It’s fascinating how us humans can sabotage our own goals by putting imaginary blocks in the way.
Telling ourselves we need to wait until the time is right, and everything is in the right place. I’ll look for another job once I’ve finished decorating the house. I’ll start the gym again once I have finished this project at work.
By telling ourselves, we can’t move on until “something” has changed means nothing will change unless it’s forced – like being made redundant or gaining a new boss who is too hot to handle.
My job as a therapist is to help people see beyond those blocks. See things from a different perspective. Once we have a picture of the new future, only then can you realise the steps you need to make to achieve it.
Think “Where” you want to be. Think “What’s the smallest step you can take at this moment in time?”
Sarah found her blocks
Take Sarah, for example. She works in the IT industry as a programmer. Not only has she deadlines to contend with, but a toxic environment as well. The company she works for doesn’t support its workers in the way she finds beneficial. Instead, it’s full of bullies and one-upmanship.
Unable to cope with this toxic environment, she found herself another job. After three months, history repeated itself. So after nine months, she was signed off with stress and had come down with a nasty chest infection.
“I felt like I was going mad,” she said to me. “How can business function when employees are constantly stopped from doing their jobs?”
During her sessions, she was able to take a step back and review how she was responding to the situations. Then the penny dropped. She was able to see she responded to male bosses in the same way she responded to some of the authoritarian teachers at school and her father. Whenever a tall, deep-voiced male confronted her, her anxiety levels shot up, and she found it very difficult to concentrate, and so made loads of mistakes.
Each week we worked on confidence building, assertiveness, ego strengthening and mindfulness, so she learnt which people trigger this response. Once back at work, she tried hard to forge closer relationships with some of these men and found that they weren’t the ogres she once thought they were.