Years ago, in my late 30’s, I worked in commission sales.
It was not in my temperament to be a salesman and consequently I hated my job. I did it only to make money to support my family. After 7 years in the business, I got to the point where every time I tried to make a cold call, the phone felt like a heavy brick. I could hardly pick it up.
For months, in the morning, I could barely get out of bed, feeling trapped. One particularly difficult morning I decided to stay in bed. But instead of wallowing in despair, I decided to investigate the state I was in. I got curious
What was really going on here?
I let myself feel all the emotions of sadness, defeat, and hopelessness, but also tried to isolate what really was going on underneath the state I was in. After about two hours of just sitting in the morass of feeling and asking “What is the truth of this state?”, it suddenly dawned on me that underneath this condition was the thought “I will never get what I want”.
I felt a slight lift in the heaviness when I hit that insight. I got even more curious and asked, “How do I know this thought is always true?”
Then I noticed the obvious.
There I was at the beginning of the day deciding I will never get what I want, and the day was not over yet. This did not make any logical sense.
I noticed two outstanding words “never” and “always”.
These were ultimate words describing a condition that was forever. So, I asked myself, “Is it always true that I will never get what I want?” It immediately became clear that this belief was not forever.
As I looked at my life, I recalled that many times I had worked hard and achieved what I wanted and there were times I did not. The reality was that sometimes I got what I wanted, and sometimes I did not.
With that understanding suddenly I felt a lifting of the heavy state I was in, eclipsed by a new glimpse of optimism. I began to feel I could get what I wanted even though it could take time and I did not know how.
My life changed in that instant.
I decided to take a few clients in my coaching/clearing practice in my spare time, and six months later out of the blue, I was invited to work at a treatment centre and train as an addictions counsellor. It was work that I my soul yearned for.
An Exploration to Try
I tell this story l to inspire folks who feel stuck in a dark place in life. If this is the case for you, here’s a summary of an exploration to try.
- Let yourself feel the state of hopelessness you are in Ask yourself: “What must I believe to experience this?”
- Inquire: “Is this thought always true?” or “Will I never achieve this goal?”
- Look at exceptions to the inevitability of the belief. “Were there times when this belief was not true?” Find some examples.
- Ask yourself “What is actually true?” and replace “never” and “always” in the statement of the belief, with “sometimes” and see how this feels.
- Find a few beliefs that are more realistic. E.g. “Sometimes I fail to get what I want, but when I fail I will learn what didn’t work, and use this awareness to refocus my direction to get what I want”
- When you feel a shift into a more optimistic state, it is a positive indicator that you are moving in the right direction.
Be patient and observe the change occurring in your circumstances. Opportunities you never planned, may come your way. Take advantage of them. In many ways, outer circumstances reflect inner beliefs.
Be You To Fullness