5/22/2009

Are you slowing down or self-sabotaging your own progress?

This morning I did a quick meditation exercise where I asked myself a burning question and waited for an honest intuitive response. After allowing myself to become completely relaxed, and open to the experience, I asked the question as to why I sometimes slow down the progress I am trying to make towards my intentions. Even some of my smallest intentions, it seems, was hindered by some type of resistance on my part one way or another.

When my answer came, I was somewhat disappointed. The answer to my deep seated issue was a simple "because you don't feel like it's a true accomplishment unless you experience some type of resistance." At first, I completely dismissed the activity as useless and non-value added, but as allowed the thought to simmer a little while longer, I began to understand how profound the revelation actually was.

Did I truly believe that overcoming resistance was the only true measure of accomplishment? Was this belief so strong within me that I was willing to create my own resistance even when it was completely unnecessary to do so? I was immediately turned off by the idea until I thought about the concept of physical exercise. In the world of physical fitness, the only true way of realizing the results you want is to feel the burn that comes with increasing the level of resistance. No pain, no gain right?

Whenever anyone wants to accomplish anything, that person will likely have multiple ways of achieving that desire. For instance, let's say you wanted to put on a pair of shoes so you can go for a walk. You could probably contemplate putting on the shoes, think of all the alternative shoe options you have and which shoes would work best. You might also focus on the negative aspects of going for a walk. You also have the option of watching your favorite show and take the walk later. The list goes on and on.

Or, you can just put on the shoes, and walk out the door. Plain and simple.

This example may seem a bit simplistic compared to our larger goals but I believe that we subconsciously create ways to slow our progress more than we think. If realizing a desire is just as simple as wanting it, taking the most direct actions, and getting it, we start to believe that the desire holds less valuable because of how easy it was to get it. The belief that most of us have deep down is, "if we didn't work hard for what we want, then we won't appreciate it."

The exercise I completed was extremely valuable for me because I now realize that I was creating artificial resistance in order to "feel the burn." Somehow this gave me the false of accomplishment for having to overcome to achieve. Now comes the next step in the process where I cultivate the desire to experience the victory (end result) more than the desire to overcome some type struggle along the way.

When I say struggle, you have to keep in mind that the word is relative. I'll define the word "struggle" as anything that hinders you from achieving what you desire in the quickest way possible. Examples of struggle include but are not limited to:

-Any type of procrastination on your part which keep you from doing what you know you have to do.
-Taking extra steps to reach an end result which a reasonable person would deem unnecessary.
-Slowing down forward movement by over analyzing or contemplating.
-Deliberately not taking bold action even if you know that such an action would move your progress forward.

You get the picture. I do have to say that I'm grateful to have received this insight into my beliefs around achievement. Now comes the next steps which I will blog about in my next post. In the mean time, I want you to think introspectively and honestly about how you go about achieving the results you want. Are you headed straight there or are you slowing your self down unnecessarily.