One of the themes I have been hearing a lot lately from clients is, “I’m exhausted. I’m tired of trying.” “Why does everything have to be so hard?” “When does it get easier?” “I’ve been at this for so long, haven’t I learned my lesson yet?” When I hear many of the same messages in a short period of time, I consider it a helpful sign from the Universe that we need to pay attention. A breakthrough is possible.
Do you have a dream or goal you are having a hard time manifesting? In what areas of your life are you feeling dissatisfied or discouraged (for example, health, money, lover, kids, job, or career)? Have you hit the brink of despair?
Often when I dive deeper with my clients, at the root of their discouragement are a million assumptions about why “XYZ” isn’t happening or won’t work! “I have to lose weight before a man will love me.” “No one wants to hire me, I am too old.” “My child will never forgive me.” “You have to be a man to get to the top of the career ladder.” “I’ve wanted to sing professionally since I was a child, but my parents were right, I would never make money at this.” Get the idea? We often stop ourselves before we even begin! You may say, “Well, I really have tried and believe me, things aren’t working.” I believe you. Is it possible that you have created this reality?
Your behaviors are based on your beliefs. We all know that beliefs create our reality. It’s quantum duality. Let me give you an example. It’s quite common for me to hear from women that their organization will not put them in the most senior roles because they are a woman and companies prefer men at the top. While gender bias in the workplace has been backed by numbers, it is possible that by changing our thoughts we can create a totally different outcome. When I was growing up, for example, my father treated my mother equally and did a lot of the household duties that in that day were considered “women’s work”. My parents taught me that I could do whatever I aspired to and to get a great education. They treated me like an equal. My dad even nicknamed me “Chief”!
In consulting to organizations, I never had concerns that men would treat me “less than” because I was a woman. It wasn’t ever part of my upbringing, belief system or paradigm. What was the outcome? I opened doors at the top and enjoyed coaching and consulting my clients who were both women and men. My relationship with men in business has been based on mutual respect even in industries considered to be very male dominated, such as oil and gas, manufacturing, and engineering. As a human being, of course I have had other assumptions and beliefs that have inhibited me and have had to work to bring them to the surface and clean things up.
What walls and barriers are you inadvertently creating based on your beliefs and assumptions? For every dream or goal you want to achieve, list the assumptions that are both hindering and helping you. Drill down on your assumptions until you get to the core of your beliefs and what is driving your behavior. Below is an example from a client.
|To save money and to feel financially secure||
In the above example, we can see why my client had difficulty saving money. It was not until one of our sessions that she realized she equated money with evil. Of course she wanted to get rid of it! As was true in my client’s case, our beliefs and assumptions can go unnoticed.
The research says that roughly 85% of our thoughts are unconscious. We have very adept defense mechanisms and have been hiding thoughts from ourselves since childhood. We put these thoughts into our subconscious primarily because we were afraid to show the sides of ourselves that did not earn us love and approval as children. Counseling and an intuitive read, as many of you know, are excellent ways to bring these unconscious thoughts to the surface. Meditation is another excellent method. We can only change when we see our blind spots! That which is visible is changeable.
For each dream/goal that you listed above, on a scale of 1 – 10 (1 being a weak attempt and 10 being a very strong effort), how would you assess your level of effort in reaching your objectives? Be frank with yourself.
Let’s consider the following formula in light of your self-assessment:
Motivation X Capability = Performance
For your weaker attempts at accomplishing your goals, what is the problem? If you are not motivated, perhaps it is time to reflect on the degree to which you really value your dream or goal. How important is this dream/goal to you? Do you feel you want to accomplish it or that you should accomplish it? Forget the “should’s” and focus on what you really want.
If your goal is something you really want, but you haven’t exerted the effort, are you afraid of the potential losses that may occur with your gain? It’s actually common for people to fear that if they aspire to their unlimited potential and self-realize/self-actualize, that they will be shunned by family and friends, or at least not as well liked or loved. It may break the unstated family patterns. For example, you may want to go to college, but no one else in your family aspired to that goal and in fact, you were told by your parents that you don’t need the degree. Fear of rocking the family pattern and dynamic can result in a whole host of self-sabotaging behaviors.
On the other side of motivation is the aspect of capability. If you tried “XYZ”, are you concerned as to whether you would have the necessary knowledge, skills and attributes to accomplish your dream? Do you lack the confidence to apply yourself? What can you do to gain the capabilities you need to be successful?
Reaching our dreams is a process and one that requires adaptability, focus and discipline. For the dreams/goals where you have exerted a lot of effort, but not reached your intended outcome, don’t give up. It may take years to accomplish a particular goal. It doesn’t mean the goal is wrong or that the Universe does not support you. Possibly you just need to make a minor shift to accomplish your goal or try an entirely new path to attain it. Maybe you need to partner with a different person or people to make your dream a reality. It may be that there are many things you need to learn along the way.
It is about enjoying the voyage as after you accomplish your goal you will simply set another one and the adventure will begin again. It’s the journey that gives us the juice in life. I have accomplished objectives that I thought were important at the time only to realize that the outcome was unfulfilling and sometimes painful. The gift is participating in the game and the wisdom you obtain along the way.
The small things you do every day to accomplish your objectives are important. You may not see the result for a while, but all of the things you do daily add up whether it’s learning a new skill, losing twenty pounds, saving for a house, or preparing to run a marathon. It takes discipline.
The most successful people work very hard. Even the most brilliant minds have had to apply themselves. Albert Einstein stated, “Genius is 1% talent and 99% hard work…” Einstein’s parents thought he was retarded at an early age as he had problems communicating. As a child, Einstein was introverted, lonely and withdrawn. Consider Thomas Edison who developed hearing problems as a child and who left school as a boy after being referred to as “addled” by his teacher. What did these two individuals accomplish?
Consider where you reside relative to the chart below:
|Stays within the paradigm||Changes the paradigm|
|Already knows what is true||Questions what one “knows”|
|Numb, lacks curiosity||Asks the questions why, what if and why not? Wonders what could be|
|Risk averse||Takes chances|
|Sees life as scary||Sees a world of adventure|
|Life is boring and hard||Life is fun|
|Overly planned, consistently in adult mode, serious||Playful and spontaneous, childlike wonder|
|Sees limitations||Sees possibilities|
|I’ll believe it when I see it||I’ll see it when I believe it|
|Hopeless, faithless||Hopeful, faithful|
|Gives up easily||Tenacious|
|Makes excuses, victim thinking||Is accountable and responsible for ones choices and life|
|Ashamed of mistakes, focuses on failures||Sees mistakes as an opportunity to learn and tries again. Focuses on values, meaning and potential|
|Observes the game||In the game!|
Is trying worth the effort? Imagine yourself at the end of your life reflecting backward. How do you want to be remembered? What did you stand for? How did you add value to the lives of others? What did you teach? How much did you laugh? How did you love? What did you accomplish? Did you live or “die” while alive? The choice is yours…
Karen Storsteen, M.S., M.A., in an intuitive therapist. She has worked in the fields of human and organizational development for over twenty-five years and educated and counseled hundreds of thousands to self-actualize and reach their greatest potential. Karen is known for her “supersensory and uncanny intuitive gifts”, and blends this talent with proven psychological methods to help people gain instant insight and awareness in love, work and life.
She helps people let go of limiting thoughts and behaviors so they may experience the miraculous and catapult their lives forward.
Karen is revolutionizing the way people think and feel to achieve results they never thought possible. She provides counseling and consulting services, as well as intuitive sessions, globally and by phone.
Storsteen has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBC, and has been a regular on morning radio and several FM/AM and internet radio stations. Her work is well recognized by Fortune 500 leaders, professional organizations (such as the Mensa The High IQ Society), higher education, the media and general public.
Karen graduated with Honors with a Master of Arts in Psychology from Regis University, holds a Master of Science in Management and Organization, and Master’s Minor in Finance, from the University of Colorado, and Bachelor of Science in Business Management. She holds numerous certifications in psychological, behavioral and organizational assessment and human performance improvement technologies.
To learn more, you can go to karensinsight.com and karenstorsteen.com.
Copyright © 2014, Karen Storsteen. All Rights Reserved.