Lately I’ve noticed a pattern with clients who want thoughts, feeling or behaviors to “just go away”. They want to “get over” what they don’t like about themselves; the patterns they find frustrating and limiting. They want a quick ‘fix’ for the things they judge harshly so they can leave discomfort behind.
It seems as if they want to prune themselves like a garden shrub. It may sound silly to prune an arm or eye simply because it is weak or painful; yet have you ever wanted to “just get rid” of something about you?
Opening my business intensified just about everything. The stakes were high and my focus was laser-like. I was also completely unable to integrate all of the new knowledge as rapidly as I wanted. I became critical and labeled myself “compulsive”. I wanted to take those garden shears and “prune” this characteristic away so I could relax a little. It was a trusted mentor who stopped this critical spiral by asking “what if you are just really thorough?” Hummmm… that sounded like a quality I might want to keep around.
“What you resist persists”
Resisting thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are a natural part of you increases frustration and interferes with our productivity. Taking a new viewpoint about those characteristics lets you harvest and use those qualities to better your life. Accepting the less preferred side you – Accept, not indulge – may lessen the desire to “prune” that quality. Then you can re-direct your focus to what you really want rather than resisting what you don’t want. It may mean being a little uncomfortable as you get used to accepting all of you. The discomfort will pass and the results are worth it.
When I stopped resisting my “compulsion” I could harvest tenacity and thoroughness; qualities that serve me well the majority of the time.
Whether or not you like your thoughts, patterns and behaviors they’re all part of the unique package known as “you”. Resisting any part of the whole “you” can fuel an internal battle that might feel like a tug-of-war. And imagine, just like in tug-of-war, what you resist, dislike and judge simply hangs on with a force equal to your resistance? Until you try something new.
Here are a few ideas to consider when accepting all of you.
“Like a coin, you need both sides to be valuable – or it is a counterfeit.”
- Accept all of you. You are a tapestry not aluminum foil.
- Practice laughing at the sides of you that you resist. Laughter changes your biology and you lighten up.
- Shine some compassion on that quality. Transformation comes in the acceptance
- Re-direct your focus to what you want.
It starts with noticing when you judge yourself. Are you willing to put away your garden shears and harvest your hidden strengths?
Certified Transformational Coach