Have you ever had the experience of having one of those ‘Ahaaaa’ moments while you ponder how to solve your problems, only to realise that you already knew that answer?
The funny thing is that you perhaps knew it on a sub-conscious level, yet somehow your conscious mind seemed to suppress it or cloud it in a veil of mysterious brain fog. Why does that happen?
Sometimes it can be a case of what Steve Jobs referred to as ‘connecting the dots’. In other words, all the information that was required to reach the conclusion was already there, yet somehow there was a missing link from one snippet to the next – you just needed to make that connection.
What came up today at a workshop I attended was that you might know the answer but you apparently suppress it, because in order to enjoy the gain of achieving that goal or dealing with that problem, you also have to be willing to give up something else.
In some instances you would be giving up something that you didn’t want anyway, so that is a much more palatable option. For example you buy the new car and are glad to get rid of the old rust-bucket.
In other instances though you would have to be willing to give up something positive, something that you might miss. For example, in order to buy that dream home that might be modern and stylish, you would also have to give up the old fashioned but comfortable residence that has been your beloved retreat for many years. This can then create an inner conflict and while you’re having an inner conflict, guess what happens?
Usually, not much happens. It’s not that surprising when we remember the way our mind (and the Universe) works. When we set a goal and focus on our desired outcome, we bring to bear the power of our reticular activating system (RAS). This amazing inner resource sets in motion a mental magnetism (the Law of Attraction) that attracts to you all the resources you need to achieve your goal. The resources can be skills, knowledge, equipment, tools or people – whatever you need to ‘make it happen’.
If you want an example of a RAS effect, consider the process of buying a car. You set the goal to buy a new one; you start to fine tune which make and model are appealing. Suddenly that car is everywhere on the roads and in every car yard you drive past. Then out of the blue, there is the very car you want at the price you are willing to pay. Sometimes it is found for you by a friend or a salesman you have come across. In other words, the resources to lead you to the goal have appeared. Those cars were always there – you just weren’t looking for them before.
The setting of a goal not only activates the RAS though, it also usually sends you a little test from the Universe. On Saturday you set a goal to diet and lose weight. No sooner have you set the goal, than on Sunday your next door neighbour knocks on your door and says, “Someone just gave me this double chocolate cream cake and we won’t eat it. Would you like it?” It happens to be your favourite, so you say, “Okay, thanks. We’ll just use that up first and start the diet on Tuesday”. On Tuesday, you visit your mother and she says, “I’ve made you your favourite – a big chocolate pudding.”
Whenever you set a goal, the Universe likes to test you out to see if you were actually serious about following through with it!
So what else would stop you from having your ‘Ahaaa’ moment?
You might just suppress the answers because you realise that to make the changes you say you want in your life would require that you step outside your comfort zones. Motivational author and speaker Jim Rohn used to say that “The things that are easy to do are also easy not to!”
The comfort zone blockage might not just be a case of ‘easy to’ versus ‘easy not-to’. It can also be the case that to step outside your comfort zone will lead to another conflict or with having to deal with something painful. For example, emigrating to a new country to take up a new opportunity might mean leaving a partner or a family member behind.
Thus what often happens is that we freeze. We become stuck, confused, frustrated or even angry.
There is however, hope. Working with a sounding board, such as a good coach, can allow you to step back from the problem or break down an apparent problem into what might potentially be many smaller elements, requiring smaller, simpler decisions.
The biggest thing you can do to help yourself is to allocate the time and space for you to be able to think. Most people simply ‘don’t think’. They become stuck on a treadwheel and keep on repeating the pattern that isn’t working, instead of doing something to change it. Alternatively, worse still, is that they do nothing. They justify their indecision and inaction by blaming circumstances or other people, or they just put it off and they will make a decision ‘later’.
So I urge you to consider this…
If you want to design and live the best life you can, don’t hold on to those problems or they will become like pebbles in your shoes. Create some ‘me’ time – that’s time invested in yourself; time that will enable you to reflect on what you really want versus where you are presently stuck. Seek out the resources you need. Figure out what the price will be, both the physical price and the emotional price. If there’s a conflict, get advice and consider your options, but whatever you do, act in accordance with your values.
If you don’t know what your values are yet, then you really do need to create more personal time for ‘YOU’ because ‘YOU’ are your own greatest asset. That’s another story, but until then, ‘Be happy and work on developing and listening to your own intuition.’