Nobody’s Holding Me Back But Me

Self Help visual

I’m a fan of self help. One of the things I like about energy psychology is that it empowers me to become self-aware and engaged in my personal growth. That being said, there are times I seek help from a practitioner because I’m stuck. When that happens, it’s usually because I’m getting close to something that my unconscious is guarding diligently.

My chiropractor uses NET, a mind-body technique for removing neurological imbalances related to unresolved stress. This webpage has two short videos that show you what it’s about.

I’ve found NET effective in quickly getting to the core and releasing the imbalance. It’s a relief to know I don’t have to stay stuck. But first I take an issue as far as I can by myself. This involves paying attention to clues, curiously investigating what they might tell me, exploring to get to the bottom of the issue, and releasing the imbalance so I can function better.

1. Paying attention to discomfort and dissonance

Paying attention is fundamental to knowing ourselves. Sometimes the discomfort is physical, like a pain in my shoulder. Other times it’s the discomfort of stress, as I described in an earlier post. Or it might be a general feeling of uneasiness. Really, any place where life isn’t flowing smoothly becomes a clue that there’s something to investigate.

2. Investigating with curiosity

A curious attitude makes the exploration interesting rather than daunting. I wonder about what might be at the root of the discomfort. Wondering is expansive. It opens the door to possibilities. It allows me to get underneath the obvious to find out what is really going on.

The best way to investigate is by asking questions. What is going on here? is surprisingly revealing.That’s how I discovered that I was operating under the belief that women should never show themselves to be smarter than the men around them.

On a logical level, it surprised me that I held that belief. And I doubt anyone who knows me would have guessed. To someone looking from the outside, I did not give the impression of a person who was holding back or dumbing herself down. I had done the things that high achievers do—got the medals, went to university, presided over my professional association, chaired the Scouting group committee, and so on.

But the summer I uncovered this belief, I’d had a feeling for several weeks that I could have lived a bigger life, that something was holding me back. That seemed odd since my circumstances didn’t confirm this conclusion. My family has been my cheering section all along, even when I decided to sell the house and live in England for a year.

It was this disparity—that how I was feeling did not line up with facts—that got me asking, out loud and to no one in particular, What is going on here?!

I’ve learned that asking questions puts things in motion for me. So I asked the question and carried on with my plans for the day. Next morning, in my quiet reflection time, the thought popped into my head that Women should not show themselves to be smarter than the men around them.

Really?!? I grew up in the 1960s, was aware of Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, and never had anyone tell me not to go for what I wanted. Where did that come from?

Clearly my feeling of being held back was self-censorship, a hang-up on the inside.

3. Exploring without opinion

With that awareness, I began exploring. Usually I do this by continuing to ask questions, using muscle testing to discover what’s true for me. In this way, I learned that I was a toddler when I adopted the belief about women not showing their full intelligence.

Me as a toddler in 1948

Sounds odd. But psychologists know that children are like sponges until age six or seven, and that they absorb at lot while still in the preverbal stage of development. They also tell us that children absorb things from both their family culture and the collective unconscious, the culture in which their family lives.

My mother was highly intelligent and could have qualified for Mensa, an organization for people whose IQ is in the top 2%. My father finished Grade 8 during the depression and then went out to work. I don’t recall Mom saying anything about women being too intelligent, but who knows what I picked up energetically when I was a little sponge?

And, of course, it was 1948, a time when the cultural message was one that discouraged women from shining. Perhaps that’s where I got my belief from.

In any case, it was there and it was holding me back. That belief may have served me well in the 1950s, but not in 2014.

When uncovering our stories, it’s easy to have unkind judgements about ourselves or others involved in the situation. How could I have been so stupid? Why would they do that to me? This is not constructive. As Dr. Gabor Maté says, we must have compassion for ourselves—and for others. If we don’t, we get sidetracked into blaming and victimhood. And we remain stuck in our dysfunctional place.

It’s also important to now that when you discover a story, it is not helpful or necessary to relive the event you are bringing to light. Getting pulled too far into it will reinforce the energy rather than dissipate it. You are aiming to uncover the originating event or belief with enough awareness to be able to release the disruption it created in your energy field.

4.  Moving it out of the energy field

I have a few release methods that work well for me, and it was probably a technique from either EFT, The Body Code, or Access Consciousness. I don’t actually remember which one I used in this instance. From my perspective, that’s simply a technicality to help me move on. I have no desire to dwell in the details. I prefer to revel in the freedom that comes from being ever-more connected to the core of who I am.

A poignant song popped into my head while I was writing this post. It seems a fitting conclusion. It’s the final song in Act I of the musical Cats, sung by Elaine Paige in a live performance. Grizabella, the Glamour Cat, is an aging beauty who has roamed some of the lowest alleys. She is reflecting on her memory of happier times and the new life that could be ahead.

And for next week: Muscle testing is a useful tool when doing energy exploration such as I’ve described. I think it’s a life skill everyone should have. I’ll say more about that next week. As always, your thoughts are appreciated.

4 thoughts on “Nobody’s Holding Me Back But Me

  1. Laurana you have struck a nerve for me today. What a powerful post & the song just puts it over the top! Lots to think about & work with here. For today I will be present with my thoughts & feelings around “if it is to be it’s up to me” & that the only one holding me back is me but go easy on myself & think & act with compassion … Give myself the love I need then step boldly & intentionally beyond my comfort zone for even if I only go one step at a time I am moving forward… Keep the goal in sight & keep moving toward it. Lol and there are lots of goals to make progress on …I understand that it will take some work to get to the origin of my beliefs & decide to believe something different in order to be more self actualized.

    • Thanks for sharing, Wendy. It’s a process, isn’t it? I’m glad to hear you’re including self-compassion. It’s the piece that is so often lost, especially when our inner hangups revolve around being good and doing things right. By the way, “forward” isn’t always a straight line. All the best on the journey!

  2. Your insights always resonate with my own learnings, experiences, and beliefs.

    I’m curious about the muscle testing and am looking forward to hearing more about it.


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