Do you spend a lot of time wondering why you don’t get past blockers that keep you stuck in a place you don’t want to be, whether: business, relationships, finance, health, lack of holidays or simply that you’re sick of yourself because you keep procrastinating or have stinkin’ thinking?
Fair weather finding
Most of us suffer with what I call “fair weather finding.” When something is wrong or not working, we want an immediate fix – otherwise known as INSTANT GRATIFICATION – we want something and we want it now, just like a child! We find a temporary fix which if I were to describe the feeling of that fix, feels like the first day of spring. Everything is OK, the grass is green, flowers are blooming, little lambs are galloping all around the paddock and we feel invincible.
The ‘suck-in’ can look something like this: we need to lose weight so we begin a few tummy tightening exercises which shows instant results – muscle can be felt underneath that flabby exterior after one week and after two weeks we begin to feel trim, taut and terrific again. But before we blink, life begins to get busy again and because we feel so good, we start to let the discipline go as quick as we began and before we know it, we’re feeling all pudgy again. This is my story from time-to-time, since hitting menopause (which is as whole other story)…
Here’s another example; our significant relationship slipped on that slippery slope of apathy and before too long we’re impatient, uncaring and we’re too busy for our date nights. Our significant other has become a part of the furniture and we begin to dehumanise them whilst we flirt with temptation, suddenly finding other people attractive. We continue to make arrangements with our significant other, but are always late or forget because our mind is elsewhere. We throw a bunch of flowers around or a new power tool or maybe a romantic night out to make up and possibly attend a marriage course – problem fixed right? Wrong!
What is happening? We got too comfortable, we found what we wanted, but didn’t take time to understand where, why and how the problems snuck in. We starved the relationship (& the people in it), to death, (hypothetically speaking). Things and people can only grow if fed well.
We take life for granted in so many ways and we stop trying, caring, loving, being disciplined, growing or learning.
Daily I work with people who struggle with these issues and more, some of them allow me to take them where they need to go and others don’t. Those who don’t waste more time and money trudging around the same ole’ mountain time-after-time, are the ones who push through to the other side and grow in joy and peace – success.
Taking time to realise that we need to maintain what we have is key, but most of us are too busy on the fly to stop and take stock, to plan, to deal with a problem fully, to dream or just plain appreciate what we have. We’re stuck on a treadmill of coping and a large part of that lie is that we have to have more; we become brain-washed into thinking we’ve got it all together. But the tighter we hold, the more the sand keeps falling through our fingers.
- We went a hunting and found our prize, dragged it home and got lazy
- We hoped someone else would take care of what is ours to take care of
- We thought more highly of ourselves than we should have, thinking that the other person would always be there, despite neglecting them
- Instead of being organised, we’re so busy being important, we don’t have time to discipline ourselves and we lose things or live in such mess that we can’t find what we want when we need it
- We keep eating as though we’re 20 but the reality is we’re climbing 50
- We stagnate and stick our head in the sand because it’s all too hard
What lies beneath
Research suggests that if we stop long enough, we’ll find that the common denominator is FEAR. I find it fascinating how most of us are happy to dig up other people’s issues and sling them around as though we’re throwing a mud pie, to expose someone else’s problems. How do we go when it comes to our turn? This is just another distraction, if we’re busy looking at someone else’s problems then we don’t have time to deal with our own. Do we take the time to find out why our significant relationship is in a mess or destroyed? why we don’t fit our clothes anymore; why our friends are not calling anymore; why we keep sabotaging our budget and therefore not reaching my desired financial goals, which in turn effects our home life – which in turn causes us to feel disappointed in ourselves…….
We were too busy to notice what lies beneath!
If we looked, what would we find? Patterns; and there are so many elements associated with patterns;
- Answers: truth and lies
- Past, present and future
Evidence is obvious, most people want the quick fix, easy answer approach to life, and they wonder why they don’t actually get what they really want. If we keep doing the same thing over but expect different results, what do we get? Frustrated! I know, I’ve been down that road once too often myself.
Investing into our future – outside of the money market, is not a common thought these days. I believe we have become addicted to spending rather than investing. We spend time and money:
- Trawling through social media, instead of investing into the passion of our children
- Comatosing ourselves with comfort food as we rot our brains repetitiously in front of the idiot box, instead of investing in quality conversations with loved ones we may never see again OR volunteering at the local op shop or soup kitchen.
- In countless retail stores trying to feel better about ourselves rather than investing into a place to call home, or helping build someone else’s dream that could impact the local community or nation.
In all my years of working within the area of human potential; it has become glaringly obvious how fearful we have become as a society. Responsibility has become a dirty word, in a land flowing with law suits and blame. The thought seems to be “If I face my own stuff I might: be required to change somehow, find out something about my family that I can’t fix, have financial costs that I’m obligated to sort out OR I might discover the real me hiding under all that junk and I won’t know who I am without it all. I would feel too vulnerable;” where does this end???
Individually and as a society, we’re diving deeper but deeper into what? To go deep means to unpack, explore and discover – usually. BUT most of us are diving deeper and deeper away from discovering our best potential because as we dive into our distractions the dirt that flies up, lands on our potential and some never realise or find it again.
Experiencing our feelings is a place most people do not want to visit, let alone sit with – and so they don’t. Those who are in that place will also be wondering why I’m talking about fear and how it’s related to all of this. Well, we have removed ourselves so far from feeling fear that we don’t even recognise it anymore. We’re so numb from our distractions we kid ourselves into thinking it’s not there, but it is!
The question to ask ourselves is this, “just how deep have I buried it?” For some it is almost six feet under; that is literally the impact it can have on you. Bitterness, hatred and unforgiveness are well known for killing us slowly; all of these are derived through fear. They steal our ability to connect with our true emotions to the point that we no longer recognise the enemies of our soul such as these cousins of debilitating fear.
This level of fear has a way of dominating our lives that we don’t even realise it’s impact anymore. It diligently works away in silence, so we don’t recognise its ugly presence. It’s roots growing deeper by the day, in its unconfronted state. Meanwhile we shake it off as a significant belief and dear friend that has held us together like super glue all these years, and is something we need, to the point we wouldn’t know who we are without it. We become too afraid to let it go, which results in us getting “STUCK.”
How can we tell if we are stuck? Are we really stuck? Let’s take a look at some evidence:
- We sabotage every effort to make it happen
- We’re comfortable but miserable about it
- Nothing has changed for the better for years
- We prolong the uncomfortable place we’re in
- We are silently rotting from the inside out, there is no life, little or no dreaming
- We have an excuse for every reason brought before us
- We keep talking about the thing we want and shut it down with our ‘BUT!’
I like the definition of faith as an opposite to fear:
- A mind set to the truth of a statement for which there may not be complete evidence (fears are often false)
- A decision of belief formed upon confidence in the authority of another, rather than upon one’s own knowledge, reason or judgment.
Belief is greater than fear, perfect love casts it out; if we love perfectly, there’s nothing to be afraid of. If we stand in the authority of knowing: who we are, what our rights are, who we belong to, our identity, purpose and value, we may feel vulnerable but we can let go of fear. When we do, doors begin to open and our world becomes bigger; it allows the things we want in our life to be invited in – and they do come in, and we get ‘unstuck.’
Since Jesus is the Author of Love, the very definition of love, and His Word tells us that: therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, for the law of the Spirit of Truth, has set us free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:1); when we rise up in His name and authority, we have the confidence to resist fear and we can get on with our life.
One of the most well-known understandings of fear and of love, are the acronyms:
F – false evidence appearing real
E – evidence
A – appearing
R – real
When there is no evidence to the fear you’re experiencing, it’s time to ask some questions:
- What is the worst thing that could happen?
- What if (it) is possible?
- What if I faced my baggage?
- Who would I be?
- Who am I to stay small?
- What if what I’m fearing is a lie; not even true?
- What if I am successful?
Scripture says “seek and you will find…”
Think of it like a buried treasure, when it’s dug up it is exposed. The only power that fear has, is what you give it! Expose it, face it and there is no more illusion or doubt left behind because it’s right there. The only thing left to do is to deal with it and turn it into treasure – something that works for you. When you activate your courage, your baggage will turn into treasure if you let it. What will you find? Are you afraid? Send me an email. I specialise in helping others deal with their fears and make good out of them. When was the last time you dreamed of something bigger than yourself?