When creating success for yourself – however you personally define success – intention is everything.
If your intention is one-pointed then you’ll get true results. If your intention is garbled, mixed, conflicted, or confused, then you’ll get garbled, mixed, conflicted, and confused results.
There’s always a positive intention behind self-sabotage. Because even though you may say you want to create success for yourself, there’s an aspect of you that is so unwilling to achieve this success, that it will negate your efforts and cancel out the results that they would otherwise create.
This aspect of you isn’t trying to be mean – it’s trying to keep you safe! It really believes that there’s something wrong with going in the direction that you’re going in.
So therefore our job here is to discover where our intention is conflicted and to set it straight so that we’re pointing congruently in one, unified direction.
Here’s how we’ll go about it in this article:
1_ Discover the way in which your intention is mixed.
2_ Become Congruent
1_ Discover the way in which your intention is mixed.
Let’s start by asking – what success do you wish to create for yourself that’s not yet forthcoming?
Is it the growth of your business? Is it a promotion or change in employment? Are you hoping for a new romantic or sexual partner? A health or fitness goal?
Choose one, fix it in your mind, andget a clear sense of what success would look like in this case. I’m going to use a fitness goal as an example – losing some weight and getting lean.
When you think about creating this result for yourself, how does it feel?
Does it feel close? Far?
Does it feel exciting or obligatory?
Does it feel simple or confusing?
Does it seem easy or difficult?
What’s in between you and this success?
Does a lot of time need to pass?
Do a lot of conditions need to line up?
Will it take a lot effort?
Do you need to learn a lot of new knowledge first?
So in my example, when thinking about losing weight and working out at the gym, let’s say I feel a little stressed and confused. Maybe I think “It’s going to be so much work and it will take so long before there’s a payoff. I don’t even know if I’ll be doing it right and I can’t afford to hire a trainer. It’s going to be so uncomfortable and I hate getting all sweaty.”
Look at the way in which my intention is split.
Because on one hand I have this noble intention to lose weight and be healthy.
But on the other hand Ialso have an intention to not waste my time exerting needless effort and enduring needless discomfort. No one would want to subject themselves to his unless it were absolutely necessary.
And so there it is: We’re pointed in two different directions.
Now I want you to really hear this:
If we’re talking about going to the gym tomorrow, then it’s of course very easy to talk about how much we want to work out, be fit, and get the long-term results. But when the time actually comes to go now, then the other voice comes out of the woodwork and will justify cancelling our plan to go.
Oftentimes we create plans that we have no actual intention of carrying out.
We set alarms that we have no true intention to wake up to!
And it doesn’t matter how intensely you intend to create success, on one hand, because on the other you just as intensely intend NOT to carry out your plan.
This is tricky nature of our mixed intentions.
2_ Become Congruent
Now let’s talk about getting congruent so that you can shepherd your entire self into one unified direction.
We start with honesty.
How do you benefit from sabotaging your own efforts?
How do you benefit from never reaching your goal?
How do you believe it keeps you safe?
How do you talk yourself out of doing something that’s clearly in your best interest?
Everybody always indignantly replies: ‘But there’s no way that I benefit from sabotaging myself!’ But the trick is that we’re asking your inner child this question. This is the aspect of you that doesn’t want things to change, and does not want to expose itself to any kind of risk.
So step 2 – Becoming Congruent – means writing down both intentions and the motivations behind both intentions. It might look something like this:
I intend to go to the gym regularly and lose weight.
I’m motivated to lose weight because I want to look and feel healthy in my body.
I also hate going to the gym because it feels like a massive waste of time and effort and I have no intention of doing that, therefore I do not actually intend to go.
So now we have both players named and defined, our next step is to discover what I call “the unacceptable experience”.
The unacceptable experience is the one that – to us – must be avoided at all costs. It’s unacceptable! It’s the subtle threat behind this whole thing.
So to return to our example, let’s say that the major threat around going to the gym is that it will be a waste of time and effort. Because I may go there and do it wrong, or perhaps I’ll do it right but only for a few days before I give up, and the effort will have been wasted.
So if I go to the gym, I’m threatening to run the risk of wasting and effort.
“This trip to the gym may turn out to be a total waste” – I may think to myself as I put my shoes on and head on out.
Here is the key to becoming congruent:
You adopt a willingness to experience the unacceptable experience.
You say “I’m willing to run the risk of wasting this time and effort.”
You might take it even further and say “I’m willing toactuallyexperience wasted time and effort.”
When you say “I’m willing to” it doesn’t mean that you’re going to experience any more of it than you otherwise would. It just means that if you DO encounter the unacceptable experience, then you won’t be in fight or flight against it. You’ll be able to welcome it in, and handle it more competently as a result.
Congratulations! You’re now congruent.
Becoming congruent won’t do the work for you, it won’t make it easier or more comfortable. But it will unify you so that there’s clearly only one way – which is forward.
I know this article ran a little long, so if you made it here (or if you skimmed your way down for the TL;DR) then I’ll give the most condensed version of this idea for you to take and begin implementing right away.
- Even though we really want to create some form of success for ourselves, oftentimes times we actually have split intentions about it
- On one hand we want the results, but on the other hand there’s some fear associated with it which makes us NOT want it.
- As long as we’re split like this, we’ll end up sabotaging our efforts in some way.
- Therefore we need to dissolve the split and become unified in our intent
- We do this first by being honest about the aspect of ourselves that does NOT want to go the direction that we’re trying to push ourselves in.
- Listen to that aspect of you. What’s it afraid of? What is it unwilling to experience?
- Find yourself at the knowing that this experience would not be a true show-stopper
- Adopt a willingness to encounter that experience.
- Adopt the clarity that this experience is a necessary one on the path to your next level of growth.
- Landing here, you’ve become congruent.
This willingness creates that unity. This willingness signals the end of the conflict.
Try it for yourself and let us know how it goes!
Need support? As of this time, you can get a 1-1 private coaching session with Brent for free. Learn more about that here.