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Monday, March 8, 2010

Finding the Hidden Benefits

This post is for those of you who’ve been trying to create something in your life for awhile now, but just can’t seem to make it happen. Rather than staying stuck in a place of sheer frustration, this post will show you how to take responsibility for the circumstances you've been experiencing and move out of them once and for all!

I'm going to be honest with you and cut to the chase: If there’s something you’ve been wanting for a long time but nothing has changed in your life, it’s possible that some part of you doesn’t really want that thing or situation you’re trying to create! Obviously, this assumes that you’ve actually been expending energy and effort trying to get this thing to work, otherwise your lack of effort is the reason behind why you’re not succeeding.

But if you’ve been making an honest attempt at trying to lose those last five lbs., or trying to make more money on-line from your website, or deepening your relationship with your spouse or children, or attracting new like-minded individuals into your life, etc., and still nothing is budging, then that usually means that something inside of you is not entirely on-board with whatever it is you think you’re wanting.

I know what you’re thinking! You're convinced there’s no possible way this is true. After all, you want this thing or situation SO badly, so it can’t possibly be true that part of you *doesn’t* want it. However, while this is not necessarily a case of self-sabotage, it is likely that there’s a hidden subconscious reason why you’re not making as much progress with your particular goal as you'd like. So let's take a closer look at these subconscious motivations and bring conscious awareness to why you might be staying stuck in an experience you thought you so desperately wanted out of!

Even though I get asked out regularly on my fair share of dates, I’ve been single (not in a serious relationship) for awhile now. And even though it would be pretty easy to blame this on the fact that I’m just not getting asked out by the “right” guys, I’m also not doing a whole heck of a lot to put myself out there to meet my match! Ultimately I do think I would like to be married and have a family, but I also wonder if there’s some part of me that isn’t entirely committed to being in a long-term relationship. Otherwise, I would probably already be in one!

Can you relate to this? Maybe it’s not in the area of relationships, but in some area of your life where you think you’re committed to one thing but the results seem to show otherwise?

So, what to do when this happens? Hint: beating yourself up is not the answer!

Instead, spend some time investigating whether there are any hidden benefits to your situation being the way it is now. Take out your journal or a piece of paper and at the top write, “Benefits of My Current Situation.” Next, list as many benefits (at least 5) as you can come up with regarding your situation as it is right now. You might have to stretch your mind a little at first and look at your situation in a whole new light, but go ahead and do that! Not only will doing this exercise help you uncover (possible) hidden motives behind your desires, but it will also help release any resistance you may be flowing around this particular area of your life.

For example, in my case it might look like:

Benefits of My Current Situation:

• I have complete freedom to spend my time however I want
• I don’t have to check in with anyone
• I don’t have to worry about anyone but myself

Oftentimes just uncovering the hidden motivations are enough to clear up the issue. By bringing them to light, you are able to see things you weren't previously aware of.

If this exercise doesn't clear things up, however, you'll want to find a way to reconcile what you are ultimately trying to create with the benefits you are experiencing from your current situation. For example, in my situation I am enjoying being single because it allows me to experience freedom, but that doesn't mean I have to forego relationships all together! It just means I would be well-served to find a relationship that provides me with a great deal of freedom, as well as closeness.

If you've been trying to lose weight but uncover some hidden benefits of staying your current size (maybe you don't want to have to buy all new clothes to fit your new size!), then you'll want to find a way to reconcile your overall desire to lose weight with your desire to not have to buy a whole new wardrobe. For example, maybe your sister is the same size as your desired size and you can take over some of her old clothes. Be creative and find ways to reconcile your two desires!

Whether we want to admit it or not, there is always some reason why we are in the situations we are in, and it's usually not because the Universe is against us! Even if our motivations are subconscious and hidden from us, they are always there, driving our behavior. If you're finding that the actions you're taking are not lining up with the results you had hoped to achieve, do the exercise above to see if you have any hidden benefits to your current situation that might be preventing you from moving forward. You might be surprised by what you find!


  1. Hi Mary,

    Great article!

    I am a big fan of this technique! It really does seem true that we cannot move away from something until we find a way to love it... or at least really appreciate it's positive aspects.

    I've definitely found this to be the case in manifesting what I want. It totally jives with the idea of "what you resist persists." And when we release resistance about something it can more quickly and easily shift to the new thing we want to experience.

    I love the fact that we can find a way to appreciate anything if we see it in a certain light or from a different perspective.

    Much Love,

  2. Mary,

    Fantastic post!

    This reminds me that we as human beings aren't always good at knowing what really makes us happy. Or at least I know this has been true with me!

    While we are often right about what we want, there are also times when the fantasy is much better than the reality. Your example of wanting to be in a relationship is a classic one. Like you said, you actually might want freedom even more.

    This exercise is a really good way of putting the fantasy in our minds to the test!

  3. Thanks Mary, this is a really good post (always a pleasure reading from you)...hope it will help me, because I am completely stuck in "having" my perfect mate here with me, right now.

    I am just questionning the fact that maybe being stuck could also depends on things you reflect in other's eyes, visible aspects...and that are much more difficult to change.

    In my case, men do not approach me because they see me as someone who shows too much self-confidence and they are afraid of that (don't ask me why!).
    This is something difficult to hide and the fact is, this is who I am and I don't want to change a thing!

  4. Hi Adrianne!

    Thanks for stopping by, and especially for your comment:) I know you know your LOA stuff, so I'm thrilled you got value out of this post!

    This is so true what you said: "when we release resistance about something it can more quickly and easily shift to the new thing we want to experience." It's so true, yet not always easy!

    Maybe someday we all just accept that life is one big sea of experiences to be felt and enjoyed, and that each experience carries with it several positives and negatives. Then we would understand that there really is no situation to be feared or resisted, it is ALL GOOD!


  5. Hi Greg! As always thanks for stopping by and commenting:)

    Yes, I so agree with you: it *is* often difficult for us to determine what we really want in life! We might say we want one thing, when deep down it's really somthing else we want. And then we wonder why we're not getting the results we're after!

    I've actually recently started paying a LOT of attention to what my underlying wants and desires are. Sometimes if we target our very basic wants, we can do away with a lot of the other "surface" wants and life flows a lot more smoothly. And smooth is good!

    And with that, I'm off to go check out your blog because I know you've got lots of cool things going on over there! ;)

  6. Hi Claire! Thanks so much for your comment. Your situation is definitely one I've had to deal with myself:)

    I'm wondering, do you have any close male friends that you could talk to about this? Maybe ask them how you come across to them and what you could do differently. Not so much to change who you are, but to come across in a way that's still confident but not as intimidating to others? Sometimes we're doing things with our body language that we don't even realize we're doing, and close friends can help point those things out to us.

    You are definitely on the right path, though! You shouldn't have to change anything about yourself in order to attract your perfect mate. In fact, your perfect mate will accept you exactly as you are and even *love* those things about you that others might have rejected. That's great news, isn't it?

    Lots of love to you!

  7. Thank you Mary for your comments, we always have something to improve and find out about ourselves...I will check it out!

  8. Haven't posted in a while, eh?

    What I saw was nice work. I came across your blog while “blog surfing” using the “Next Blog” button in the Nav Bar at the top of my blogspot blog. I occasionally just check out other blogs to see what others are doing.

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