Whatever you are fixing in your life and leadership, you are reinforcing.
Fixing doesn’t really work — it’s changing something in your life that you have deemed wrong. Something you have decided shouldn’t be there.
Humans fix all over the place. We do this because we have judgment, and our judgment makes it wrong when something is showing up in our lives that we don’t think should be there. Not only is it wrong that it’s showing up — we’re wrong for allowing it to show up.
Once we’ve got that nice layer of judgment over top of whatever we’re doing, we don’t have much capacity to sit with what is happening. Instead, we need to resolve the problem — immediately.
In doing so, we lose access to the opportunity to see how we’re creating this problem in the first place — and perhaps as importantly, why we’re creating this problem.
Imagine that you seem to keep falling into holes. You don’t like falling into holes because you’ve decided, somewhere along the way, that only stupid people fall into holes. And you notice that once you’re in a hole, you kind of bumble around, and you can’t really create whatever it is you’re up to creating in your life until you get back out.
Sometimes, while you’re in a hole, you notice other people walking around outside, and they don’t seem to have the same “hole-problem” you do, which makes you even more frustrated. And, there’s a whole host of minor problems that add to the annoyance of being in the hole. You feel dirty, you feel time is being wasted, etc.
So when you fall into a hole, all of this stuff gets you kind of agitated. You start running around, trying to figure out how to get out of the hole, and enacting solutions. You do things like build a better ladder, faster.
Maybe you get really good at building ladders, going to ladder-building school, and learning how to steady them even on uneven ground, so you can use them no matter what the situation.
All of this effort and energy allows you to get out of the hole sooner, after you’ve fallen in.
But what if the problem is actually that you have some very good reason for blundering into holes in the first place? What if there’s some payoff to this tendency of yours to unwittingly fall and get stuck in holes?
All this energy and effort you’ve put into scrambling out of holes as soon as you realized you’ve fallen into one… is for naught.
It’s even worse than naught, and I bet you already were like “OH MAN, it’s for naught? I HATE naught!” Well get ready, because it’s getting worse than naught.
Not only will your efforts be moot — they’re simply going to speed up your cycle. Sure, you’ll get out of a hole faster, and you might even be able to help (or sell this solution to) other people so they can get out of their holes faster too. But none of this work actually creates any kind of breakthrough.
All you’re achieving is an increase in the speed with which you move through the cycle of blundering into holes, judging yourself for getting into a hole, and figuring out how to escape the hole and get back to life the way it’s “supposed to be”.
Until you can let go of the “wrongness” you’re assigning to being in the hole, you have almost no capacity to simply sit there and get curious about why this continues to show up in your life. The path out of the holes is the more challenging work of releasing your judgment altogether, and making peace with the fact that you seem to be in a hole. Giving up the idea that life should be any different than how it is right now. Only then can you start to see what’s leading you there in the first place, what you’re getting out of it, and what might have to shift on a larger scale.
Your hole is not the same as anyone else’s. It might be your need to escape the rat race. Or to eat healthier. Or to never be poor and without money. Or to never be selfish. Maybe it’s that you always seem to date narcissists, or people that have daddy issues.
You’re getting something out of the hole you seem to keep falling into (or that you’ve structured your life to continually avoid).
Until you can let go of making your hole wrong, you’re doomed to have it continually show up in your life.
What do you continually find yourself fixing or trying to resolve in your life, business and leadership?