06 Mar 2010

How to let go of the past to get on with your future.

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What made your list?  Last week I asked you to make a list of five things you would like to say.  I asked you to be aware of how withholding stops you from being spontaneous and sharing your thoughts freely.  This could be anything from being able to say what you want to say, from thanking or expressing love, or hurt, or asking for help.  What made your list?

When fear is running our lives we withhold to protect ourselves.  We don’t say things that make us uncomfortable.  We don’t like feeling exposed or vulnerable.  So we hold back, we wait for the other person to show a card first.  We hide, avoid, and keep quiet, carefully holding our cards to ourselves.  Ask yourself, what is the ace you are holding on to right now?

Push yourself to get that list of 5 things you would like to say.  Then, ask yourself what stands in your way of saying them?  For each of your stifled or withheld thoughts or deeds, ask yourself, what am I holding on to here?  Maybe you are holding out for that well deserved apology or maybe you don’t want to risk going first.  Now, consider what it is that you are telling yourself in order to support you in hanging on to that.  What do you tell yourself so that you can keep your cards to your chest?

Usual answers to this question are things like, what’s the point, I have done enough already, I don’t know how, they are not worth it, it would hurt them.  Inside all of those kinds of responses lies an excuse of some sort.  Excuses excuse us from taking the steps necessary to make changes in our daily life.

Think about a challenge you currently have in your life.  It could be a work challenge, a relationship challenge or a health issue. What is your most common response or action that you take in reaction to that challenge?  Do you blow up, or shut down, or procrastinate, or bolt.  Do you hide, deny, or complain?

For the next week, pay attention to your common excuses.  Do you blame your spouse, or put off until next Monday.  Do you give up?  What are your excuses?  I challenge you to find three things that you catch yourself doing that might seem an excuse.

This is a tricky assignment because what if some of it seems real and legitimate?  What if, I can’t give up this job with benefits, or I can’t afford another sitter, or it was on sale, or I am too tired, what if all of those completely justifiable reasons are the tiniest bit truthful?  If so, be willing to dig a little deeper, under all your perfectly logical reasons, lies a thread.  That thread is a big old excuse that probably stems from a fear.  Behind your excuses lies your key to uncovering where fear may be getting the best of you.  This week, pay attention to your excuses.  Can you find some common responses or justifications that you use often, and find the excuse within?

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Beth supports people in finding solutions to everyday problems!
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