a sense. It is an incredibly human experience to be afraid of the unknown. So if you’re feeling like you’re uncomfortable with change, you’re not alone.
One of my dear friends, teachers, and mentors, Davidji, always says:
“The only thing that you can count on for sure is that everything is going to change.”
So much of getting the HELL out of your own way is to understand any underlying resistance and to shift your relationship to change. If we can accept that change is inevitable, and bring the crap from our unconscious mind up into our conscious mind, that’s how we can really begin to get unstuck.
I’ve boiled it down to 3 steps you can take action on to get some traction right away:
1. Uncover Your Resistance Blueprint
Take a look at your history and what you learned about resistance. Understanding the culture and the family norms that you grew up with is an essential piece of decoding what might be holding you back. Were your parents resistant to change? Were you raised by people who were very habitual? Who stayed stuck? Who was in denial? Who wanted things to always stay the same?
This look back into your family of origin isn’t about blaming your parents or caregivers for why you do the things you do, it’s about you understanding your baseline and what you learned then and might still be holding onto that isn’t serving your highest good now. Raising your awareness around the kind of defense mechanisms your family employed in times of stress, change or conflict can really help you connect the dots to what you’re experiencing in your life currently.
2. Understand Your Secondary Gain
What are you getting out of by not changing? Secondary gain is the hidden “benefit” you’re getting from staying the way you are. It can be like a covert operator behind the scenes, directing your behavior and your choices in ways you don’t even realize. Below are some questions that can help you bring it up to the surface because the more you understand what you’re getting out of not changing, the easier it is to change.
What do I get to not feel, not face and not experience by staying stuck where I am?
In the episode above, I give you several real-life examples of how secondary gain can keep us stuck and walk you through how to trace your unwanted behavior back to the source, so be sure to watch it or listen to it here.
3. Revise Your Life List
Many of us use our “where-I-should-be-at-this-point-in-life” list to beat ourselves up about what we haven’t done, accomplished or experienced. Even our to-do list can undermine us from getting to where we really want to be if it’s not truly aligned with where and who we are right now.
If you’ve still got some boxes to check off that have been on your list since 1988, it’s time for an update. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have goals, I just want you to go over that mental list and really consider whether what’s there is going to improve the quality of your internal and external life. It’s time to figure out what you really want instead of what you “should” want.
What to strive for is a new list of “goals with soul,” as my gal pal Danielle LaPorte would say. I highly recommend her book The Desire Map (the audio is also fab), to help you discover your core desired feelings and set goals and plans based on those. What can you do that will create more of how you want to feel?
So those are my top three tips to help you understand your relationship to change, to discover the underlying reasons for resistance and to get the hell out of your own way! I’ve created a downloadable guide for you with the steps to take and questions to help you dive even deeper. You can grab that by clicking right here.
After you work through the steps I would love to hear about what shifts for you so please leave me a comment here and in all the places. I firmly believe that this can add value and help you get closer to creating the life and the relationships you want. If this resonated, please share it on your social media, I would be so totally grateful.
Here’s to getting out of your own way! I hope you have an amazing week and as always, take care of you.
Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. Sign up for Terri’s weekly Newsletter, check out her blog and follow her on Twitter.