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!