Feeling Stuck? Try This One Simple Thing. . .

February 6, 2012 § 2 Comments

Do you feel overwhelmed and paralyzed by all the bad stuff that happened to you in your childhood?  Get yourself “unstuck” by setting and achieving goals.
 Set three compelling goals for yourself.  I’m not talking about personal growth or spiritual goals here.   I’m talking about goals such as making $5,000 next month, knitting that lacy shawl even though the knitting pattern is ridiculously complicated, or beating your personal best in your next 10K.   Whatever it is that you are passionate about is good material for a goal.  Just make sure it takes you out of the arena of woundedness and into the world of action.
Here are three reasons why you should set goals rather than dwell on the problems you believe stem from your rotten childhood:    
1.  Goals give you a heightened sense of direction.

When our goals are working properly they function as a sort of compass for us; they give us direction as to how we should direct our thoughts and our energy.  They help us choose the best action in any given moment.  Even the work of choosing our goals brings enormous clarity and insight into our lives.

Good goals also keep us grounded and focused on taking action as opposed to living in our heads.  When you have a goal that you are really passionate about, you will willingly go outside of your comfort zone to accomplish it.  A goal like that gives you an anchor for your thoughts.  It is something that you can direct your thoughts to over and over, and doing that will help you stay out of those dark and difficult places that past trauma tries to take us to.

2.  Goals give you leverage on yourself.

After working with many, many people who are struggling to recover from trauma, I have learned that the people who heal the fastest are the ones who have a goal that the aftereffects of trauma is preventing them from achieving.  Trauma is much easier to heal when it stands between you and something that you really want, so put something on the other side of your trauma that you would really like to have!  That’s what I mean by leverage.  It is so much easier to push through difficult times when you have a compelling WHY.  Use your natural desires to speed up your healing!

3.  Goals help you diagnose constriction in yourself.

What does that mean?  Trauma by its very nature is constrictive.  It tenses our muscles; it makes our breathing shallow; it even narrows our field of vision.  Emotionally, it makes us brittle – less flexible and less resilient.  On the other hand, the attainment of goals is expansive in nature.  In order to achieve our goals, we must take action outside of ourselves.  Whether we need to learn a new skill, form new relationships, or just narrow our focus on something outside of ourselves, we expand as we reach toward our goal.

So if you find, in the act of going after what you want, that you become fearful, angry, or triggered, that’s a good indication that you have found one of your constricted areas.  This is great, because it gives you the ability to address that unhealed part of yourself.  Going after our goals brings up into our awareness the parts of ourselves that are unhealed, which in turn tells us where to direct our attention in our healing work.  Plus, it helps us to get whatever it is that we want – a true win-win situation!

Assignment:  Think about what you want so badly that you would step out of your comfort zone for it.  I would love to hear what that is for you!

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§ 2 Responses to Feeling Stuck? Try This One Simple Thing. . .

  • Jenifer Martin says:

    Hi, One goal I have so badly that I’m willing to step outside of my comfort zone for it is; to get a job that uses my gifts. I feel so stuck. It’s miserable. I can accomplish things; I have two Master’s degrees and a Ph.d., but I cannot seem to find employment beyond dog sitting or babysitting. I’m crying just writing this.

  • Karen says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    Thanks for sharing your goal here! It is helpful in cases like this to identify what is stopping you. Do you know why you aren’t getting the jobs you apply for?

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