Archive for Get Help In Your Business

Jul
08

Are you in growth or survival?

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In the last post I was talking about how we humans drive with the brakes on.   Why would we want to defeat ourselves?   Seems kind of perverse.

Actually it makes sense if you look at the world for which our basic instincts and nervous system evolved.   When food was scarce, when predators (animal or human) threatened our survival, when babies often died, we were encoded to survive and to stay safe.

For example, our bodies tend to respond to less food by slowing down our metabolism—because in the past, less food meant famine or starvation so we needed to use less fuel.   That’s one of the problems with very low calorie diets and why if you’ve done a number of calorie restriction diets, it gets harder and harder to lose weight. Our bodies stubbornly hold onto the fat and the weight because the message is “uh oh, starvation conditions”.

It was a good adaptation when food was scarce but causes problems in our modern world.   Most of us here in the US and the western world don’t live in starvation conditions, we live with a superabundance of food.   This metabolic cycle shows how our biological systems, including our nervous system, program us to choose staying safe over taking risks and growing. As cell biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton says in his work “The Biology of Belief”, our cells can only be in survival or growth mode, not both simultaneously.

When we are in fear and survival mode, we won’t take the steps we need to grow, because that involves risk. It’s easy to spiral downward from there, as many people are doing these days, with fears about paying the bills, getting new clients, even losing their home through foreclosure, etc.

The first step is recognizing when we’re in the downward survival spiral, when we’re getting into fear, worry and anxiety—and that these emotions and perceptions are getting in our way. The next step is to acknowledge with love, “this is what’s happening, I’m in the fear cycle” and then saying no, “I’m not going down further.”

This interrupts the spiral. Finally, if you have tools for handling your feelings and shifting your beliefs and emotions, get to work using them; if not, I’m happy to help!

 

In the last post I invited you to take a look at your  inner self-talk.   How is that going?  Did  you discover anything new or surprising about how you think and speak about yourself?     Most people are quite  hard on themselves and may not consciously realize they are immersed in a stream of self-criticism all day long.

If you are one of those people–don’t add another layer of negativity by beating yourself up about being self critical!    That’s just wrong, my friend.

Here’s a  technique that’s been  helpful for me and for my clients.   One of my trainings was in Gestalt Therapy (the Wildflowers Center for Compassionate Body Centered Gestalt therapy in New Jersey).   We  learned how to  dialogue with different parts of ourselves—the hurt child, the inner wise adult, the rebellious teenager, and with our   “shadow”—fears, angers and other parts of ourselves that we disown.

Each “part” or aspect of our self needs to be included and validated.   Each part has a voice with a message, telling us what we need.   If we don’t listen to the voice, eventually it will either get very loud and take over, or go underground and turn into an illness, a depression or some other kind of negative experience.   The bottom line is that when we reject a part of ourselves, sooner or later it will cause a problem.

This can show up  in almost any way, but common signs are  procrastination, avoiding putting yourself out there, being unwilling to set limits with a client, depression, irritability, mood swings or some other form of resistance (pick your favorite flavor!).

Where are you in resistance or struggling? What task, or part of your business is more difficult for you?   Chances are there’s at least one, and possibly several parts of yourself that are stuck and need to be heard.

I can, and would love to help you.   Feel free to contact me to learn more about how I could assist you.

Meantime, try these  ideas for working on your own with your critical voices and shadow parts.   An excellent book is called  Embracing Your Inner Critic, by Hal and Sidra Stone. It will teach you  how to work with your Inner Critic, your judging voices AND other voices that also want to be heard.  Another great resource is  a guided meditation called Overcoming the Self -Destruct, by Sanaya Roman.  (www.orindaben.com). In this meditation you imagine sitting at the center of an “inner council” meeting where all your parts get to speak, and then you explore how they can all work together towards a common goal or desire.

Be forewarned that this work is not comfortable and can be challenging, especially if you tend to be self critical.   Go gently with yourself.  In a culture of perfectionism and “you are not enough” it’s quite a stretch to learn to  be this welcoming and accepting of yourself.   If this kind of work is new for you, or you want to go deeper and need the right support,  I suggest finding an experienced guide–me, another coach, therapist or healer.    Besides working with you with these issues, I’d love to empower you by showing how to  do this work on your own.

Jump in and experiment.   Have  fun meeting your parts and dialoguing with them, and let me know how it goes.

An easy way to  do this is by asking yourself when you get up, or during the day if you are getting stuck or bogged down, “What do I need right now? What part of me needs attention, and what does she   (this part) need?”.   Enjoy the discovery and the healing, and don’t hesitate to ask if you need additional support!