We’re often told that in order to create change in our lives, we have to take positive action. And it’s true, the more positive action you take, the more likely things are to change. But sometimes, it seems like no matter how much effort you put into taking action towards something you desire in life, you just can’t get things to where you prefer them to be. That’s when life becomes a struggle, because you’re pushing in one direction, and it seems like everything is always pushing back the other way. It could be job interview after job interview, relationship after relationship, financial setback after setback, nothing seems to flow the way you want it to, despite all of the effort you’re putting in to get things on track. That’s the true definition of struggle, when you continue putting in lots of creative effort for little or no return.
This is the time when another type of action is called for. In some ways, it could be seen as a polar opposite of creative action, but not in a negative sense. It’s the action of letting go. The dropping, removing, the getting rid of those things that are stopping you getting to where you want to be in life. Things that you’ve probably been carrying around for some time, that you might not even be aware that you’re carrying. Like heavy items in a suitcase, these are the things that weigh you down and make every step seem like a massive effort. Specifically I’m talking about the letting go of the attitudes, beliefs and definitions that are out of alignment with who you want to be and where you want to go. Outdated ideas about who you are and what’s possible for you in life. Unconscious assumptions that you’ve made and grown so accustomed to, that they’ve formed a part of who you are. For example –
- I’m a working parent who never gets time for herself because I spend all my time, effort and money on my kids. Now I want to get my life back. But, my Mum did everything for me and I wasn’t an easy child. So unconsciously I can’t allow myself to take time for me, because I’ll feel guilty that I’m not as good a parent as she was. So I constantly draw myself into situations where I must always push other things aside to do things for my kids, because that’s easier than experiencing the guilt.
- I want to build wealth, I want to have a really nice house and a great car, but unconsciously I can’t allow myself to have wealth, because others in my family don’t have wealth and I feel guilty having it. It’s easier to struggle with money than to feel that I’m not worthy of the wealth I create for myself.
- I want to be in a really great relationship and deeply in love with someone. But I was badly hurt in a previous relationship that I had grown comfortable in and trusted the other person completely. So its easier to draw myself into relationships that don’t work out, because I don’t want to take the risk that just when I finally do let my guard down, I’ll end up being hurt again.
These outdated, limiting ideas that have become ingrained in your unconscious mind are called limiting beliefs, and they are the very things that stop you from becoming who you want to be and getting where you want to go. When you’re struggling, these are the heavy objects in your suitcase that need to be let go of so you can walk the path unencumbered.
You can begin the process of letting go of limiting beliefs by becoming consciously aware that they’re there. And to do that, you can start by asking one of the most powerful questions you can possibly ask yourself:
“What must I believe about myself in this situation in order to be experiencing struggle in this way?”
It’s not usually a question you can answer straight away, it’s something you might generally sit with for a time. But it will lead you to those very heavy objects in your suitcase that need to be let go of. Next time you’re struggling, remember that letting go of that which weighs you down is more effective than pushing harder.
With Love from your Coach,