Do You Remember What a Push Me-Pull You Is?

In the movie, Dr. Doolittle, a man who could talk to the animals, was sent a very unique animal, called a Push Me – Pull You. It had two heads and two
sets of front legs. When one half wanted to move forward, the other half would have to move backward. This caused a lot of confusion and disharmony.
Most of the time, the animal just stood still.

What is the Push Me-Pull You Syndrome?

Just like the animal, many of us have two parts that are fighting each other. One part wants to make a change in our lives. The other part is getting a pay-off or reward for continuing the behavior and doesn’t want to change. It will usually sabotage our efforts.

This is usually subconscious or below the awareness part of our mind, so we might not even know we are doing it. However, we do know that no matter how badly we may want to change, we never seem to be able to do it.

How Do We Know If We Have the Push Me-Pull You Syndrome?

Just think of the things that you want to do or feel you have to do or need to do. Those are the “Push Me” parts of the syndrome. Some examples could be:

* I want to lose weight
* I need to get a better job
* I have to go to school
* I want to be a better parent
* I need to be a better ….(fill in the blank)

The “Pull Me” part of the syndrome would be whatever reasons you are using for not doing the “Push Me” part.

* For “I want to lose weight” - then men might hit on me and I might not be safe
* For “I need to get a better job” – but they will find out I’m not good enough to do the job
* For “I have to go to school” – but what if I’m not smart enough to do the work; what will people think if I fail
* For “I want to be a better parent” – I’m not a good person, what do I know about being a good parent
* For “I need to be a better….” – but I’m not good enough, smart enough, don’t deserve to have a better —, can’t do it, etc. etc. etc.

Do you get the idea?
What is an example of the Push Me-Pull You Syndrome?

Any time we want to make a change but are not doing it can show the Push Me-Pull You syndrome. Where it is most obvious is when we are trying to change an addiction.

I am going to use the addiction to food as an example because it is the drug of choice for most people. It is also the addiction that I am the most familiar with. The three times in my life when I was overweight were very unhappy times for me.

I used food as a source of comfort – the only comfort I could find at the time. And it was not celery and carrot sticks that comforted me. It was rich, creamy, carbohydrate, sweet and fatty food.

Why do we sabotage our efforts to change?

Because there is a pay-off. We get something out of what we are doing. In my case, I got comfort from eating.

One of my clients was addicted to chocolate. Emotionally to her, chocolate meant love. She was not about to give that chocolate up, without a fight. That is why we sabotage. We perceive what we have as being more valuable, in the moment, than what we want, in the future.

It is just like the small child who is offered a sucker now or an ice cream sundae later. We will choose the sucker now because we need it now and can’t see that waiting will give us something better.

Remember that this all happens at a subconscious level. Consciously, we want to lose weight or get a better job or whatever the “Push Me” part of us is saying. But subconsciously, where all of our decisions are really made, the “Pull Me” part of us is saying that we do not believe that the pay off will be better than what we are getting now.

How do you eliminate the Push Me-Pull You Syndrome?

The most powerful tool I have found, and what worked for me, is Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT. It helped me first to become aware of the negative belief systems (the Pull You) that were controlling my life.

Then it helped me to break that negative conditioning and remove my need for artificial comfort. I lost almost fifty pounds and have kept it off for almost two years now.

If you would like to learn how to use EFT to eliminate the negative conditioning or “Pull Yous” that are keeping you stuck, I can help you!

Author's Bio: 

Sheryl Stanton is a registered nurse, stress relief specialist, speaker and trainer, as well as the author of three stress-relief books and DVD sets. She was chosen to receive the “Woman of Worth” Health and Wellness Award for 2010. She is available for interviews and can be reached by email:, by phone (604) 820 8439 or through her website: