One thing I love about Coaching is that it’s a gentle discipline. It’s the most powerful tool I know of to completely revolutionise and transform a life, but it doesn’t usually need to use harsh methods to accomplish this. Very occasionally, though, my Coach can be a little in-your-face about things.
There was one time when I hit a wall with my beliefs about money, beliefs I’d carried since childhood, which were seriously limiting my financial abundance back then. I had worked on them before but like a boomerang, the beliefs came back around and hit me in the face. Then my Coach asked something monumental:
“How does being broke serve you? What about it makes you so reluctant to let it go?”
My first reaction was protest. This was ludicrous: Being broke is awful, I don’t choose to be short of money! As I sat and thought about it, though, I realised that parts of me were ashamed to rise above so many of my equally skint friends, and worried I’d lose them if I became wealthy. I also felt like I was trying to be more than my family have ever been.
Of course, you may not have these beliefs at all. However, if you’ve been struggling with your finances for more than a year or so, chances are you’re getting something out of it. The same goes if you’re constantly pressed for time, always stressed, always busy.
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The hidden benefit
A heads-up before I say any more: You’re likely to feel a lot of resistance about this, just like I did that time with my Coach. I invite you to bear with me for a moment and just remain open to the possibility. Can you do that?
With this openness, look at your life. Is there anything that you know doesn’t serve you? Any external circumstance that just seems inevitable, that you’ve been unable to shift? There might be “really good reasons” for it, but don’t dismiss it, please. If you know it doesn’t serve you and it’s still there, it’s a candidate for what I call hidden benefits.
Which one is you?
Ask yourself how this annoyance serves you. Here are some examples of what you might come up with, but in truth, your reasons might look completely different, so simply take these as inspiration:
- Always being stressed and having too much on your plate makes you feel accomplished and in charge. It gives you the good feeling that you’re doing something in your life, that you’re going places.
- Having no time keeps you in that comfortable place where you can say you’ll pursue your passion just as soon as the “busy period” is over (though in reality, it never seems to be over at all), without having to face the scary aspects of actually going for your dreams.
- Being short of money can have the same effect: You’ll pursue your passion and live your dreams once you can afford it. By staying broke, you won’t have to actually step up and do it, risking failure, disappointment, and change.
- You may have grown up in an environment that looks down on people with money, so you’re subconsciously making sure not to become one of the “filthy rich”.
- You may have grown up with values that include hard work, and internalised the belief that you’re only a successful human being if you always keep busy.
- You’re afraid your friends will think you’re greedy and not really passionate about what lights you up, if you start making money from your passion.
Discomfort is your friend
How do you move past these ingrained beliefs? I have to admit that I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without my Coach, so if you’re having a hard time with it, I warmly recommend getting some support! In any case, finally leaving behind what doesn’t serve you will require you to leave your comfort zone behind.
Find actions which make you uneasy around the area where you’re stuck. If you’re downright afraid to do something, or simply “don’t feel like it” for no obvious reason, although it might advance what you really want, you need to buckle down and do it. Warning, this is really, really uncomfortable! It’s also the No. 1 reason why so many people get stuck in situations they hate.
It requires discipline, a lot of self-love, and persistence, but you can change your finances and how much free time you have. Stick with it, and you’ll surprise yourself with how much easier it gets after only a short time.