I work with people who are stuck in life, and I use various skills to get them moving again. I get two kinds of enquires: those who want an appointment and therefore want to make change; and those who convince themselves that they are trying to make an appointment but are actually avoiding making change.
Often people from the second group, the avoiders, those 'trying' to make an appointment, will contact me via text or by phone late in the evening when I am unlikely to answer. You can book yourself in for an appointment directly on my website, but the people who want to look like they are trying to change wouldn't do that. Even though I go through the motions and call these people back, they won't pick up the phone, and they won't return the call from the voice mail. They were never coming, they know it and I know it, but I have to pretend out of politeness, as calling them on it often causes offence. Even though they know it, they don't want to know they know!
Some may even get as far as coming to an appointment. Often they give me a list of the people they have tried to consult with before me, and how none of those experts could help them or they are defensive. The truth is no-one can make a change for you. You can point in the right direction, but the people who don't want to change will become obsessed with the imperfection of your pointing style rather than turning their heads to see what you're pointing at.
Even the dating app Tinder has this problem, where people will click that they like a person's photo, get a match, but never write or send texts forever which never result in a date!
I am not un-empathetic to this desire to change, but a lack of action, I think it is part of being human and I know I have on occasion done exactly what I am talking about here. Most of us, including myself have something we would like to change in our lives. Often we know exactly what it is that's wrong, very often we even know the steps to change it but we don't take them. Why?
You might be thinking it's because change is scary, but let's face it, staying in a crappy situation is scarier! Often our sense of being stuck gives us a reason to get up in the morning and we may be even more lost without it. Illness can even become part of our identity and we can miss the attention the illness gave us when we get well again. We could even look at fear of failure or fear of success, and these two may be valid reasons why we don't change when we know we should.
In my work I have identified that the number one reason we don't change, it is fear of our own power!
Even the smallest change, like changing a psychological idea about ourselves with no action on our part, changes our external world. People change in their reactions to us even when we simply change our minds view of our situation.
We are powerful, and it frightens the bejeebers out of us!
No matter what you change about yourself, the world changes in reaction to you: The bigger the change, the bigger the impact. This should be good news as it shows that we are the masters of our own lives to a large extent. However when we have this, life change happen, we can feel like we are living at altitude, we can feel less in control than when we had the problem. We also don't want this kind of responsibility over our own lives; we would rather put something down to being an act of God, or the governments fault, the causality of our upbringing, culture, sex, or timing. We even stay in bad relationships so we have a partner to blame.
The truth is everything that we want to change, but don't change somehow serves us. If it didn't serve us positively we really would change it. But it gives us something to hide behind and to focus our attention on instead of getting on with being amazing. The way a problem serves us the most, is by giving us a reason not to step into our power. We fear power more than we fear anything else.
There are two kind of power, power over and those who have that we often despise (the government, our boss, our parents when we are teenagers, etc) and we don't want to be despised so we don't want to own that kind of empowerment even when we are in that position, unless of course you are a psychopath. So as a consequence we don't own our own power to change, as to recognise the power we have in our own lives, holds us accountable. Accountable as change makers in our own lives and also the potential to make a difference in all the things we moan about being wrong globally.
The second kind of power is power to. It's when we choose to use our greatness to empower other people. People who wield power in this way make great government officials, bosses and leaders.
Right now we need more people to become leaders in order to make global changes. Yet predominantly we are scared of our own power and in being so we let everyone down. We fear becoming one of those egotistical people who lord power over, so we deny our own authentic power in order to play small. Yet it is in fact the small steps that make big changes, and owning your own power is one of the greatest benefits you can bring to other people.
Once you focus on your personal power and step into it, you will find all of those problems you thought you had, don't truly exist. They were filters you put up against the brilliance of your own potential.
Interestingly, I believe this resistance to step into our authentic power is really true for men at this time.
If you're a man and your finding yourself getting caught in a repeating cycle of limited achievement.
I have a gift for you...