We all have emotional baggage -- internal things that get in the way of us creating what we want in our lives and businesses. Perhaps you’ve heard these referred to as ‘gremlins’ or ‘demons’.
And we’ve all had the experience of wanting something, and just as we get really close to achieving it, it slips away. Maybe you’ve had the experience more than once. And then you’ve wondered, “what’s wrong with me?” So someone handed you the idea that you could be sabotaging yourself. This sets up the idea that you could deliberately, intentionally be stopping yourself from getting what you want. Nothing could be further from the truth.
What’s actually happening in both these cases is that part of you just wants something different -- and perhaps incompatible.
Just labeling these admittedly less-than-helpful parts of ourselves in these negative ways is doing yourself a disservice. Why?
First, whatever is stopping you from getting what you choose is a part of you. And you don’t react particularly well to someone calling you a nasty name, do you? If I called you an idiot, would it make you want to cooperate with me? No. And calling these parts of yourself nasty names doesn’t make them want to cooperate, either. Making yourself wrong by saying ‘I’m sabotaging myself’, just makes you feel bad about yourself, which makes the situation worse, without offering a solution.
Let’s use my client, Stephanie, as an example. She desperately wants to “take her business to the next level”, but can’t make herself do any of the things that she knows will get here there. She had labeled the part of her that is stopping her a ‘gremlin’, which set up a struggle with it.
What do you do instead of using these destructive labels?
First, recognize that any part of you that is getting in the way of what you (think you) want actually has a positive purpose. Perhaps this part of you was created at another time, in other circumstances, to get you what you needed or wanted at the time, and has outlived its usefulness. Or perhaps it wants something good for you now, that you’re not aware of, or that seems to conflict with what you want consciously.
Some discussion uncovered that both of Stephanie’s parents were very successful — but they worked all the time, so that she felt ignored and unloved. So the part of her that was stopping her was created when she was about 5, and it was worried that if she were successful, she’d never have any time for herself or her family. So, of course, it wanted her to avoid business success, so that she could have a happy family life, and both she and her kids would feel loved.
Second, honor and thank that part of you for doing such a good job. If it were sleeping on the job, it wouldn’t have come up! And it’s much more likely to cooperate if you are respectful of it. Again, if I say to you, “I honor what a good job you’re doing, and could you please just do your job a little differently?”, you‘re more likely to work with me than if I call you a “pea-brained a**hole”, right?
Instead of calling this part of her a ‘gremlin’, Stephanie thanked this part of herself for doing such a good job.
Third, figure out what its positive purpose is, and then help it get that, in a way that works for the rest of you. This is often a sort of internal negotiation.
Stephanie told this part of her that she was grateful for its desire for her to take care of herself and spend plenty of time with her family. And then she explained that it really didn’t work for the rest of her, and in fact, was getting in the way of her taking care of her family — financially. It understood and relaxed. She promised it that she’d make sure to hire people to take some of the burden of a successful business away from her, so that she’d have time to relax alone and time to hang out with her husband and kids. In the end, the part of her agreed, and then also agreed to remind her with a particular feeling when she wasn’t keeping up her end of the agreement.
What parts of you are getting in your way? If you want help identifying, making friends with and working with the parts of you formerly known as ‘gremlins’, call me at 888-4-hollis! Stop the struggle! You can do this. With me as your guide, it’s quicker and easier than you think.