Have you ever wondered why you can't
seem to move forward and reach the goals you've set for yourself, even though
logically you know it's the best thing for you?
research has been done on the topic of goal-reaching, and results have shown
that the most effective way to reach our goals is with an
emotional approach. Before I learned all this I never realized just how much
our emotions drive every aspect of our behavior. Even if we don't consider
ourselves an "emotional" person, you bet your boots our past and
present feelings steer our lives. Wouldn't you like to know what's REALLY
going on deep down that prevents you from doing what you say you want to do but
can't seem to ever do? You or perhaps the people around you may just think you're
lazy ... but you may be surprised to discover the real culprit.
are actually chained
down by certain issues or feelings from our past or present. Let's walk through the process of shining the "flashlight" deep down inside
yourself so you can begin to change. After all, how can you fix something if you
don't even know what you're trying to fix? It's impossible. We need to know
exactly what is weighing us down so we can shake it loose. You may already know
the identity of most of those
weights, sometimes it’s easy to figure out and sometimes not. I’ve
experienced this myself, even when I know “this is definitely what I want to
do … it’s the smartest choice, it will be good for me …” somehow I can
end up stuck and either not getting there or taking longer than I could have.
For example, we’ve all probably experienced this with an exercise program. We
keep hearing how we need to do aerobic exercise at least 3 times a week for 20
minutes to keep our heart and other things running smoothly. We’ll watch an
infomercial on TV for some kind of workout video like “Abs of Steel” and get motivated, call the number on the screen, and pledge to do
this workout every day. We might even buy a piece of workout equipment to help.
What happens? We do it religiously for 3 days, then start missing a day here and
a day there … and before we know it that video and equipment starts collecting
dust and eventually ends up in the garage, and eventually in our next yard sale
because we’ve only used it a handful of times. Why? We really WANTED to get
fit, we felt a strong drive which made us actually order the products. Well,
deep down there’s always resistance to any goal. It’s just human nature. If
we took the time to explore that, to shine a flashlight into our inner self so
to speak, we’d be able to discover exactly where that resistance comes from
and then be equipped to dissolve it.
I try this whenever I feel stuck myself:
Using the exercise program as an example in case you’re curious how it works, I
down with a piece of paper and write down some goals. “Do aerobic workout
every day.” Next to that I’d write down the very first thought or
feeling that comes up (which will almost always be resistance in the form of
“But …”). Oh, here goes: “I can’t do this every day, I don’t have time!” Then I look at that statement and try to identify the negative
emotion driving it. Sometimes I have trouble putting my finger on which emotion
is driving each thought, so I close my eyes and think of a time I said those
same words (“I CAN’T!”) and pay attention to the very first thing
(thought, picture, feeling, sound, etc.) that pops into awareness. If nothing
comes up, I keep repeating the phrase out loud and intensify it by making it
louder and stronger. Something will definitely pop up.
Then I focus on that
incident and relive it with my senses and notice what emotion was I feeling at that
time? Fear? Anger? Sorrow? Whatever it was, it’s almost 100% guaranteed that
it’s the exact same thing that’s driving me now, the same emotion behind the
first thing that came up when I quietly read the goal to myself! This is SO
fascinating because the subconscious mind always knows the answer, and it will tell you if
you quiet your thoughts long enough to listen to it. In-depth studies by
researchers around the world prove that our past experiences (especially
childhood) are a huge influence on our present feelings, thought processes, and
The fact that
most of this is going on in the subconscious mind explains why these feelings
and belief systems are so mysterious to us, so often we just can’t figure out
why we think/feel/behave the way we do! Consciously we know what we should do,
or we may truly feel like we want to do something -- but underneath all of that,
the subconscious mind runs the old programs.
Anyway, back to
the goals test. Now that I’ve identified the negative emotion driving my
resistance, it’s important to fully welcome that feeling and allow it to be
there, to not run from it. The only way to dissolve negative feelings --
especially fear -- is to become aware of them in a non-threatening way.
Sometimes this action alone is enough to melt these negative thoughts and
emotions, especially when the allowing them to surface momentarily in a
therapeutic way becomes a habit. Further work is done by asking myself if I
could possibly let go of that feeling. Would I rather be stuck with it or be
free of it? If I’d rather be free of it, then I ask myself if I could let it
go right now. Fascinatingly, as easily as you can let go of an object you’re
gripping in your hand, you can learn to let go of emotions that you are gripping
– such as fear, resistance, etc.
You can see for
yourself that this is a true fact -- just pick up a small object such as a pen
and grip it tightly in your hand. The pen represents your negative and
uncomfortable feelings. The hand represents your awareness, your inner self. Now
tighten your grip on the pen. Is the pen attached to you? Of course not. So
then, could you let it go? Try … just let it go so it falls to the floor. Were
you able to do it? Here’s the point of the demonstration: our emotions are not
attached to us, though they sometimes feel so much a part of us that they seem
attached. Don’t we say “I am so angry” or “I am so scared”? In reality
we feel angry or feel scared … we are not
that emotion. Sometimes a long-standing emotion seems so stuck to us that we
couldn’t possibly be free of it. BUT that is not true. Do you know what a
definition of emotion is? “Energy in motion.” That’s it. Nothing else.
Energy in motion is not attached to anything because it’s in motion. And
anything that isn’t attached can be let go of, right?! So in reality we have
the power to let go of any emotion, especially when it comes to resistance to doing what we know is right and
what we want to do deep down. I keep working on all of this stuff until I feel
either a sense of “I CAN do this!” and/or a feeling of peace.
Next I make an
action list. I read the goal again and think of an action I can take to achieve the
goal. I notice the very first feeling I have about that specific action step,
and write down what negative emotion is driving each negative feeling. (Once
again, if I’m having trouble identifying the emotion, repeating the statement
more loudly until something from my past pops up and then doing the allowing and
letting go process works very well to dissolve negative feelings and resistance.)
I do this on each action step until I get a feeling of “I CAN” or of peace
– and until I run out of actions.
Last but not least I then visualize my goal. What will it be like when I have
reached this goal? I actually imagine myself living those goals, making a movie
in my head – painting as vivid a picture as I
can of it by engaging all my senses in the visualization. What’s my
life like? What am I doing? What’s different from the way it is now? Then I
write all of that down on paper.
clarify by doing this test, and I’m often shocked at what I discover is the
bottom line reason I haven’t been able to do what I want to do! I can almost
guarantee you'll discover the same surprises.
I've learned this valuable information from studying The
Sedona Method and BCE Lifestyle Training. The two sort
of blend together though they are unrelated. Since this training, I've been able
to accomplish more goals ... personally, professionally, and spiritually. You
owe it to yourself to try the exercises and to do further exploration ... think
of how different your life could be!
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