Want to change your life? Then it’s time for an insider secret from changing a pillow case…
It’s a beautifully sunny day in my neck of the UK today – unusual for this early in spring. So craziness hit me this morning and I decided to wash as much bedding as possible before 10am, so I could dry it on the line in the sunshine before school pick-up.
There are five of us in my family, so that’s a lot of bedding. And when I was on my umpteenth pillow case, I got stuck.
There I was, on autopilot, tugging at a corner of the pillow case, wondering why it wasn’t budging.
So I did that classic human thing:
I kept going, tugging the corner, miraculously expecting a different result.
It didn’t happen.
Einstein is rumoured to have said it’s the first sign of insanity.
And I still kept going. I tugged harder, with both hands. And I wondered – again – why nothing was happening.
Confession-time: there was even a little dialogue in my head about how it was somehow the pillow’s fault. Maybe it was twisted? Or caught up? Or maybe the pillow case was to blame? Didn’t it know I was on a deadline?
After a few confused moments, I paused to look at what I was doing – to step out of the frustration and the ‘busyness’ and self-imposed laundry deadline, to come back to this moment and notice the sensory data of what was really going on.
With one hand I was pulling at the corner of a pillow case and with the other hand, I was tightly holding the diagonally opposite corner.
There was no way that pillow case was going to budge, without major damage, until I let go of holding on to it.
And it’s the same with making changes in life.
The only thing that EVER gets in the way of change is if we are holding on to how things are now.
Over fifteen years of working with clients and students (and myself!) on co-creating inner transformation have taught me that. Yet most of us don’t realise we’re doing it. We’re doing exactly what I was doing with the pillow case this morning, but the stakes are far higher.
There is no habit or belief or fear or memory that cannot be softened or released or fully healed.
All that needs to happen, to allow this to take place, is for us to be prepared to let go of it – and whatever it is ‘doing’ for us.
Psychologists have a fancy name for this. It’s called:
And you can find a whole section on how to handle it in Dare To Dream Bigger. Take a peek in the index for the relevant pages, if you have a copy.
In simple terms, Secondary Gain means that the behaviour / belief / fear / worry / thought pattern we want to ditch is, at some level, doing something for us. It doesn’t mean we’re masochists. It just means that the fear of changing is greater than the fear of staying the same. Basically, we’re being human.
We need to get ready to tip the balance the other way. Then change becomes easier and even inevitable.
When you are able to step out of the drama and the mind-stories and the emotional pain and the ‘badges of honour’ we have collected along life’s journey, seeing things how they really are, instead of believing the stories we have been telling ourselves, then we reclaim the power to choose how to experience our ‘now’ and to consciously create our future.
If, instead of stressing about making a change that feels impossible, you find a healthy and empowering way to meet that hidden need – the Secondary Gain – then the old habit / fear / belief is no longer needed. It can melt away. It’s easy to let go of.
And you’ll get to step into your Soul-Shoes, to make an even bigger difference in the world. You’ll no longer need to silently, subconsciously self-sabotage your dreams.
Or you can consciously choose to hold on to that pattern for a little longer.
The beauty of inner transformation work is that we get to choose.
No one can force you to change. And no one can ‘make’ you stay the same, if that’s not what you want. You have the power and courage and strength to make that choice. And your body will always tell you which option it would love you to choose. (Just close your eyes and ask it).
And as soon as you have said ‘YES!’ to putting down those heavy bags you have been carrying, the ‘how’ will appear for you.
So I’m curious: is there a change you’ve been dreaming of making in your life? But you’ve been putting it off? Resisting? Feeling scared? Convincing yourself you don’t have enough time? Or it works for everyone else, but not you? Yes? Then there’s Secondary Gain at play.
How to spot it?
Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
* What is X behaviour doing for me?
* If I couldn’t do X behaviour, what would I miss?
* I feel scared to release X behaviour, because…
(The answers might seem crazy to your conscious mind, but they’re valid for your unconscious mind!)
Deal with those hidden Secondary Gain blocks and then making the change feels easier. You have tipped the balance. And the fear of staying the same becomes greater than the fear of changing. At that point, change will happen.
Top tip: if you’re going to make that change, please make sure you do your due diligence on whoever you choose to work with. Simple changes, we can easily make ourselves. But if you’re diving in more deeply, please make sure your chosen professional has the skill to serve you at the depth you deserve.
And allow yourself to enjoy the change-journey. There’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ technique. There’s no ‘perfect’ therapist for you. Ask your Intuition to guide you and take it one small step at a time.
When you show yourself the love and compassion you would show a child or a delicate flower, then change work becomes playful – and so much easier. It can even be fun.
Want To Hang Out Together?
Want to change your life – together? Here are 3 events I’m running in the next few months where we could get past any Secondary Gain that is getting in the way for you, to create that deep-acting change.
Imposter Syndrome Mastermind
Last chance for early bird on this and doors close on Friday at 8:30am UK time. Want to find out more? Only a couple of places left: http://www.clarejosa.com/imposter-syndrome-mastermind
Energy EFT To Spring Clean Your Life
Discover how to clear out space for your dreams – and how to let go of stress. It’s an ideal Mother’s Day treat (hint to any Mums who’d love their partner / kids to treat them to this!). http://www.clarejosa.com/springclean/
How To Connect With Your Intuition
This is a deep-dive, one-day workshop, combined with a 3-month group Mastermind. The workshop element is on April 27th and doors aren’t officially open yet, but let me know if you’d love to be part of this and I’ll reserve you a spot.
And I’d love to hear from you:
- Have you been ducking and diving and hiding from making the changes that you secretly know you need to make?
- What was that ‘doing’ for you?
- And how might you handle it differently, now?
And who else do you know who might enjoy this article? Please share it with them. Thank you!
With love and gratitude,
Clare Josa, Author, Speaker, Mentor To Entrepreneurs & Passionate World-Changers
P.S. Do you know any pregnant ladies who might enjoy the way I work?
I’m starting half-day workshops for mums-to-be and the first one is on Saturday 25th March. Do you know anyone within driving distance of Forest Row, East Sussex (UK) who would love to join us? Here’s where they can find out more and book a space: http://www.clarejosa.com/happymamas xx C.
P.P.S. No pillow cases were harmed in the production of this message.