thework101

Posts Tagged ‘self help’

Ghosts from our past.

In Action, Resistance, Uncategorized on October 22, 2010 at 7:54 am

ghosts from your past blog

you do not have to be more transparent than your ghosts

It’s hard to move ahead in our work when our present is clouded by the past. In the last few weeks, several clients have come to me with just this issue.  Haggard and hurting they come with lumps in their throats and stomachs looking for resolve, searching for the keys that will unlock their internal gridlock.

The decisions we make, how we feel and what we think is influenced by what we have learned…simple enough…right?  Simple but maybe not so easy.

If we find ourselves dealing with a lot of resistance or we feel like we are slogging ahead with our work at a snail like pace, this is a signal for us to take a moment and really ask ourselves “What the heck is going on?”

It’s hard though because, I have found, that we actually do not always want to know or even think about the reasons for our resistance and angst. Especially if the reasons have to do with hurts and/or issues from our past and childhood.

Often our inclination is to scan the world around us to locate the source of our angst. This is problematic though, because so often the conflict is not coming from outside us, but from within us and, after 20 years of doing this work, I have come to understand that we usually know when this is the case. We have a sense in the familiarity of our experience of what is ours and what is not ours. (By the way, it is often at this point that we double down our efforts to reject this reality and firmly plant the cause of our turmoil on others)

Also confounding this work is that what we have learned about our self and the world growing up has become an integrated and near invisible part of our sense of self and how we view the world and our place in it. These core beliefs become a very comfortable pair of glasses that color our perception and shape our experience.

As children, the things we do to deal with our hurts, trauma and frustrations are shaped by those closet to us. What they tell us is OK to feel, we feel and move through. What we are told is unacceptable to feel we build defense mechanisms to distance ourselves from. And as children these defense mechanisms can work passable for us, but as we grow, our worlds become more complicated and so do our defense mechanisms, until we find ourselves backed into a small corner, spending more time managing our resistance then actually dealing with it.

And this is exactly the issue. Instead of feeling our feelings, instead of dealing with our issues- our amazing minds work to create new and ever evolving ways to insulate ourselves from the things we have been taught it is not acceptable to feel or think.

So what is the answer?

Deal with it. Not very helpful right? But wait…there is more.

The way we deal with it is key.

1.    Don’t try and deal with it all at once. Pick the most disruptive thing and just deal with this piece.

2.    Research it: We can only do what we know how to do. In order to do something different, we have to learn different things.

3.    Set a review or completion date.

4.    Figure out a budget and explore the resources you have available to you.

5.    Consult: Either with a friend or professional; this is NOT work we can do alone. On any given project, most all entrepreneurs know the value of getting a fresh perspective when moving ahead on a project.

6. Set some time aside to do this work. This is probably the most important piece that gets lost in the shuffle.This work takes time and the more focused you are about it the quicker it will shift.

7. Be gentle to yourself through this process.

This is challenging and difficult work. But the payoffs are huge AND it feels great!

Dena plotkin

therapist and collaborative strategist

DenaPlotkin.com

@dmplotkin

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