no matter where you go… there you are.
It seems to be a theme this week, talking with clients about the idea of wanting their lives to change, by moving physically away, quitting a job, or maybe even leaving a relationship. The underlying idea being, maybe if the situation changes, it will be different or easy for me. Let me start off by saying, there is nothing wrong with leaving a situation, if you recognize that you take your baggage with you. Leaving the situation can give you a break from whatever rut you find yourself, but if you have a pattern or habit, most likely you will find yourself running around the same tree very soon. In order to break a habit or change a situation, you need to start with yourself. What do you need to focus on in order to really change whatever dysfunction you find yourself in? That’s a big question.
The first question to think about is: What is the pattern?
Awareness can make a huge difference in outcomes. In fact, Awareness makes ALL the difference, with awareness we can begin to understand our patterns and what motivates us to behave, speak, fight, make choices, etc in certain ways. With this insight, we can begin to choose differently.
The second questions to think about is: What sort of person do I want to be?
Awareness let’s us know what’s going on, but in order to know what to choose, we have to have an idea of where we want to go. Steven Covey talks about in his book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, to begin with the end in mind, and that’s the truth, we need to have a direction.
I was talking to a client yesterday, she gets into patterns with men, where she is in financial crisis and wants someone to ‘save’ her. But, men don’t tend to want to financially rescue women for free, so she ends up with the cost of what she has to do to keep the guy engaged. She feels like crap and ends up hating the guy. So, there’s the pattern, now what does she want to move towards. “I want to feel safe and like I don’t have to worry that creditors are knocking at my door.” My thought to her was, “If you want to truly be ‘safe’ you’re going to have to deal with the financial drama you create, it will allow you then to choose the people/guys you want to spend time with, based on liking and respecting them, not because you have to put on a show to get them to do what you need… like save you.”
One of the problems in life is that we can’t truly hide from ourselves. So, leave if you must, but if we have the courage to pay attention and stop running away from our stuff, life gets less complicated. It’s sort of like that quintessential picture of the newlyweds driving away in the car looking over waving at the crowd with little cans hanging off the back, those little cans are actually baggage, the cans say things like: problem managing anger, commitment issues, fear, wants to be saved, and I’m not feeling so confident. The problem with the little cans is your dragging them along with you.