Today I got to thinking about BLOCKS.
I was standing at my kitchen counter, spooning scoops of hummus into my mouth with a tortilla chip, feeling vaguely impressed with myself for coming downstairs and having my “lunch break” at the time I had actually scheduled into today’s agenda (!!). It’s quite uncommon in my working day that my agenda follows precisely the time blocks I set for myself, at the start of the day. The interesting thing that happened came next. Instead of congratulating myself for having a super productive and well managed day so far, putting the lid on what’s left of the hummus and going back to work I noticed my brain starting to feed me self sabotaging thoughts like;
“‘oh well if I’m on track then surely I’ve got time to open instagram and have a little scroll”,
“Maybe I take an hour now to make dinner now so I don’t have to do it later”
WHAT?! NO?? STOPPP! My self sabotaging habits kick in and all the productiveness and success I’d managed this far into the day is firmly thrown off course and I find myself once again, nestled into the familiar hug of chaos and stress where I’ve not left enough time to complete today’s workload.
This is a personal block of mine. Does it sound familiar to you?
We all have BLOCKS, more commonly known as “flaws’ which is a perfectly normal thing as a human being. I like to call them blocks though because when you identify a personal flaw (being late, being closed off to intimacy, being jealous etc) by repositioning it as a block it’s easier to separate yourself from it without letting attacking and negative self talk takeover. This then allows you a clear mind to look at your newly identified block objectively and come up with a plan to move around it.
Blocks can look like anything and you usually have to dig a little deeper to find the details. Most of us have some sort of money block; the inability to spend or save for ourselves or a figure we don’t deem ourselves worthy to earn above. Intimacy blocks; the inability to let down our walls and be open with a Partner or sometimes the struggle to commit in relationships? The block I pinpointed today, whilst inhaling my premium, extra smooth hummus was a success block.
The Success Block
I have a block when it comes to allowing myself to feel productive, unstressed and organised. Surely these are things we all aspire to? YES, most definitely! However I seem to sabotage this when it shows up. So why do I do it? First I must explain how this shows up to better understand the why. My brain has decided that in order to feel like I am a “success” and “in control” I must always feel stressed, overworked and time poor. My brain has decided for me the two go hand in hand. This is not the truth at all of course. I would always say the more successful person is in control of their time and has a balance between work and downtime. But over the years I have managed to create a pattern in my mind where feeling all those bad things resonates so strongly to the feeling of success, that when I actually feel in control and on schedule with a regular clock of time on a friday, my brand activates sabotage mode and tries to get me back “on course” for chaos.
So what can you do?
First, identify. Becoming aware of these sabotaging patterns and blocks is the first step.
The second step is to not feel like you’re an asshole for acting this way. We are made up of years of conditioning from our own minds and experiences, PLUS all our parents flaws and bullsh*t they passed on all accumulated into the adult we are today – just trying to navigate our life and desires.
Third, asking ourselves some uncomfortable questions about why we might feel we need to act like this, when clearly the results will get us nowhere, hold us back or put us on the back foot.
I know that this success block is actually my inner fears rearing up saying if you continue to act in a chaotic manner, not completing your work or todo list then it holds you back from the levels of success you really want. Therefore creating a ready made set of excuses for why I didn’t reach the level of success I wanted to achieve that week/month/year. It’s like pre-written get out of jail card I wrote myself for preempting my own failures!
I know this all sounds slightly bonkers but I truly find it fascinating stuff. Coaching has opened my eyes and mind so much to the way we work as humans. It’s given me the tools to identify patterns or behaviours that don’t further me or make me feel good, really understand the ways we act and then ask the right kind of questions to move past the blocks.
As Socrates said “An unexamined life is not a life worth living”. By accepting we all have these blocks then taking one step further to combat them truly does open us up to live the most empowering and free lives possible. We will never truly be free of our sh*t, no matter how much coaching or examining we do – at the end of the day we are messy, troubled, emotional beings and that is the dark beauty of being alive. However, we can embrace who we are whilst moving around these blocks in order to access our highest potential!
And all this from a bag of tortilla chips and a tub of hummus!
Have a lovely weekend everyone!