Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?
If you want to sort your life out, let’s talk.
Here’s how to get to the bottom of your issues and sort your sh*t out.
Before we start just know it’s pretty normal to feel afraid. Be gentle with yourself in this process.
Figure out the problem
You’re probably reading this because you have a specific challenge and most likely, it’s causing discomfort, unhappiness or pain.
You’re unhappy in your job, in your relationship, with your finances, with your body, your health or just the way you’re feeling.
I’ve been there. I get it.
Write down if you will for a moment, how you feel.
Repeat after me, I feel …. Note that there are more feelings than happy, sad and angry. Try to put a specific feeling to how you’re feeling frustrated, lonely, vulnerable, upset, furious, sensitive, abandoned etc. The more specific you can describe the feeling, the better.
Now start with that. I feel _______ because….. And now write the reason.
There could be a million reasons you’re feeling this way. The point is just to write and acknowledge.
You could have more than one or even ten sentences.
E.g. I feel angry and hurt because I was passed up for a promotion that I felt I deserved.
I feel abandoned because my date from last week never called.
I feel afraid because I’ve been diagnosed with cancer and I don’t know how to deal with it.
The reason we do this is because it’s important to know where you are. Awareness is always the first step to really solving a challenge.
Categorize the problem
What can you do about politics in another country? Potentially very little unless you’re some foreign minister or choose to become an activist on social media.
But what can you do about the behaviour in your own home? Probably a lot. Or how about your health or weight? These are problems that at least you can take some action on.
So you’ve got to put your problem in the right category. This is a little like Steven Covey’s time management matrix but with a twist.
He talks about urgent versus important whereas in my adopted problem-solving matrix, I’ve categorized it as urgency versus control. You see some problems, such as the politics in another country are very much out of our control.
Get to the bottom of your issues
I spent years and years trying to change the picture around me before I realized that I was the one going into each situation in the same way, hoping that the outcome would be different.
I wanted to change jobs, bosses, and situations but every time there I was.
The definition of insanity isn’t just doing the same things and expecting a different result.
The definition of insanity is doing the same things with the same mindset and belief system and expecting a different result.
This is why it’s important to A) understand the core of your issues, B) figure out the wound driving it and C) the belief that holds the wound in place.
For instance, let’s take the example of I feel angry and hurt because I was passed up for a promotion that I felt I deserved.
- Where else in your life, if any, do you feel that same feeling?
- When in your life did you first feel this same feeling?
- Is this situation a pattern in your life? How so? For instance maybe in your family, you feel your achievements were never noticed. Maybe your elder brother always got the attention so you always felt angry and hurt.
- What area of your life is the issue? For instance, maybe you constantly face these challenges in work or in relationships.
You may need to take some time to think about this.
What’s the core belief? The core belief may be something like I’m not enough or I’m not loveable or even I can’t.
I really like Harris III’s questionnaire on this. Check it out here to help you get to what the core belief is that keeps holding you back.
Take time to reflect and ask the hard questions
So now you’ve got a grasp on where you are. This is great news because the hardest and most important part of facing challenges is to know where you are. If you’re up shit creek without a paddle, it’s always a good thing to know so you can learn how to swim!
Well, there may or may not be an immediate action needed. If not, it’s probably best not to take a knee-jerk reaction. Don’t storm out of your marriage or quit your job and tell someone to go jump.
No, now is the time to ask a couple more questions
What is it you really want out of this situation?
What do you really want out of this area in your life?
And most importantly what do you need to do to be different in the same situation?
Forget about anyone else changing, just focus on you.
Feel the pain
Whatever is happening, you’re not reading this by accident. It probably hurts like hell. I’m truly sorry. I am but know this; if you’re at the point of pain then know you’re ready to work with it and let it go.
Just feel it.
Don’t think (that’s what keeps feelings stuck), just feel.
Close your eyes and just let yourself feel where the pain sits in your body. It will pass.
Usually, when we don’t want to feel pain, we react. We attack or we run. What if instead, you just feel?
Be different in the same situation
Tomorrow may still be tough. You may still face the same dynamics and challenges.
We humans are interesting in that we typically prefer to wait for life to suddenly change. But sometimes you have to BE the change. You may have to be different in the same situation to achieve a different result.
What’s going to happen next time;
- Your ex wants you to do something?
- You react in anger at your partner?
- It’s cold and you don’t want to get up to train?
- You don’t get a job you really wanted?
- The date you had such a great time with doesn’t call?
- You start smoking even though you promised yourself you’d quit?
As humans, we ignorantly hope that the things we don’t want won’t happen again instead of creating a strategy for when they do.
What would you have to believe to solve the challenge differently?
What does your intuition tell you?
If you could imagine the best possible outcome, what would you imagine?
This whole being human story is messy. I have not figured out a way out of any lifetime challenge without a major dose of self-compassion.
When you realize that we’re all struggling with something, you can’t but help have compassion.
Some people have health challenges, some people have relationship challenges, some people have finances, some people have family… we all get something.
The more you realize that your relationship with yourself is based at the centre of all things, the more you will see that life’s events are a reflection of that relationship.
If you want to shift the picture around you, work on that relationship first.
If you’re ready to get to the bottom of your issues, treat yourself with self-compassion and accountability and you’ll see how things begin to change.
Remember that you can change, life can change
In 2020 I had a really big problem, I was in love with someone who didn’t have the same vision for our lives together as I had.
I had to make a decision. So I moved to Spain, creating a whole set of new problems for myself such as how to speak the language.
But you know what? Things changed. My life changed.
Read all about it in my new book.