Truth be told, most of us have more untapped positive potential than we care to admit. We're not living the life of our dreams... We're not being all we can be. We're not "free to be me." Sadly, most of us cave in, or continually give in to some form "stuckness" that ropes us back our relationships, our callings and careers and even authentic spiritual lives. Finding our mission, or not finding it won't matter if we can't address the underlying issues that keep us stuck.
Call it a bad habit. Call it stuck place. Call it a vice. Call it an addiction. As any addict knows, the first step is admitting we have a problem. We're not in control. We're stuck. Might you be suffering from any of these 5 "stay stuck" addictions? (I confess. I am.) They may "present" in drinking too much, eating too much, sleeping too much, gambling too much, etc.... But, these are the deeper issues that keep us from living our callings.
1. Addicted to People Pleasing: Do you obsess over what others think about you? Your parents? Your neighbors? Your boss? Your friends? When we do so we seek validation that "I'm OK" because YOU think "I'm OK." (And I'm NOT if YOU don't!) Whether that drives us to buy stuff we don't need and can't afford, avoid doing what we're good at because it goes outside the norm, or keep up with the Jones's, the addiction can crush us. Just think about what most people say is their greatest fear? Public speaking. What's the real fear behind it? (What YOU think of me!)
2. Addicted to Family Patterns: Do you do the same thing that your parents did....even though it didn't work for them!! Do you accept ceilings on your potential because your relatives didn't achieve or succeed? Do you accept false belief systems because "that was how I was raised?" The key is exploring what Mom or Dad did or told you that and you realizing that it just isn't true. It's OK to blaze a new trail! You are not your parents, your siblings or even your ethnic roots.
3. Addicted to Past Loss: Did you receive a blow that rocked your world and now seems to keep you stuck? Did you lose a job? A loved one? A marriage? A child? An opportunity? Yes, there's a need to grieve what could have been and maybe should have been. But, are you willing to give this the power to now control your destiny and take you down with it? Might it be time to move on, even reinvent "you" who you are, can be and must be? Not victim, but victor. Not chewed up, but chosen. Not rejected, but restored. Not a has-been but a shall be.
4. Addicted to Past Wins: Yes, it's possible that you stay stuck in the past because you won big time at some point in your life. Were you most likely to succeed? Were you big man on campus? Did you attend the best school? Make the big bucks in a former position? Maybe you even got to play in the pros! Sadly, as the dismal financial, marital and emotional statistics of ex-pro athletes demonstrates, too many continue living on in the past and long for the days when the crowds cheered and the women swooned. Of course, celebrate the past wins, but don't forget to plan your present and your future wins. The truth is, your future wins may be MUCH greater than even your past ones? Do you believe that?
5. Addicted to Present Worry: Do you can be addicted to the seeming "control" of the toxic thoughts bouncing around in your brain during the day or worse, at night. Fear and skepticism may even play themselves out in "catastrophising" (playing out catastrophic scenarios) and lead us to hoard, to reject risk, to fear failure and only do what we think is "safe." Key question: "Is 'safe' really 'safe?" How many people never really live because they are in continual pursuit of what's secure and safe? I would estimate, that's most people! Will that be you too?
OK, I know I may have just opened a can of worms that can't be closed in a single blog post. But, as any addict know, we must acknowledge the real problem before we get to a real solution. We must accept reality before charting a new vision for our future.
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