It’s refreshing to see that other leaders in the self-improvement industry are starting to say “you have to dig deep.” I don’t think it has been defined clearly enough yet, but from my perspective, it means going back to the past and cleaning house.
Starting in childhood, we look for patterns in the experiences we have. How do I get food? How do I get attention? How do I avoid pain? This requires interpretation that will be different from one child to the next, depending on the quality of parents and other surroundings. Keep in mind, no parent is perfect and no child is perfect at interpreting a parent’s intentions. Grade school is not an easy place either, and I have never met anyone who was not scarred in some way by the end of high school. Even with the best of childhoods, we all emerge with beliefs and fears that will become limits at some point.
Let’s assume that someone is frustrated with her spouse because he will never relax and spend quality time with her. To maximize growth, for herself and for the relationship, she needs to address her own upset from within rather than blaming him for the whole thing. It is likely that his behavior reminds her of something in her own past, like a father who was on the road for work and not around as much as she needed him to be. By the time she became an adult, she carried with her an unfulfilled need for her father’s attention and a belief that his neglect was somehow her fault…let’s call it “I don’t deserve his attention.”
Our systems will gravitate toward similar circumstances until that need is resolved, so she found herself attracted to a very ambitious man who triggered the underlying issue with her Dad just by being himself.
Most therapy and self-improvement strategies will assign the label “I don’t deserve his attention” and look for a shift by changing behavior in the marriage. However, she developed that belief in childhood, one experience at a time, as she was hoping to have more time with her Dad and was repeatedly left to question why he wasn’t there for her. Those experiences are the building blocks to her belief that she doesn’t deserve his attention, and therefore the very source of the problem. As long as those memories still hold pain for her, they will continue to feed the belief she is trying to shift.
Removing the emotional impact of those events will in turn take the impact out of the resulting belief “I don’t deserve his attention.” Once that has been neutralized, then she is free to discuss the issue with her husband as a productive adult, without the influence of the wounded child. Keep in mind, he may need to look at his own issues in regard to quality time, but we’ll leave that to him for now.
To affect lasting personal change, digging deep means doing whatever it takes to clear those issues at the source…in the past…where they started.
I recommend EFT as a powerful DIY tool to clear issues in the past, and you can find out how in my EFT DIY blog. If you prefer the faster, more powerful results with a professional, you can explore My Approach or contact me for availability.