4 Reasons Why We Get Stuck

There are 4 big reasons why we get stuck in our attempts at personal change. It is a common experience.

change management,change managers,change management training

Why We Get Stuck: [1] Misguided Beliefs And The BIG Lie

The "self-help industry" generates $ USD billons per year, and many of us buy books and attend courses on how to improve ourselves.

Yet most of the time we don’t change.

We can’t change - it's why we get stuck.

We have unconscious (and thus hidden) resistance. And yet we believe that if we keep on trying we can somehow gain control of our lives.

Then we deal with our resistance and still life is hard and things don’t always improve – or move in the directions we think that we want.

We are told by the experts that if we take massive action, practise positive thinking, or learn this or that skill we can somehow create or co-create the future we desire.

There is a prevalent belief circulating the western world in general and the US in particular that our thoughts create our total experience and that ultimately we are responsible for everything that happens to us.

This belief postulates that at some deeper level - or maybe in a previous existence or pre-existent state - we have chosen these things that happen to us.

There are the "science of the mind" teachings, positive thinking teachings, and more recently the "law of attraction" teachings. All of these beliefs are so often presented as certainties and yet they just become further reasons why we get stuck.

All of my lived and observed life experience has shown me that:

    How we think DOES very largely affect how we EXPERIENCE and INTERPRET what happens to us.

    How we think does NOT create everything that happens to us.

I say this with conviction because the evidence does not support the "I can create any future I want" belief and its another reason why we get stuck.

Life is infinitely more complex than we can comprehend, and it also inter-connected and inter-dependent in ways that we do not conventionally fully appreciate.

Our lives are woven together in ways and for reasons that we often cannot comprehend – and yet – each of us is a vital thread in another person’s tapestry.

There are many people who have been inordinately commercially successful and/or personally successful in their relationships and family life – or who have enjoyed remarkably good health - and there is nothing to suggest that their success is attributable to how they think.

There are many people who think good positive uplifting and empowering thoughts and they are not successful or blessed in these areas.

    I call this "the big lie" because in my experience THE LIE IS IN THE OVERSTATEMENT OF A PARTIAL TRUTH and in the misdirection that anything can be resolved anywhere "if I put my mind to it".

    This is a gross deception and it leads so many people to keep on striving to find "it""the missing piece of the jigsaw" and thus to stay in a perpetual state of seeking and aspiration and desire for something "out there" in the future that will "make me feel happy, fulfilled and complete".

Yes how we think matters – but far less than we think it does.

It matters to the extent that we are as well equipped as possible to cope with what is happening to us NOW – what is often imposed upon us. But it does not create very much of what happens to us.

Why We Get Stuck: [2] Most Of What We Think Is Outside Of Our Conscious Awareness

Jung said something along the lines of that until we make that which is unconscious conscious, it will control us and we will call it fate.

    We like to think – and are often led to believe – that we are masters of our destiny.

    Yet that is just not true, as the vast majority of what we think is outside of our conscious awareness.

And a lot of that thinking that is going on outside of our conscious awareness is deeply resistant to our conscious efforts to change.

So even though how we think matters far less than we think it does, and even though how we think has far less effect on the circumstances of our live than we are often taught, even our feeble attempts to change our attitudes and behaviours towards what we experience are largely blocked by hidden unconscious resistance to personal change.

Why We Get Stuck: [3] We Can’t Let Go And Trust

And as if all that isn’t bad enough – even when we are able accept the limitations of the power of our thoughts and even when we are able to identify and deal with our inner resistance to personal change we run into another big problem…

We eventually come to the realisation that we just can’t sort it out ourselves – it is beyond our capacity to deal with – we reach the limits of our thinking minds.

We reach the point where we have to let go and trust…. something that is beyond us – and it this realisation that is very, very threatening and scary because it means relinquishing control – letting go of the notion that I AM IN CONTROL – eventually to the point of letting go of the whole notion of who “I” is.

    Most of us would rather die (and usually do) before we are willing and able to surrender – to let go of control of - our lives.

And underlying this problem is an even bigger deception or lie... and that is the lie that "I" am in control of anything...

And yet it is in letting go and trusting… that we find the only path to real and permanent personal change and transformation.

[And just as a footnote: I know we are not getting into religious or philosophical discussion – but this is what lies at the root of the idea of the Christian "way of the cross" and "death to self", the Buddhist "dropping of the self" and "realisation of emptiness" and the Islamic jihad in the sense of a personal and internal "holy war" to achieve submission to "righteous living", and similar expressions in other faith traditions.]

Why We Get Stuck: [4] We Can’t Stop Thinking

A big part of letting go – even just for a while – and escaping the tyranny of our thought is to learn the unthinkable – how to stop thinking.

I feel that Eckhart Tolle summarises this rather well:

    "Most people spend their entire life imprisoned within the confines of their own thoughts.

    They never go beyond a narrow, mind-made, personalized sense of self that is conditioned by the past."

Tolle continues:

"In you, as in each human being, there is a dimension of consciousness far deeper than thought.

It is the very essence of who you are."

Next Article: Another big lie

Return to: How To Change Your Life

Recent Articles

  1. The Art Of Persuasion Planning For Success - Here's How To Do It!

    To be successful in the art of persuasion you must ensure that certain things happen. To be successful in the art of persuasion you must establish a framework of what has to happen to get you to that…

    Read More

  2. The Art Of Persuasion Advanced Communication Skills - Gaining Buyin

    Create The Environment Where They Want To Buyin to Your Proposal In order to build the win-win you have to uncover what it is that the other person really wants or needs, and to do that you have to as…

    Read More

  3. The Art Of Persuasion The One Fundamental Principle - Create A Win-Win

    The art of persuasion is based on the simple idea that you get what you want by enabling the other party to get what they want. Being a nice friendly person with good inter-personal skills may be a go…

    Read More

  4. Communication Persuasion And Change - Key Skills To Survive & Succeed

    It's not the strongest that survive, nor the most intelligent, but those who are most responsive to change, the most persuasive, and the best communicators. We are living in an age of unprecedented ch…

    Read More

  5. The Eisenhower Box - What Is Important Is Seldom Urgent

    What Is Important Is Seldom Urgent And What Is Urgent Is Seldom Important. The Eisenhower Box is a time management and decision-making model devised by President Dwight Eisenhower to help him prioriti…

    Read More

  6. Zen Enlightenment [Satori] - The Stink Of Zen

    Lost In Our Delusions About Enlightenment. There is something in human nature - a desire to glamorise, sanctify, objectify and idolise – that elevates people who have offered deep insights to the huma…

    Read More

  7. 5 Zen Mindsets For Mastery - In Any Area Of Your Life

    The Wisdom Of A Person Who Masters In Any Art Is Reflected In Their Every Attitude. The state and quality of your mind has a very large bearing on the quality of your performance in any area of life t…

    Read More

  8. Dealing With The Toxicity Of Online Dating - 6 Key Tips From A Clinical Psychologist

    Toxicity Is The Price Tag Of Accessibility. In the early days of online dating, users were vetted and had to go through a registration process and agree to comply with a code of conduct designed to en…

    Read More

  9. Why Understanding Ergodicity Is Critical To Your Long Term Survival

    How Not To Be Fooled By Randomness. Ergodicity is an ugly word from the world of mathematics. It is an umbrella term for two sets of conditions of probability and outcome. These two conditions form th…

    Read More

  10. Dealing With Imposter Syndrome - Ego Is The Enemy

    How You Frame A Situation Has A Profound Impact On How You Respond To It Emotionally. Imposter syndrome is a psycho-emotional experience of a fear of being found out as incompetent despite ongoing evi…

    Read More

  11. The Challenges Of The Road Less Traveled

    Issues You'll Face When Playing The Long Game. The challenges of the road less traveled is loosely based around the phrase popularised by M.Scott Peck with his book "The Road Less Traveled". This arti…

    Read More

  12. How To Benefit From the Unseen Margins - 5 Key Tips For Success

    These Unseen Margins Can Have A Very Dramatic Impact On Your Life. To understand how to benefit from the unseen margins we need to start by understanding what they are and where we find them. In this…

    Read More

  13. The Art Of Thinking Clearly - How To Do More Than Just Survive And Reproduce

    3 Key Tips The art of thinking clearly starts with the sobering realisation that our brains are designed to achieve two things: Survival and Reproduction! 98% of our thinking is unconscious, automatic…

    Read More

  14. Algorithms to Live By - 5 Useful Rules Of Thumb

    5 Useful Heuristics From Algorithms To Live By The thesis of the book "Algorithms to Live By" is that algorithms developed for computers can be used by people in everyday life in a wide range of situa…

    Read More

  15. Finding Signal In The Noise - How To Avoid The Noise Bottleneck

    The Art Of Being Wise Is The Art Of Knowing What To Overlook. We are blessed and cursed to live in the digital age. We have access to more information than we can possibly handle yet we struggle to fi…

    Read More

  16. The Checklist Manifesto - Your Personal Safety Net

    A Checklist Is A Safety Net That Encourages Better Results And Prevents Avoidable Mistakes. The volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correc…

    Read More

  17. How Not To Be Stupid - 4 Key Tips

    How To Avoid The 7 Causes Of Everyday Stupidity. We are all capable of everyday stupidity as we undertake routine tasks in our business and working lives and also in our personal lives. This is not ab…

    Read More

  18. Beginners Mind And The Voice Of Experience

    Only The Experts Survived Evolution. "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few." These are the famous words of Shunryu Suzuki in "Zen Mind, Beginner's Min…

    Read More

  19. The Art Of Being Alone Is A Skill

    Let's Make Today A Good Day. You may not have chosen the condition of being alone, and it may have been imposed upon you by circumstances beyond your control, but your response to the situation is wit…

    Read More

  20. Intuition & Anxiety - Are There Angels Or Devils Calling Here?

    How To Tell The Difference Between Intuition and Anxiety. How do you know whether the voice of your intuition is real or just the product of your inner anxiety? We all struggle with these inner voices…

    Read More

  21. Like A Prayer - Life Is A Mystery

    It Isn't The Process Of Prayer That’s The Problem, It’s The Way It’s Framed. Regardless of what we feel about Madonna or her song the topic of prayer often arouses strong reactions. Usually, it is som…

    Read More

  22. Fear Of Missing Out - "I'll Have What She's Having!"

    We Follow The Herd - We Mimic Other People's Choices. Fear of missing out - or FOMO as it is popularly referred to - is the feeling that everyone else in your peer group is having much more fun than y…

    Read More

  23. Free - Self Improvement Resources

    Exercising Balance and Discernment. I have just updated these self improvement resources with a number of additional sources of material that are practical and can help you change your life. Check it…

    Read More

  24. Your Higher Self - Your Hardwired Portal To The Universe

    This Is The You That Is Beyond Your Thinking Mind. This is the big you, the transcendent you, the you that is often referred to as your higher consciousness or higher self. This is the you that acts a…

    Read More

  25. The Power Of Gratitude - It's Good For You!

    Gratitude And Attitude Are Not Challenges, They Are Choices. The power of gratitude quite simply is that it is good for you! Many of us were raised by parents who instilled in us the social niceties o…

    Read More

  26. Living With Your Thoughts - 4 Tools To Help You

    Develop A Good Working Relationship With Your Mind. The first step in living with your thoughts is to understand and develop a good working relationship with all areas of your mind. The key to develop…

    Read More

  27. You Are Not Your Thoughts - How To Escape This Ferris Wheel Of Suffering

    The 4 Stages To Dealing With Your Thoughts. You are not your thoughts, at least that's what your rational mind tells you most of the time, but that's definitely not how it feels at 3 am when you have…

    Read More

  28. Finish What You Start - Action Will Destroy Your Procrastination

    4 Key Tips To Help You Finish What You Start. So why do you fail to finish what you start? Or in my case, why do I fail to even get started? There is a wealth of information out there about how to avo…

    Read More

  29. Going The Extra Mile - The Power Of One More

    Life Is Non-Linear, Which Makes The Rewards Of Continued Effort Disproportionately Big. In the pursuit of a long term goal you have to go countless extra miles to set yourself up for a big success. Go…

    Read More

  30. Tao Te Ching - Connecting To Your True Source Of Power.

    How To Be Lived By The Tao. The Tao Te Ching is one of those books that many people read, few understand, and even fewer put into practice. The only way to know the Tao is to experience it, and it is…

    Read More

The Balanced Life

The Balanced Toolkit

3 Keys Solutions

Get new posts by email:

Support This Site