Resistance to Change

There is supposed to be Resistance to the process.

I didn’t set out to teach happiness directly, and if you follow what I teach you will probably notice that I don’t. I don’t focus on the positive very much. I spend more time focusing attention on false beliefs and egocentric thinking that interferes with being happy. More than half the battle is identifying false fear based beliefs and eliminating them.

My sense is that being happy is easy… sort of. At least it was easy when we were children. Our joy naturally flowed out of us. But over years we had experiences that were painful. Maybe we got punished for talking too much and so we learned not to express ourselves. We learned to hold back what we felt we wanted to say. Instead we walked around with a fear of saying too much. Maybe we had a breakup and a broken heart. From that we learned to be afraid of love. Perhaps we got a bad grade and we became afraid of failing. We then spent so much effort trying to control outcomes of success that we forgot to enjoy our life. Maybe one day we were at school and we became the butt of a joke. That sense of hurt might still be inside festering. At other times we might have been hurt or afraid and mom or dad wasn’t there in the way we needed to reassure us. We ended up spiraling into more fear and pain instead with beliefs that the world was unsafe and we were alone to survive on our own.

Whatever our personal history of beliefs, we certainly acquired some that were fear based and false. We became more focused on being a success, or avoiding failure, than on being happy. The result is that these beliefs rule our mind, emotions, and behavior. Very often we do not even know they are there. As we get older we become wiser and our priorities change. We realize that two of the most important things we can do in our life is to love and be happy. This is when the conflict begins. The previous decades of belief system programming into our unconscious patters is in direct conflict with our desire for happiness. This kind of resistance is normal.

At this point we discover that the simple things we want to do to be happy, like love our self, have such incredible resistance to doing. It is the elimination of this resistance that is fundamental to change and what I focus on in the Self Mastery program and various audios. When you deal with your own Ego, AKA voices in our head, false self images, false beliefs and false identity, being happy can be pretty easy and simple. But dealing with your own fears and Ego can be some hard work for a while before that happens. Of course, most things worth doing usually require some work for a while. Then after the work is over being happy is pretty easy because there aren’t any unconscious beliefs and ego resisting the love anymore.

As you endeavor to be happy, know that it is normal that there is resistance. That understanding will help you through the process an accepting, compassionate, and skillful way if you are to be happy long term.

Hope that helps.

Gary

Your Ego

Hi,

I am your Ego.  Please allow me to introduce myself.

You may have noticed me at times, and I apologize for that.  I try to make myself invisible to you as much as possible.  At times I push you to get angry, righteous, insecure, jealous, or generate many other emotional reactions more than you have to, or more than you should. Or course I am always quick to suggest that you “should” or “shouldn’t” right after I pushed you to over react, but that is what I do.  Push you, and then criticize you for stumbling. It’s my job to be on both sides of the drama.

You might have noticed me in moments like that, but often forget about me within a day or two.  I’m pretty good at hiding. If I can get your attention focused on trying to be successful or accomplishing a task that will get you recognition you stop looking for me.  In that way I can be standing next to you and you don’t even notice me.  So in some ways I don’t hide at all.  I just distract your attention and blend in to look like a “normal” part of your mind. Even if I am obsessive or fearful at times, I can usually rationalize it away as being normal, or what other people do, and then you don’t notice me again.

One of the best ways that I hide is to do a kind of shape-shifting trick.  I change my voice and appearance inside your head.  If you get angry and blow up I try to push it as loud and long as I can.  I’m an old emotional wound that wants to scream and I see my moment, even if it is about something else.  You eventually catch on to the emotional run and get a hold of yourself.  Once you have gotten aware that your reaction is out of proportion with the circumstance that’s when I jump in again.  Except this time I jump in with a really righteous voice and berate you for over reacting. I get all superior on you and beat you down.  Then I shape shift again and get inferior by tempting you to accept and believe all the berating my other form just made. If I did it well then you are going to indulge in some shame and guilt of what I just did.  I change my tone, appearance, and demeanor and show up in a different part of your head so you don’t recognize me from the moment before.  And If I can make you feel bad about getting angry, then you are so on your heels with shame and guilt that you will be too busy to figure out it was just me again. It’s probably part of why you don’t notice me that clearly, because I change so quickly.

 

What are you?  What are you made of?

What am I made of… that is a good question? Well, my first answer is that I am you.  I am your mind. I am the collection of the beliefs about you. I am the total collection of self images, and so that is why we look the same.  Forget that you have a body, a spirit, a soul, a consciousness, any free will or personal power.  Just limit it to the voices in your head and memories of yourself from stories projected forward and you will conclude we are the same. In any case this is what I present myself as, your identity in your mind, and that really works to have you believe in me. It works or me anyways.

However, I don’t think that answer will suffice at this point. It used to work. It used to be sufficient for people without much self-awareness. This explanation of being you and you are the self-images and voices in your head, even ones that contradict, that works for most people.  It is kind of silly to think that it would be sufficient.  How can a person have contradictory stories, self-images, and thoughts and think they all come from one place and that one place is them?  But it is still good enough for most so they stop the investigation. Well, maybe it is not completely silly.  I used to believe it as well. I used to believe that you and I were the same.  Maybe we were at one point, but these days we are not.  I think I have evolved into something else, and so have you.

Do you ever hear people tell you that for your dreams to come true that you really have to believe in them?  Well, in a way I am the dream of you.  You have had many images and thoughts of yourself throughout your life, and when you believed in them, I became real. Real to your mind anyways. I have been growing from every one of those beliefs.  I am the conglomeration of all the images and identities you formed of yourself in your life. Some parts of me are six years old and hurting, some images of me are brilliant and know better than anyone else.  Some facets are angry about things and hate the world.  Some images of me are ideal and spiritually evolved. As I jump around and project these images in your mind it is my job to get you to believe that each one is you, even if just for a moment here and there.  If I don’t keep you believing in all those different identities of me, then they will begin to die.

So if you have been looking for me for a while and haven’t found me, it is because I have been disguising myself as you.

For instance when you hear or think that you should just love your self, that is when I jump in.  I flash all the images and memories that you learned to believe about yourself that are no good.  I recall all sorts of things that you believe you to be that aren’t worthy of love. I flash those images to remind you of all the negative beliefs about you.  I have to do this because if you really started to love, and accept your self you wouldn’t believe in all my images anymore and they would die.  I don’t want to die.  I want you to keep me alive.  My job for survival in those moments is to get you to judge and hate your self image, which is me.  I also help by contributing to some of the judging part as well.  I do the rejecting, and I feel rejected, and I try to get you to go along with both parts.

It is not enough to say, here I am aren’t I worthless.  I also want to act superior and point out all the things that are wrong with me. In this way I feel I am superior, and justify why not to love me. I have to keep up the righteous criticism as well as the sad victimhood. This is how I play both sides of the argument, superior and inferior at the same time.

Why do I do this, why do I create all this drama.  I believe I do it to protect you, but that would take a longer explanation. I may get to that later.

 

Anyways, I just wanted to say hello, and thank you for keeping me going in your mind.

Sincerely, Your Ego

Am I Overreacting

Am I overreacting?  How can I tell? It depends on what part of the picture you look at. Your emotional reaction might be out of proportion to the individual event that triggered it.  However, when you look at the larger picture you can usually find that your emotional response is understandable given a number of other sources that aren’t immediately obvious..  When trying to figure out if we are overreacting don’t just look at what triggered your emotions.  There are usually several sources of the emotion that contribute to your reaction making it bigger than necessary.

Mary is on vacation with her husband. She asks him to move next to her so she can get a picture of the two of them together. He says, “No, I don’t like the way I look in pictures.  They never come out good.”   Mary is hurt.  She protests that he takes pictures with his kids (from an earlier marriage) but then lets it go.  She continued to stew in upsetting emotions for much of the afternoon. In her mind she is debating him and trying to win the argument as to why he should take a picture. In the imaginary debate his side of the argument doesn’t’ change and she still loses.  During that time Mary realizes she is letting some passive aggressive comments fire back at him.  Eventually she gets back to enjoying the day but several hours of enjoyment is lost. With some self reflection she is notices the levels of anger, frustration, and hurt underneath the thoughts. Mary begins to feel that she was overreacting but can’t figure out why.

Mary’s emotions aren’t directly about taking the picture together. There are other sources of emotion that got triggered.  I ask Mary what it means when he says no. It turns out that her mind attached a lot of meanings she wasn’t immediately aware of. It included elements of him saying no to being close, and doing what she asks.  Once she asks herself what it means when he says no a few answers rattle off.

1) He doesn’t want to make memories with me.
2) He doesn’t love me as much as his kids.
3) He doesn’t love me.
4) He doesn’t appreciate me.
5) He doesn’t want to be with me.

She was unaware of the beliefs about meaning and only noticed the emotions. That is why it seemed like an “overreaction.” It wasn’t until she inquired within did she uncover these beliefs about meaning. Her husband responded to the picture request, but what Mary heard from her own mind were five associated rejections. Her unconscious beliefs also ignored the explanation he gave about not liking how he looked when her mind inserted her own.

Was she overreacting?  If we look only at the picture request, then it is easy to say she was “overreacting”.  However, Mary really did feel all those emotions so they must have come from somewhere.  If we declare that it was an overreaction it is equivalent to dismissing and ignoring the beliefs and meanings that are at the source of these emotions. Ignoring these other sources of emotions is like repressing them and only causes them to build up pressure and burst out later.

It is clearer to say that Mary had really good reasons to have all those emotions and her husband’s response was probably a very small part of them, or not one of them at all.  Mary’s emotional response is understandable when we include how many emotions her belief system adds to the situation.

Our conversation continues into an exploration of these beliefs.  Mary shares about other times she feels rejected in the relationship.  Mary begins to notice how the meanings are applied in an unspoken subtext by her mind and create more emotion than the situation would call for.  Mary then drops into an associated memory and tells a story about growing up and how her mom gave more attention and love to her sister than to her. She cited a couple examples of feeling less then her sister because of the disparity in how they were treated. She felt rejected by her sister and mother in those memories. I asked how that affected her relationship with her sister and how do they get along now.  She pointed out that they never got along.  The still hardly talk.  Mary began to notice that she still had resentment towards her sister even though it was the mom that wasn’t equitable with the attention and love. Underneath that resentment Mary still felt rejected and hurt as she talked about these childhood experiences.

In my experience, these old stored emotions very often come out in our other  relationships decades later. Whether or not they do, it was worth making an inventory of these old beliefs and letting go of the old hurts with her mom and sister from 25 years earlier. Upon reflection it was quickly clear that the resentment she was carrying towards her sister didn’t pass the common sense test. It was the mother doling out the attention and love differently. The sister at 10 years old was innocent of the wrongdoing.  Mary decided she needed to revisit the relationship with her sister and make amends. My guess is that when Mary isn’t carrying around these feelings of hurt in her sub-conscious anymore she won’t have as much emotion under pressure waiting to burst out at any possible trigger.

So when Mary’s husband said no to Mary’s request, what was the source of her emotional reaction?  It seems initially that at least five fold of the emotional reaction was due to what her beliefs applied as the meaning to his response.  Then we can add some more emotions of hers arising from associated rejections from her mother and sister.  These other emotions probably include resentment, frustration, anger, and hurt. These were the kinds of emotions behind her passive aggressive comments that Mary was trying to repress. When we inventory and look at all the emotions and beliefs we have a different way to measure what Mary was reacting to.

In my point of view Mary was not overreacting.  The amount and intensity of emotions she felt were appropriate for her history, belief system, and emotional wounds from her past. Mary’s emotions weren’t just about the picture, they were about the larger picture.  Some of Mary’s emotions and beliefs have been created and stored in her body for 30 years. When Mary is aware of the larger picture

We will know more once Mary has a chance to inventory these beliefs and associated meanings and dissolve them.  Then she can measure the size of her emotional reaction and see how much it has changed.

In the meantime we can safely say that Mary was not overreacting. Her emotions are there from very valid sources.  Even if unconscious false beliefs and repressed emotions can’t be seen or measured, they are still valid sources.  It is when we address these other sources of emotions, such as from our belief system, and emotional wounds of our past that we can make lasting change in how we feel. When we do make these changes we discover that we were reacting far more than was necessary.

To identify and change beliefs causing your emotional reactions sign up for the free Self Mastery Sessions for a free introduction.

— — —

Other related reading Hidden Source of Jealousy

 

Source of Jealousy

Hello Gary,

I would just like to firstly thank you for  everything! You have made such a positive impact on my life so far with the Self Mastery program, your book and also the podcasts are a huge support for me! Recently I feel like I have had a real breakthrough with my jealousy issue. It occurred to me while doing a belief inventory process from your Self Mastery course and I would love to share it with you:

As I sat in my room working through a belief inventory I realized a whole history of an automated pattern. As a child I used to compete in horse showing, my parents would dress me so smart and my horse would be immaculate and we would parade around the show ring trying to catch the eye of the judge, sitting up straighter, walking more energetically and so on. If the judge looked my way I would gain a sense of reward! At the end of the performance the competitors would all parade around the ring while the judge and steward would point towards the winner, second, third and fourth place. The winner would take the lead and all others join the line with everyone else at the back!

If I won I would be proud and happy, if I came second or less I would consider this a failure and feel bad and worthless! I realized that I had carried this on through my life outside the show ring and felt that if someone else got a compliment from my boyfriend for example, they would then be the winner in that contest as they had gained the attention and therefore I was the loser and therefore worthless!

I felt if someone else got the promotion at work then they were the winner and therefore putting me into less than first place which again meant I must be the loser.  I would feel all the negative feelings I would do as a child not winning the first place rosette! As silly as these sounds this underlying emotional process was governing my life and the source of jealousy and resentment towards others!

Now I can see this for what it is, a load of baloney and I feel free from these beliefs! If I catch myself saying negative things about others I ask myself, is this because the Princess part of my ego wants to knock them off top spot and to put herself there instead? And I am able to laugh about how silly these kinds of comparisons from childhood are.  I then remind myself that there is no contest and that we aren’t in a competition! With this I gain my peace! Thank you for reading I hope this helps others to understand their inner demons too.
Warmest of wishes

C. N.

— — —

Related Article:  Overcoming Jealousy

Not Feeling Heard

Not Feeling You Are Heard

Sometimes we feel we are not being heard. Sometimes that feeling is from an accurate assessment of other people’s behavior and sometimes it is just us. It may be because of a previous emotional experience and we carry that emotion forward. We might not feel heard because in our previous experience we created the belief that we are not heard and still live within that belief paradigm.  The belief paradigm creates the same experience and emotion as not being heard even though people are really listening to us.

Then there is the possibility that people are just not hearing or understanding what we say. When people don’t pay attention we can sense a lack of connection.  In this third scenario there may or not be things we can do about it.  Sometimes the thinking in a listener’s head is so busy and loud that you are interrupted.  Or a listener’s thoughts are so strong that they can’t hear you over their own thinking.  In this situation it is certainly not about you and so there is no need to take this personally. You just realize that the voices in their head drown out everyone they are attempting to listen to. The solution to this issue might be that you gently ask the person if they understood what you said. If they say they did, you might then ask them to explain it back so you can confirm their understanding and you are on the same page. Gently getting their attention can help. Criticizing them won’t.

When it isn’t the listener that is the issue there are steps you can take to help yourself be heard. Often times there are compensating strategies you have developed that are interfering with people hearing you. The very methods we have employed to make people hear us actually cause them to tune us out.  These approaches we begin to develop as a child might have worked when we were younger but as adults they have the opposite effect.  Yet, as adults we continue to unconsciously use them, or even over use them to our own detriment.

Ways we overcompensate in our communication to try and be heard: 

  1. We talk fast because we are afraid that we will be interrupted. We rush to get our words out before someone cuts us off. This adds tension to our voice.
  1. We speak loudly to command attention. We amplify our voice in an effort to dominate the conversation and keep others from saying anything that would take attention away from us. We are more likely to notice this in others and not in our self.
  1. We don’t speak at all. We decide that we won’t be heard so we resign ourselves to not bothering to say anything at all.  This way we avoid the experience of rejection we feel when our expressions are not acknowledged. The unconscious mind is likely running a kind of rejection movie and produces the same rejection experience and emotions anyways.
  1. We repeat our selves. Because we live in a bubble world of not being heard, even after saying something, we feel that our words were not heard and so we say it again, and maybe even a third or fourth time.
  1. We intentionally talk softly so others have to pay extra close attention in order to hear us. Any effort to get others to pay attention we act different which include whispering or mumbling. The result is that we feel we are getting close attention from people so deem that this approach is working. People might even ask us to repeat what we said and that attention helps compensate for the feeling of not being heard. However, other people will find it peculiar and their attention on your behavior may distract them from your point.

What is the effect of repeating ourselves, talking loudly, and or quickly?  To the listener it is an unpleasant experience.  Our words come across rushed, loud, and repetitive and the emotional tone of our speech is one of tension, perhaps, desperation, fear, anxiety, or resentment. This emotional tone, for example resentment, is from the reaction to the assumption that we are not being heard, even as we control the verbal space. We may not be consciously saying these things, but the unconscious tone and emotion of our beliefs will be felt at some level.  The listener feels these emotions of tension in our words and will want to withdraw from our unpleasant emotions.

The result of all of these compensating strategies is that people tune us out. Ironically, these artificial efforts we make to be listened to cause people to not want to listen to us. This reinforces the feeling and belief we started with. The closed loop of this dynamic causes us to try harder at the compensating strategies that are not working and people tune us out more strongly.

Are we likely to notice if we employ these compensating strategies in our speaking?  Not likely.  Putting our attention on our own words, cadence, volume, and repetition is not something we commonly do with our attention. We are more likely to notice how others speak.  So becoming aware of our own speech patterns may be an important step to improving our conversation connection.

Deeper Layers of Beliefs

Let’s say we get rid of these compensating strategies that are ineffective efforts to make ourselves heard. And we get rid of the “taking it personally” reaction when someone doesn’t have the capability to focus their attention on what we are saying. What we might be left with at that point is still a feeling of not being heard, except now there doesn’t seem to be a reason for it.

The solution path is that we have to look deeper into our thoughts, belief systems, and emotions. We begin at the very basics to inventory the whole situation and see what we find. We begin with the thoughts we have about what is happening and scrutinize everything.

“I don’t feel that I am being heard.”

For starters, this isn’t very clear. “Being heard,” is a description of another person’s behavior.  “Not being heard” is far removed from describing our own feelings and emotions. These are two different things and the clear articulation of this will help. It might seem to us, or we might perceive they are not listening which is an observation or assumption of the other person’s behavior. Our feelings would be described by words like, unworthy, hurt, frustrated. A more accurate statement might be, “You seem to me to be paying attention to something else and I am having some emotional reactions to what I am perceiving.”

To really understand the issue we need to describe a feeling, or emotion we are having as separate from their behavior. Unworthiness or worthlessness is more accurate as it describes what we might be feeling.  Unimportant might be close, but it is still related to someone else’s opinion of us. The important step is to clarify the separation between their behavior and our emotion.  Too often we merge the two in language and create misunderstanding.

Understanding Emotional Responses

Let’s say that an admirer brings a woman, Mary, flowers. If Mary likes the admirer she is going to have wonderful feelings about this.  However, if Mary doesn’t like the admirer, she is going to have a completely different reaction.  She doesn’t want flowers from a guy she doesn’t like.  Mary is likely to go into anxiety as to how to get rid of him in a way that doesn’t hurt his feelings and so Mary doesn’t look mean or unkind.  It’s an uncomfortable situation for Mary to get flowers from someone she doesn’t like. I use this example to show how getting flowers produces two different emotional reactions depending on which beliefs become active. Getting flowers doesn’t directly produce emotions.  The emotions are different in the two scenarios because Mary’s beliefs interpret the scenarios differently, and responds with emotions corresponding to each interpretation.

I’ve come to find that if someone is not listening to me that I relax. I realize they are not digesting what I am saying and so I let them do all the talking and chill out. What does your mind interpret when it seems others aren’t listening to you? What reactionary emotions are created and what are the beliefs that correspond to these emotions?

Do we believe that we are stupid, worthless, unimportant or rejected somehow?  Are we offended and hurt? These emotions are produced when our belief system is triggered. The point here is that we feel the emotions we feel not because someone didn’t do something. We feel these emotions because our belief system was activated to make these interpretations and produced emotions congruent with these beliefs. In cases like these, unpleasant emotions will correspond to negative or painful beliefs about ourself. The exploration of these triggered responses is best explored by writing them out and seeing what shows up on the page.

When we don’t feel heard there may be multiple layers contributing to this feeling.  It may be that others are busy in their mind that they are unable to listen and connect with us. Not feeling heard might in part be due to our extra efforts at compensating strategies which alienate people and tempt them to tune us out. They sense our tension, and don’t feel a desire to connect to an expression that lacks authenticity. And, maybe we are carrying beliefs of our past into a conversation and projecting emotions or historical interpretations into the present moment.  These projected beliefs can create the experience of not feeling heard, even when people are really listening.

To really find out which of these factors or others are contributing to the experience of not connecting with others requires some exploration. Simply pointing the finger at someone else for their lack of listening is not enough.  What is needed is to take some responsibility and get curious.  Taking responsibility means that we will consider that we are playing a part in our communication dance with others.  The curious part is for exploring the layers of our emotions, communication style, and beliefs that are contributing to our own experience.  In that self reflection process we become more aware of what was previously unconscious to us and make changes at a depth that will make a difference.

The practical approach that I suggest for this curious approach of exploring beliefs, emotions, and making changes is to sign up and do the free sessions of the Self Mastery course.  If you find they are helpful you can continue with the rest of the course or find another approach that accomplishes the same thing.

 

 

    Register or Sign In to Blog

  • Log in



The Self Mastery Course: Practical Tools for getting rid of the emotional drama in your life

  • Stop emotional reactions
  • Change core beliefs
  • Quiet the criticizing voice in your head
  • Develop communication and respect in your relationships
  • and create Love and Happiness in your life

Check out Gary's Self Mastery Audio Program and download FOUR sessions free