Why am I not doing what I really want to do?

As humans we get stuck. We WANT to move forward but something holds us back and we don’t know why.

When we’re stuck it’s often because our emotional brain is concerned that we may be moving towards something dangerous – according to the brain’s hardwiring. It’s only trying to keep you safe but it’s probably being misguided.

Let’s say that you want to start doing more marketing for your business. You know it’s the right thing to do but you are really hesitant. You love what you do and want to tell people about it, but you don’t, something doesn’t feel right. So you procrastinate and find many other things to prioritise.

It’s likely that you have some old stories that supports your brain’s hardwiring, and together, they conspire to stop you – in the name of safety.

Hardcoded reactions occur in six areas which are also human needs, described by the Be SAFE and Certain model: Belonging, Status, Autonomy, Fairness, Expectations, Certainty.

In the marketing example, one might uncover an old story such as, “people won’t actually like what I have to say; they’ll reject me”. This combined with the brain’s need for belonging, will stop you in your tracks. It’s a powerful combination. The need for belonging is being exaggerated by this story that “people will reject me”.

To get unstuck, you would need to uncover how your underlying conversation is instructing your brain and reframe it so you can free yourself up.

Uncover your own reasons for being stuck

Think of something you want that you are not moving towards. Notice the mixed feelings you have about this.  While you might feel some motivation, there is also hesitation or stress that holds you back. These mixed feelings can be confusing, but rest assured that this is a pretty normal state.  Let’s take the first step to discover where your underlying fears may be hiding out.

Considering each of the elements in the Be SAFE & Certain model:  

Go through the list below and see if you can find an underlying story or belief that keeps you stuck.

Belonging: What about your goal may threaten your sense of belonging?  Would your goal somehow break connection with someone or potentially create rejection?

Status:  What about your goal that could harm your status? Status is about feeling you have a right fit. Do you feel that your goal will change your role in society in a way that is uncomfortable to you?

Autonomy: How might your goal prohibit your freedom or independence? 

Fairness:   What if anything might be unfair about you moving towards your goal? Might your old stories tell you that you aren’t the right one to be doing this, that someone else should be?

Expectations:  What are you expecting as an outcome?  An exciting positive finish or something that won’t really work for you?

Certainty: How certain are you that you will get what you want?

For now, get curious about these focus areas and your internal dialogue. See if you can identify a core belief or old story that leads to you being stuck.