“I have enjoyed quite an amount of success in my life, yet I’m hitting a frustrating wall in my business. I’ve recently come into a grander vision for social impact… I just keep seeing this memory of myself as a child visiting Africa for the first time with my parents and recognizing that those children had such different lives than I did, and struggled with poverty, illness and challenges I’d never even considered.
I want my prosperity now to support others, yet as I try to shift my company into a social impact direction I’m getting a lot of resistance from my employees and particularly my CFO about reducing profit margins and so forth. It’s my company, yet I can’t seem to get it moving in the direction I want.
Also I’ve noticed that in the past six months my right leg has stiffened up and it’s affecting my ability to run and work out. I can see it impacting my energy levels, right when I need to be in peak performance to move my company forward.
What do I do?”
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Jim isn’t one of my clients. Rather he represents a pattern I’ve seen emerge in many of the people I’ve worked with. It seems that when a person holds a brilliant big vision for himself and the world, and particularly when he masters his ability to create that vision in reality, the force of his creation can produce tension and rigidness, as well as stress, that then becomes mirrored in his physiology and even in the posture and response of those around him.
Much of our work in these cases therefore focuses on shifting inner state and physiology so that the outer world begins to reflect the new inner world. As an example…
If You Were Jim, Here’s What I Might Say To You…
Let’s begin by taking a look at the places inside yourself where you have resistance to moving forward in this social direction. Often when we encounter resistance or rigidity in the outside world, and particularly in our own body, it may be pointing to an inner resistance we have as the result of conflicting programs or patterns running in our subconscious.
For example, your legs represent your ability to move and stand, and sometimes to move rapidly and run. The strength and power of mobility, to stand your ground, stand in your truth, also to have flexibility to take off at a sprint with forward moving momentum… these are all things our legs allow us to do. So there’s no coincidence that your leg is beginning to stiffen up around all this resistance.
It’s a very subconscious belief program or pattern operating – one that is blocking you from achieving this social vision and new direction you have for your company. Your body is helping to point it out. So my question to you is, “At what point in your career and in building this business did you hit that wall? When might you have decided that it wasn’t possible for you to move forward in the ways you want to?”
Maybe some of the people you’ve surrounded yourself with have their own doubts about showing up bigger in the world. Also, as the leader of your company, you are the one who is setting the overall energy or intention for where the company can go. If you have doubts hidden anywhere in your being, your employees may be resonating with that doubt and mirroring it back to you.
You can liken hidden resistance or doubt to that spam you get in your email inbox. Your brain accesses the unconscious belief and suddenly it’s like a virus in your system. And what does a virus do? It replicates itself and automatically sends itself to everyone in your contact list. The same happens when the ways you want to uplevel your life trigger buried resistance inside you. That resistance gets transferred to those around you like spam emails sent to all your friends.
But wait, let’s also ground this even more with a very tangible example:
Let’s start with your right leg. How does it feel right now? How does the other leg feel? Notice any difference…
Let’s play with that awareness for a moment. You said your right leg is stiff, do you drive a lot? Let’s say you commute 30 minutes each way… What are you thinking about on the way to work? Maybe about all that needs to get done that day – decisions to be made, fires to put out, challenges to solve?
Chances are, during your daily commute you are not at all in a relaxed state of mind. Instead you’re more tense, frustrated, and with a go go go focus.
Now picture yourself in your car. Where are your hands… what’s the attitude in relation to the traffic around you… what are you listening to? On your way into work you’ve maybe already begun to form a rigid, inflexible attitude. Then, as you come through the door at work, here comes the big boss in that rigid tension! Your employees instantly begin to respond to your physiology and state of being, probably without realizing it. They’re mirroring that tension and rigidity right back to you. So when you talk about creating something big and altruistic, the minute you walk in, these plans feel like the most heavy, serious thing you could possibly do and they feel that tension. They resist it.
We often forget how our physical complaints relate to what’s going on in our lives, but can you see how all that tension in your thoughts as you drive to work… the pressure to fulfill the obligation to keep your company going… carrying all that weight on your shoulders to support all those people… and all this while using your right leg to power your car as you drive toward all that responsibility – see how all of this goes together?
If You Were Jim, Here’s Where a Solution Would Begin To Form…
In light of all this, what if you took that time driving into work – that creative half an hour when you’re in transition – and use that physical transition as a metaphor for the transition you’re about to take your company into? What if you sat in your car and as you drove, you hummed a little tune and you didn’t think about work, and every time work popped into your head, you literally changed the station on your radio to disrupt the thought flow and begin quickly rewiring your brain?
You keep it light; you stay relaxed.
What would happen when you walk through the door? Would you be in that stiff, unhappy space or might you have heard three surprising and playful songs that morning that reminded you of some joyful memories? Might you walk through that door this time in creative flow, free, and light… because you didn’t spend that half hour on a highway in a metal box with a bunch of stressed out people! Instead, you spent that time in a bubble of your own making, owning your morning commute and enjoying that space.
These are the seemingly small shifts that create the big difference. These are the gifts hidden in your blind spots that unlock the massive next steps you’re attempting to make.
What Our Sessions Might Look Like
Every person I work with has a unique situation that calls for unique solutions. Even two people with the same complaint have entirely unique personalities, experiences and personal programming. However, as an example, here’s what our sessions might look like if you were Jim…
Part One: Looking at your company agreement
Many business owners and leaders feel an enormous responsibility to their companies and the people who work for them. That sense of responsibility is an aspect of a deeper commitment we make that is often unconscious. That commitment is what I call an agreement. Most of us experience resistance when we are operating in an unconscious agreement with others that no longer serves the new direction or changes we wish to make. Therefore, in our initial session(s), we will be looking at the existing agreement you have with your company and, usually, updating that agreement.
Part Two: Looking at your agreement to yourself
Next we’ll look at your agreement with yourself, and in this case, particularly your agreement to take care of, nourish and support yourself. This also has to do with standing in your own truth and coming from the center of your strength, so that when you are in front of your company, and later when they are an extension of you in front of the world, through and through it has a structural integrity. And that integrity and strength… being able to stand its ground as a company that achieves social impact… begins with you. So as you shift inward, the company structure will shift as well. Here too, we will look at the agreement you’ve had with yourself until now, and in most cases, update that agreement to match with your vision and goals.
Part Three: De-programming the sub-scripts in conflict with your new agreements
Most people will find that a lot of momentum is generated once they’ve gained the kind of clarity we often achieve in our initial sessions. However the key to truly removing the blocks and resistance we encounter in any area of our life is to also locate the programs or sub-scripts running in our subconscious that literally conflict with the new agreements we’ve made (which can also be seen as conscious programs we’ve chosen to encode into our self).
We will start to locate these various glitches on your personal timeline where these sub-scripts got wired into your system, such as the unconscious belief that it’s not okay for you to own your vision while also being free of external judgments of what that vision is.
Additionally, in this deep kind of transformative work, you may also find that even if your primary focus is professional – there will almost always be connections to your personal life, and vice versa. You may find that the breakthrough that gets you to your end goal happens in an entirely different area than you expected (and also has some wonderful side benefits!).
And while you are surely not Jim here, in every minute aspect of this narrative, you – like many I work with – likely see bits and pieces of yourself in his story. Perhaps imagine what story we could create for you in the next chapter of your life.