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What’s Holding You Back?

Have you ever felt like you’re heading in the right direction towards your goals in your career? Or maybe you’re on your way to reaching the next level in your health, or in your relationship? And then BAM, something happens that prevents you from reaching that next level. Sometimes you don’t notice it straight away. Time passes and you look back and realise you’ve gotten to a certain point and hit a plateau. And if you were honest with yourself, looking back, you’ve done it again and again. How frustrating is it?

It can happen so easily in health. You hit a point, get motivated, start going to the gym. You reach one of your goals and maybe celebrate it, then relax for a few days which turns into weeks and then months, and before you know it, you’re back to where you started. All that work, gone! Getting motivated after that can be so much harder, next to impossible!!!

You know what you should be doing in your relationship, or dating. And if you look back on it you’ve given it a go, you’ve given it a good shot a few times but each time something happens. You just keep running into the same roadblocks. And if you’re like I used to be, you start questioning whether it’s worth trying again. Maybe it’s easier to accept where I am. Or make excuses saying it’s not me, it’s them. ‘It’s my boss who won’t recognise my potential’ ‘It’s that all the good men or women are taken’ or that ‘I don’t have time to connect with my wife and kids’.

What is your real problem?

It’s only when we notice that we have a problem that we can begin to solve it. Have you ever been driving home from work, been thinking about something and missed your turnoff? It’s easy to do, and it’s only when you notice that you’ve missed your turn off that you can make a change in direction to get back on track. The same thing is happening with our goals.

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Once we notice that we are off track… then what?

This step may be tricky to begin with, but easy once you know what you are doing. It’s to take responsibility for your role in what just went on. In the case of the missing your turnoff, you could blame the person you were thinking about, or you could blame the lack of signposts, or blame the project at work, or the story you were listening to on the radio. There are hundreds of different ‘reasons’ why you might have missed the turnoff. However, who was in control of the car? Who was driving the car? Ultimately, you are responsible for your actions. Once you notice that you’ve made an error, you are the one who can change the direction and get back on track. Just as in life. You need to recognise your responsibility in the state of your relationship, your health and your career.

If we are each responsible for our conscious actions (what we see, hear, smell, touch, taste, what we are aware of), how can we be aware of our automatic responses, our unconscious actions, the things we do without thinking? Sometimes, these are the ‘hidden roadblocks’ which prevent us from reaching the next level.

How our minds work

With your conscious mind you see things, you can hear, you can smell, you can touch, you can taste. When I think of my unconscious mind though, I think of it as a filing cabinet full of recipes, recipes that we do automatically, which make it easy to do things quickly and easily. Think back to when you first learned how to tie your shoelaces. You were probably shown by someone, and the first few times you really had to concentrate and consciously think about how to tie your shoelaces into. Over time though, you got better and better at it, until you no longer needed to think about it at all. You’ve learned the recipe for tying your shoelaces so that now when you do it, you don’t have to think about it.

Do you want help with Sadness, Procrastination, Self-Sabotage, Confidence or Motivation?

We learn recipes from when we are very young for everything that we automatically do. Feeling happy, being motivated, procrastinating, feeling confident, the way that we get home from work, how we greet our friends or partner, how we date, how we do our job. The list goes on.

So what happens when you’re running into roadblocks?

Roadblocks are when you keep following a recipe which is no longer getting you useful results. The thing is, when you’re doing it, it might seem like you’re doing something different. But really, each time you’re just following the same recipe, it happens automatically.

I often hear people say, ‘I’ve tried everything’. Maybe you’ve even said it before. ‘I’ve tried stopping that behavior’ ‘I’ve tried being confident’ ‘I’ve tried telling my boss that I am worth a raise’ ‘I’ve tried going on dates’.’ I’ve tried all these different things but nothing seems to work’. Is it really that you’ve tried everything?

If you had truly tried everything, then something would work, you would have your result because there is always a solution.

But, what is the solution?

How do you get to the source of a recipe if it’s no longer working, in order to change it? Have you ever tried changing the way you tie your shoelaces, changing the way that you sign your name? You have to really concentrate to do it. As soon as you stop concentrating, the old recipe fires off again and you’re tying your laces or signing your name the old way. We learned our recipes from the people around us when we were very young; from our parents, friends, media etc. And if you have been running the same recipe for years, or decades, it’s going to take more than a book or a youtube clip to change it. The good news is, you can change it.

Perspective is important! Getting a different view of where you’re at, with a new set of eyes helps. Have you ever heard someone say that it’s easier to look in on someone else and see what needs changing, than to look in and see it in yourself? This is why it can help to have people you trust, people who have been there before around you, who can help with perspective. Notice how I said that they are people you trust AND who have been there before.

There’s a chance it will be uncomfortable asking someone who’s been there for advice. It may even be difficult to hear what they have to say, or do what they suggest. But it will be more effective than listening to someone who is quick with advice who has never been in a similar situation.

What people are saying about Emotion Academy:

"After many years of training, courses, and counselling in various forms I thought I had certain aspects of my life sorted. Yet completing Emotion Academy showed me that I had been running away from my emotions and not facing them. After Emotion Academy, now I have the tools to engage with myself and win the internal battles once and for all - Neil Welsh, Victoria

Someone who has been in a relationship for 3 months giving relationship advice to someone who has been in a relationship for 10 years is not going to have the same perspective of the problem. The person who’s been in a relationship for 10 years is better off going to someone who has been in a relationship for more than 10 years. Someone who has been where they are and gotten the results they’re looking for.

Speaking to the right people

The people around you may be able to notice your roadblocks early, the automattic recipe that you run which is holding you back. Remember, you need to know what the roadblock is, what’s actually stopping you from moving forward in order to change it. I noticed in a friend once that she was repeating the same pattern in the area of relationships. She would get into a relationship and quickly fill her world up with her boyfriend, spending all her time with him and would stop seeing her friends. This would go on for weeks, months and years. When the relationship would start to be less than great, she would stay in it because she didn’t have the friends to help. her with support, a listening ear or perspective for what to do. When the relationship ended she would hide away for a time and after a while contact her friends again. Eventually she would recover from the situation, go out and meet another guy. And the same thing would happen again. She didn’t notice the pattern as it happened over years. It takes good friends to notice that stuff & tell you. Have you ever noticed that it can be easier to have perspective on recipes other people are repeating than it can be on yourself?  If your life is a movie and you’re living in it, it’s hard to see what’s really going on. It takes someone on the outside looking in watching the movie to see the link between what’s happening now in this moment, and the past and possible future.

The good thing is that if you have people who are in perspective around you, and who you trust, then you have a chance at catching the roadblocks early, before it get’s too painful, before you get stuck. And if you’re really switched on, maybe learn from other people on how to avoid making the same mistakes.

So you’ve discovered your Roadblock…. What do you do?

The very first thing to do once you notice that you are doing the same thing again and again, is to STOP!

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Melisa Grigg - Head Coach & Trainer

Melisa was stuck in sadness for 15 years, hated her job, was overweight and her relationship had just ended. Melisa inspires people with her story and now teaches how she sorted her life out. She worked out how to be happy and how to lose over 30kg of body weight.  In simple steps she teaches how you can stop procrastinating, find confidence, stop being so sad and finally start to find true meaning and purpose in your life.

You have to stop because unless you do, you will keep following the same automatic recipe. You have to interrupt it. Like a train on a train track, unless you stop it, it will keep going the same direction. In order for a train to go a different way it first needs to stop before changing direction, before the possibility of changing tracks.

Once you’ve stopped, you need to do anything different from what you would normally do. If you are shy and your automatic recipe is to stay in, first you stop everything. Stop your thought pattern, stop listening to your inner voice and what it usually says, and do the opposite of what you’d normally do. If you’d normally stay in, then you go out. Go out anywhere, even if it’s for a coffee, or to a movie or a bar for 30 minutes. Do anything to change the recipe.

In the case of my friend who I mentioned before, who goes out and falls in love real quick then doesn’t keep in contact with her friends. If she noticed the pattern, then stopped and got on the phone with one of her friends or went out for a coffee once a week and committed to that, that would change her recipe.

Build your team!

Little behaviours add up to changing roadblocks. The little thing of going for coffee once a week could stop the old behaviour because now she’s not relying on one person for connection. She’s not just relying on her partner for everything which may make that relationship even better as it’s not one person fulfilling every single need. Now she also has the support of friends, other people to talk to and get perspective from in a more healthful, ongoing way.

Find people that have been there before, hang out with them, ask them questions. Find out what they like to do for fun. Ask them what their story is, what their roadblocks are and how they got around them because, guess what? Everyone’s been able to get around roadblocks of some sort or another. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t able to get around roadblocks. Everything that you learnt to do at some point was a challenge, some took a short time to overcome, others longer. Know that you’ve been there too, others may ask you what you overcame to be here. Whatever it is, you’re in the right place, you’ve got this!

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