I’m excited and proud to kick off the new Coach Monique brand. After interviewing current and former clients, reviewing years of client notes, and reflecting on my own life-changing work, Unlock Bold Change™ revealed itself. As a gift to you, this blog will help you discover the root cause of your struggles. Sit back and take this life-changing information in the “spirit” intended so that you can Unlock Bold Change™ in every area of your life…because information gives you power.
What’s Wrecking Havoc?
To Unlock Bold Change™, you need to discover what you don’t know about yourself that…let’s face it…you just don’t know. What’s really wreaking havoc or holding you back? “Wreaking havoc” often looks like: anxiety and depression, inability to make decisions, problems with anger, or relationship issues. “Holding you back” can look like self-sabotage, procrastination, lack of motivation, inability to ask for what you need, and confidence issues.
When we want change, the first knee-jerk response is changing behaviors. For example, if we want to lose weight, we immediately diet and/or exercise because it makes sense. Most often, you don’t get the results you need. Sure, you initially lose a few pounds. Unfortunately, you can’t keep it off because you start sabotaging yourself by eating that very tempting bag of cookies or visiting the vending machine at work. Diets and other self-help programs have such a high failure rate because you never reach the “true source” of the problem.
Getting to the Bottom of It
The “real source” is your own thoughts, beliefs, expectations, and interpretations of your past experiences. The source of what drives your behaviors. For example, the most common outcomes for adults who were made to feel unworthy as a children were either to become an underachiever (because they believe they aren’t worthy of having what they want) or to become a perfectionist (because they feel like they have to compensate or hide the fact that they aren’t enough). Both behaviors are rooted in the “I am not enough” belief.
I always share with my clients that there are no “problem behaviors.” Instead, there are behaviors that cause a problem. In most cases, the unwanted behavior becomes a coping mechanism for something you don’t understand about yourself. It’s usually rooted in early childhood before you had any real sense of control in your life.
For example, weight problems are really about your relationship with food and how you are substituting food for something else such as love, safety, connection, or control. Being overweight is simply the consequence of your relationship with food. Other examples include drug and alcohol abuse, which are generally about self-soothing and feeling unworthy. When someone has an ongoing problem with time, it’s often a long-standing need for personal control or fear related to a specific painful event.
Understanding the root cause of the behaviors you want to change is the key to changing them and actually unlocking bold change. This is true whether that change is overcoming an obstacle or simply reaching for a stretch goal.
Behind the “Struggle”
The root causes are born out of the four universal reasons for human struggling:
1. The belief that you aren’t enough. During my 16 years working with clients from all over the world, I discovered that about 97% of my client-base has this belief. When you believe you aren’t enough, problems occur because there has to be a consequence or penance for not being enough. The belief that you aren’t enough is like gravity. You don’t have to be aware of gravity to be affected by it. When I begin working with clients, they may not recognize they have this belief about themselves. However, once they start looking at their challenges in a new way, the belief can quickly become apparent.
2. The belief that what I want isn’t available to me, even if others can have it. For this belief, we’re concentrating more on the intangible beliefs, such a love, happiness and connection. These intangible beliefs are the most destructive.
3. The fear of rejection. Fear of rejection is rooted in the primal brain, designed to keep you alive and safe. As a species, it wasn’t that long ago that being rejected meant you could perish. For example, the fear of being eaten by a tiger was a legitimate one and basic survival required a lot more physical activity such as hunting, gathering, and securing shelter so your life depended upon being a part of a tribe or a larger group. Today, even though the world isn’t as dangerous nor does it require as much physical energy, our rejection response still works overtime. This is why many people find themselves feeling rejected when someone doesn’t quickly return a call or when someone doesn’t make eye contact at the office. Clients share that they struggle with feelings of rejection even though they logically realize that it’s unfounded and creates stress and duress. Yet, they can’t stop.
4. The need for connection. We’re designed, wired, and built to be connected. That is why so many people live in fear of being alone or will participate in an activity that may be unpleasant, risky, or even illegal because they want to be a part of the group. Abandonment (either physically or emotionally) as a child often results in issues around rejection and connection for the rest of someone’s life if the connection is not realized and resolved.
What Shapes Your Unique Pie?
Everyone has a unique “pie” made up of the four universal reasons for struggle. Some people struggle more with feelings of not being enough while others live in nearly constant fear of rejection. What is universally true is: what you don’t know…that you don’t know wreaks havoc and holds you back. You simply aren’t aware of the real reasons you are suffering or struggling.
Today, that can change for you. Spend some time really thinking about how your struggles stem from the four universal reasons for human suffering. Gain insights. With those insights, make powerful connections that can help you Unlock Bold Change™ in all the areas of your life.
Coach Monique is a Change Management Expert with 16 years of experience in the Life Coaching and Executive Coaching fields. Check out Coach Monique’s new programs and website at www.CoachMonique.com.