Often we stand in our own way of achieving and receiving what we most want. This happens when we believe that what we most want is only available in a bundled up fashion with something we don’t want at all. So we take one step in the direction of our dream and then we get scared because we feel as if we are also moving closer to a nightmare.

Take Jody (not her real name), who wanted to overcome procrastination and become more successful in her career. Every time she made some progress, got more organized, became more focused, she noticed how she would slip in other ways as if she was trying to sabotage her own progress. She became curious about this pattern and realized that even though she really wanted to be more successful in her career, she didn’t like the image of what success looked like in her field. All the so-called successful professionals in her field seemed arrogant, aggressive and distant. She realized that deep down she feared being successful out of a fear that she too might become arrogant, aggressive and distant.

I asked Jody to stretch both of her hands out in front of her body and imagine she were holding success in her right hand and arrogance in her left hand. I asked her to notice the sensations in her hands and notice how they were different from each other. She said that she felt light and warm in her right hand as if her hand was warmed by rays of sunshine. In her left hand, she felt as if she was holding a heavy piece of coal surrounded by heavy brown smoke.

Through this physical experience, Jody was able to see the difference between the two realities that she had mixed together as one in her mind. Even though success and arrogance seemed to appear together a lot of the time in her field of work, they were really two distinctly different things. I asked Jody to write down her vision of success using the sensation of success she had felt in her right hand.

Once she opened herself to the possibility that success was possible without arrogance, Jody started noticing more and more successful people in her field who weren’t arrogant at all. It was as if a veil had lifted and her eyes were open to see this part of reality for the first time.

Just like Jody, you can apply this exercise to your own life:

1. Where in your life might you be sabotaging your own success? What kind of qualities do you have mixed up in your mind? Here are a few popular pairs:

Success = Loneliness
Beauty = Vanity
Forgiveness = Injustice
Self-care = Selfishness

2. Identify the realities or qualities that you have collapsed into one in your mind.
3. Stretch out both of your hands and imagine you are holding one quality in each of your hands.
4. Notice what each of the qualities feels like in your hand and notice the difference between the content of your hands.
5. Then write down your vision of the quality you want to attract into your life using the sensation you felt as inspiration.
6. Throughout the next days and weeks notice how this quality shows up in your life.

Author's Bio: 

Julia James, CPCC, PCC, M.Sc. is a multi-lingual certified life coach, award-winning author and international speaker. She helps busy professionals around the world achieve balance in their lives through individual coaching and workshops. Author of the book, The Mini-Retreat Solution and the audio CD series, Guided Mini-Retreats for Busy People, she provides tools to manage stress effectively and to relax and re-energize quickly. Julia has been featured on Joy TV, CBC News, as well as in The Globe & Mail, Glow Magazine, BC Business Magazine and The Vancouver Observer. For more information visit: www.juliajames.ca