“Push versus pull” has been on my mind lately because I’ve had writer’s block—a problem that I have had often in the past.
Looking for a solution, last fall I signed up for a writing class. The class had really helped me free up my creativity. I had been writing with greater ease.
But somewhere over the holidays, I let my saboteurs get the upper hand. No amount of scheduling, time blocking or to-do lists, all left-brain solutions, were helping. Then, while meditating, I had the realization that the problem was that I was trying to push myself into writing. Instead, I needed to find the reason that would pull me gently back to it.
Let me explain the “push versus pull.”
Saboteurs, our inner negative voices, work by pushing us into action by using anger, stress, fear, and guilt. For example, the Controller saboteur uses feelings of imminent danger, to push us to control ourselves, other people and our environment. A Pleaser saboteur will remind us constantly that if we’re not putting others first then we won’t be loved or appreciated. Any time we put our own needs first will be met with guilt or shame that can push us back to pleasing others first.
These feelings pushing us to action are very unpleasant. My personal experience is that when my Avoider and my Restless saboteurs are at work, I feel anxious, unsettled, and miserable. I might get things done but the experience is one of high stress and unhappiness instead of focus and flow.
Being pulled towards action is a different feeling entirely. When we are pulled, it’s our sage brain that pulls us towards actions, goals, and behaviours that are in alignment with our values. Our right brain capacity for compassion, curiosity, the joy of self-expression, and the like pull us into pleasurable action; action without judgment, stress, or obligation.
If you’re wondering how to know when you’re being pushed rather than pulled and how to make the switch, consider signing up for my new Mental Fitness group starting March 12.
You can think about mental fitness as a kind of spring cleaning:
- If you’re tired of feeling stressed, fearful, sad, or stuck.
- If you feel that you’ve been hanging on to old patterns, old habits, and old ways of thinking
- If you know that what you’ve been doing simply doesn’t work for you anymore
This might be just the right time to start a mental fitness practice and let in some fresh thinking.
Mental fitness is our capacity to meet life’s challenges with calm, clear, focused responses rather than negative emotions. My Mental Fitness Program teaches you how to strengthen your capacity for positive thinking and action so that you can be happier with yourself, with others, and with your circumstances.
In seven weeks, you will:
- recognize how you self-sabotage
- learn tools and techniques to overcome self-sabotage
- strengthen your capacity for empathy, creativity, innovation, and action
Included in the program are:
- individual and group coaching
- a mobile app to guide your practice and learning
- weekly videos
- peer support opportunities
You will literally rewire your neural pathways into more positive creative and productive ways of thinking. A previous participant called mental fitness a “game-changer” for how she lives her life.
Click here to learn more about the program and to enrol.
P.S. I’m offering accessible pricing for anyone who works in the non-profit and charitable sectors. When you enrol for my program, tell me where you work for the discount.
P.P.S. Are you thinking about signing up as a group?
There are so many applications for mental fitness at work and in our personal lives. One exciting way to amplify and accelerate the impact of mental fitness in your life is to enrol a group in the program. Team members, family, or other kinds of groups who take the program together will see profound improvements in the way they relate to each other, work together, and play together.