The real problem
What is on your SHOULD list?
Have you ever thought about this?
I ask this question to my coaching clients all the time and it’s really interesting to see what is on the list. The way most women think about themselves do not really match the experience that they would like to have or the life that they would like to live. And a lot of this goes unnoticed and unacknowledged. Asking questions like this bring it to the forefront. Answers range from “I SHOULD do more for my family” and “I SHOULD eat a healthier diet” to “I SHOULD have had different results in my life and achieved my goals by this time“.
The issue is not with what is on the list, but whether it should be on our list in the first place. By writing down this list, for the first time, many of my clients actually take a good look at what is holding them back. This is because if we are not aware, many of the things that we have been focusing on in our life are based on other people’s opinions.
Unfortunately, it does not end here.
Anything you can’t control is teaching you how to let go
All of us deal with challenges that come our way on a daily basis.
Many of these are simply the demands of everyday life. And whether we like it or not, many of these are due to factors which are beyond our control. Infact, much of what happens to us in life is beyond our control.
Despite our best intentions and efforts, things go wrong- relationships fail, our loved ones die, we develop health problems, financial issues crop up. No matter how much we try to avoid it, pain follows us everywhere. Pain is indeed an integral part of our human existence.
Pain usually comes from difficult emotions like anger, shame, loneliness, fear, despair, confusion; all of which are a natural part of the human response to our life experiences. It’s how we deal with it that determines the level of our suffering.
Struggling with anything to make it other than what it actually is, creates this suffering. This means that we need to understand and accept that what we do matters, but we are not really in charge. This is key to dealing with our struggles in a new and healthier way. Suffering results from struggling with what is beyond our control.
This means reaching a point where you can remind yourself
“This isn’t what I wanted, but it’s what I got”.
On the other hand, your power lies in this present moment. All your thoughts and beliefs over the years have led you to this present moment. And what is important is that what you are choosing to believe and do right now will create your future.
When we are struggling- whether it is when we suffer, fail or even feel inadequate, it is really hard to stay in the present moment. It is certainly much easier and sometimes even useful to avoid pain as a defense mechanism. However, if avoiding pain becomes a way of life, it can lead us into trouble.
In the blink of an eye we can go from thinking “I don’t like this feeling” to “I don’t want this feeling” to “I shouldn’t have this feeling” or even “Something is wrong with me for feeling this way.”
No matter how we are feeling, all of us have what is needed to deal with suffering from a position of strength if only we know how. The key is to be able to access your inner reserves and resources and be able to use them when required.
By learning how to strike a balance between avoiding and facing your difficulties, you will develop the wisdom of choosing the greatest long term benefits over short term pleasures.
By doing this you will learn to take responsibility for your own happiness. This will also enable you to withstand the suffering that you go through when you don’t get what you want, when you get what you don’t want and when you lose what you had.
And It all starts with getting to know yourself better!
In this week’s podcast episode I take you through a self reflection and journaling exercise that can help you to see yourself clearly- your values, passions, thoughts, beliefs and feelings.