I’ve been observing themes like this for years. My marketing department always suggests I share them with the public. See what you think…

One of the themes showing up with several clients this week is the specter of “old stuff” popping up during transition. Right in the middle of the enthusiasm and optimism of entering a new relationship or shifting to a more satisfying career path, old beliefs, behaviors, or obstacles rear their ugly heads.

“Not this again! I thought I was past that already! This seems like a bad sign – and everything was going so well. It’s never going to be different….”

Here they were embracing change, letting go of the old, and they end up feeling like they are right back where they started. Their hope was that this new self in this new situation wouldn’t experience fear of intimacy, or encounter conflict, or suffer communication breakdowns, or re-create childhood traumas. And sometimes it does work that way.

But here’s the thing –

In a lot of cases, just because you aren’t being faced with the bad thing anymore, it doesn’t mean you don’t still carry your fear of it. To truly be done with it means it doesn’t matter if the bad thing shows up or not because you know you can handle it. Learning to avoid being bullied doesn’t address the fear that you might be. Learning to stand up to a bully means you no longer have to live your life avoiding one. When you can do something even when it’s hard, it means you own it- it no longer has power over you.

Therefore –

What I suggest is that when you are transitioning and that old habit or block shows up, you can choose to see it as a dormant, fearful energy being activated in order to be released. It’s saying to you, “You don’t need to carry me around anymore, but in order for us to go our separate ways, you first need to experience not being controlled by me.” Your fear of it actually keeps you connected to it. So when it shows up at what seems to be the wrong time, it is actually an offer of freedom. Instead of being a sign that you aren’t nearly as far along as you thought and nothing is ever really going change, it’s a signal that you are standing on the threshold.

Now imagine how extraordinary it will feel to encounter a problem that always shows up in all your relationships and it turns out to be no big deal. Think of all the possibilities in your career when that limiting belief that always held you back is once and for all debunked.

Did you ever consider that all your lifelong obstacles are just as sick of you as you are of them and keep trying to get you to let them go?

Noticing tree photo by ZeMoufette

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