Nothing is more frustrating than a long-term life goal that seems to be ever elusive. Here are 3 inner “roadblocks” that might be keeping you stuck and some strategies to break through them.
1) The family inheritance
What it is: Our family upbringing probably has the biggest influence on how we think and feel about ourselves than any other factor. Your role in the family can affect how you relate to power, authority, success, relationships, etc.
Why it’s a problem: In childhood negative subconscious messages can be absorbed that run completely counter to conscious desires and goals. For example, if your parents continually fought about money, you may have an unconscious negative association that money equals conflict. Even though consciously you may have a great desire for wealth, your subconscious mind will fight your having it because it associates it with something bad, in this case, fighting.
Some other examples: if your father was a successful business man who was never home you might associate success with isolation or abandonment. Or if you were raised to value modesty and humility you might find it very difficult to promote your business. Or, if your family was poor and struggled with finances, you might have inherited a financial struggle mindset. Or, if you were raised by a single parent who had a pattern of difficult relationships you might find yourself continually challenged by your own relationships.
What to do about it: Think about your elusive goal and your experiences growing up in your family. What associations might you have formed that are interfering with your ability to have this goal? Explore whatever associations you may have formed with this goal that feel “familiar.” The more you are able to identify these patterns the more you will be able to take back your power from them. How do you need to think differently? What do you need to embrace that you have been taught was not OK? Are there familial associations that could discourage you from pursuing your goal? The key here is awareness–if you can become aware of an unconscious pattern that is causing you to resist your goal, this in itself can be a game-changer. Just seeing the pattern will begin to dissolve it. You can then move forward with awareness towards what you really want.
2) The subconscious pay off
What it is: You are getting a bigger subconscious reward in not pursuing the goal than in pursuing it.
Why it’s a problem: If your emotional mind believes achieving a certain goal will cause you to lose something that it associates with comfort or safety, it will fight your efforts to achieve that goal.
For example, if you are a woman who desires to lose weight, your emotional mind might resist if it believes you will get unwanted male attention as a result of your weight loss. Or if you have a goal to start your own business, your emotional mind may not want to give up the structure of a 9-5 job. Or, if you have a desire to have a committed relationship your emotional mind might resist the responsibility of “being there” for someone else. Or, if you have the desire to be a successful actor, author or speaker, your emotional mind might resist the potential loss of your private life.
What to do about it: Ask yourself: What is it about this goal that I am resisting? What makes me want to back off from pursuing it? What’s the “payoff” from not pursuing it? The key here is to let yourself feel whatever negative feelings you have about pursuing the goal. That will lead you to the block and help you identify it. You need to acknowledge whatever resistance is present in order to take your power back from it. Once you identify the resistance, first, forgive yourself for having it, then, embrace it. Realize that this is the only thing that is stopping you right now from your goal. Once you are able to identify the block and release your resistance, you will be free to move forward to achieving your goal.
3) The fear factor
What it is: You fear something associated with either pursuing or achieving your goal.
Why it’s a problem: Fear is probably the number one reason many people do not pursue their goals. Fear of failure and fear of success are two of the most common fears. Many times it is simply fear of change, aka “moving out of your comfort zone.” But as fear is such a powerful emotion, you can feel powerless under it’s influence. You might find yourself continually procrastinating, making bad decisions or sabotaging yourself. It can feel like you are working against yourself because, in a sense. you are. Since your emotional mind is 95% of your consciousness, you simply cannot make it do something it does not want to do.
What to do about it: If self-sabotage, anxiety or strong emotional resistance is blocking you from a goal, trying to talk yourself out of it with positive self-talk may not be enough. Releasing your emotional blocks can free up your creative energy and allow you to take effective inspired action. Energy therapies that work at the emotional level such as tapping, hypnotherapy, or bodywork therapies can do wonders to clear out emotional blocks that are holding you back from what you want.
I hope you found these ideas helpful. Do you struggle with goal resistance? What do you do to break through it? I would love to hear about your experience. Please leave your comments below.