Whether in a coaching session or sitting in a restaurant, I frequently hear people say, “If only I could just get thatcontract.” Or, “If I could just get herto go out with me!” Or, “If I had a house like that(or a car or a job or a salary or an investment portfolio or a child, or…) I would be sohappy.”
These statements are loaded with limiting LIES™ — labels, illusions, excuses and stories. They demonstrate how we quest after things outside ourselves, thinking that is where our happiness, meaning and safety reside. I hate to break it to you, but it just ain’tso. What will fulfill you is inside. It’s You.
In a coaching conversation with Moe, we talked about the value of focusing her attention inward. Her response: “Oh, I don’t know about that,” she said laughing nervously.
Frequently, when I hear people say, “I don’t know,” it’s the same as shouting, “I’m terrified. That scares me.” So I asked Moe, “What is it about trying to silence the constant chatter in your mind that bothers you?”
She had a litany of reasons. “First, I don’t know if I can. I’ve tried before and I can’t stop the chattering. It’s frustrating. Plus, what if I get quiet and there’s nothing in there?”
Then the bigger concerns came. “What if I hear something that I don’t want to know, or I have to do something I don’t want to do?”
While Moe’s anxiety is shared by scores of people, I have learned that the only way to overcome an issue is to get still and go within to get to the emotional root. If you don’t, you’ll spend your life problem-solving instead of living.
When you only deal with symptoms, you perpetually address the same issues. Time passes and you find yourself talking about the same difficulty you had last week, last year, ten years ago. Sound familiar? The problem doesn’t change because youhaven’t changed. There has been no internal shift.
Obsessing is one of the warning signs that it’s time to look within. When you notice that someone else or something else has become the focus of your attention, be it for behavior you admire or disdain, alarms should go off.
That’s the time to grab hold of your energy, get quiet and go within. Ask yourself:
- Why am I paying so much attention to (name the person or situation)?
- What am I not seeing in myself that I am seeing in him, her or it?
- In what way is what I’m admiring or complaining about also true of me?