Two thousand years ago, Saint Paul was stuck in a rut when he wrote the words I do not understand what I do. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
While we don’t know what exactly he was referring to, we do know how he felt. The anguish of repeating patterns that we hate and are ashamed of. The self-loathing that builds over the years when we live in slavery to our old habits and patterns. The fear and frustration of trying and failing, again and again for months, years, and even decades.
There are powerful reasons behind your actions that run far deeper than you give them credit for. When you are stuck in a rut and unable to make progress towards your goals, it could be that you need to have a look at your foundation.
Your foundation is made up of your values, stories, and core issues. These are the why behind what you do…including the very things you hate.
Your values are the things that are most important to you. They are your most basic, fundamental beliefs by which you navigate the world, make decisions, and take action. Your values embody who you want to be and the ideals you hold most dear.
We each hold a mix of personal values and cultural values. As individuals and cultures, we use these beliefs about right and wrong, about morality, and about what is most important in life as a compass to guide our steps and as a ruler by which to measure our success.
You experience roadblocks to success when your values conflict with one another, or when your actions don't reflect your values. Roadblocks and conflicting interests will keep you from your desired outcome. Discovering your values, your views of the world, and where these may come into conflict with each other is key to removing roadblocks to your success.
As you look at your values, the question is not whether your values are correct or incorrect. Rather, are they effective for the things that you want in life?
We all have stories that we tell ourselves about who we are, what we are capable of, and what the world around us is like. But stories are just things that we tell ourselves, they aren’t necessarily true. When our stories no longer serve us, they become limitations that hold us back from reaching our goals and from building the life that we desire.
Your stories influence the choices you make every day. Made up of powerful words and thoughts, your stories are scripts that you act out in your habits, patterns, and practices every day of your life.
What are your stories? What has life taught you to believe about yourself, your capabilities, and your place in the world? Your stories are the way you view your past, who you are, your strengths and weaknesses, your personal history, how you project your vision of the future, and definitions and labels you assign to & believe about yourself, other people, and the world.
If your stories are filled with negative judgments, negative thoughts, and limiting beliefs, your words and thoughts will be negative and limiting as well. And these things are powerful!
Your words and thoughts are like seeds on the ground. They grow when watered. Thoughts and words that you repeat eventually become actions that you take. These actions lead you somewhere. The question is, are they leading you where you want to go? Are your definitions and labels serving you or holding you back from reaching your goals?
Core Issues & Childhood Influences
Our beliefs, definitions, values, and models of the world are shaped in childhood by our family, friends, environment, and even pop culture. These childhood influences help us form our views and perspectives and tell us how we fit in, or why we don't. They stay with us and provide an unconscious roadmap that drives our emotions and behaviors for the rest of our lives.
As we go through life, we add core issues to our roadmap of patterns, beliefs, and behaviors. Core issues are false, negative beliefs we hold about who we are and how we fit into the world. They helped form our stories.
Your core issues and childhood influences are the root cause behind your patterns, habits, beliefs, and values. Like all of us, you unconsciously and unquestioningly believe them to be true. But ignoring them or failing to understand them can severely limit your health and wholeness.
Childhood influences and core issues such as unforgiveness and resentment can be major roadblocks to success. In fact, the reason it is challenging or ineffective to try and "will a change" is that core issues are at play.
Unforgiveness and resentment cut off growth and harmony in wellness. Releasing resentments and achieving forgiveness takes awareness, willingness, action, and techniques to support it. Forgiving someone doesn't mean that we excuse or approve of their behavior. Instead, forgiveness sets the one who forgives free.
When you want to make a change but find yourself unable to make progress, take a look at the foundation you're trying to build on.
Values, stories, and core issues are just three examples of the powerful lessons in my new self-directed coaching program. If you're ready to dig into the why behind what you do, download 30 Days to Better Brain today.
It is a powerful system to move from where you are today to where you want to be tomorrow!