There is a classic thing that happens when a client comes to see a transformational coach or therapist like me. The question is posed to them, “So, tell me, what do you want? What do you really really want?” …and straight away there is an answer that starts with, “Well, I can tell you what I DON’T want. I DON’T want to be working in this dead-end job/living in the suburbs/ drinking six pints of cider every night etc.”
Right now in the US and around the world, marchers and protesters are telling us what they DON’T want (Trump) and back in 2016 the Brexiters also told us what they DIDN’T want (immigration and EU laws).
There are two potential issues with this, and they are linked. One is practical, one is energetic and affects one’s ability to build this or that future.
The first is typified by what has transpired since the Brexit vote: we find that those who pushed for that vote were extremely united by what they didn’t want, but have no clear picture in practical terms of what will replace it. Just as the man or woman in the coaching session has not yet identified the ingredients of their new brighter reality. And without that magnetic vision and all the separate elements that have to be in place to make it happen, one can be left floundering and de-motivated and constantly returning to the fact of what we DON’T want. (We all use a mixture of “away from” and “towards” in our high-level unconscious programming: the old stick and carrot)
The second issue is the rule that “what you focus on grows” (mentioned in these posts many times). It is like watering a plant. Focus on not wanting Trump and Trump grows. Focus on not wanting to be in a dead-end job and suddenly that fills your internal screen. Your focus is giving these things energy, the energy that you can instead channel into a new positive vision, bringing about real change.
There’s a reason, of course, why it is easier to identify negatives. Just imagine wandering around a shopping centre, and all the people are doing the usual sorts of things that people do in such places, browsing, shopping, possibly arguing, eating ice cream, snogging, holding balloons… and then there is one chap, a fan of Alice Cooper who wrongly believed the famous story, standing on a plinth biting the heads off chickens… and having ignored all the millions of pieces of behaviour that passed our inner gatekeeper of Values unscathed, suddenly internally we have sirens and bells and whistles because here is something that the gatekeeper will not allow to pass. It makes no difference if the guy is next to a roast chicken stall, with them all turning there on spits, just as it makes no difference if the previous administration to Trump’s spent more on arms than any other administration in history. (Your gatekeeper is very very personal and cares nothing for reason)
It is ALWAYS easier to spot what jars, what feels bad, and that’s fine, but – and here’s the thing, the alchemic secret – the unconscious mind needs us to work a little harder, to go into a delightful dream and show it something great, something with vision, with wonderful feelings attached, with measurably better results, something that it can start to hang practical strategies on, getting to work in attracting the necessary stepping stones to get us to our ideal. When we do that, it purrs and it says “Coming right up!” Research actually shows that those who put time aside to dream a magnificent dream of the thing they want will achieve it much more easily.
So, if you find yourself drawn to a march against something, you might want to go into a dream yourself, become the client in my coaching room, and start to build a vision (with feelings and sounds) of what you want instead. And then you can redesign your placard and change the world.