Do you feel a bit disappointed with your life?
It’s a niggle. Exacerbated by social media. You’re scrolling on your phone.
A friend’s in the Caribbean, posting cocktails on the beach, again.
Another is leaving your town to move to their dream location.
Yet another is sharing a family occasion that looks full of fun and lightness.
You’re not feeling it though. Not that there’s anything wrong on paper. You have a successful business. A healthy, beautiful family. A home you love…
What is it, then that has you comparing to others? And judging what you have unfavourably?
If you’ve been successful, and yet you feel like something is missing, you may have some ideas about what’s happening and why.
You might think it’s that you haven’t met your financial goals yet. Or a certain status. Maybe you think your marriage could be better. Or your kids different from how they are.
These are all very normal thoughts. But they’ve got nothing to do with how you see your life.
The antidote? It’s not shifting your beliefs about what’s creating your longing….
It’s all about seeing a deeper truth of who you are which lightens the load and brings a ton of inner peace.
I’ll explain what I mean and how in this post.
A recent business owning client of mine, was caught in a loop of thinking. Whenever he looked at his business partner's life or those he admired, he had a sinking feeling, a gnawing away inside. There was a mix of envy, a feeling that he should have that too and some frustration about his own situation.
He was frustrated with himself and would go on big kicks of self improvement to get himself to the next level. However, the empty feeling inside remained, whatever he did.
To the outside world, he seemed blessed. Very successful in his business, a wonderful home and partner. He also prided himself on his looks and fitness levels which were exceptional.
Nothing seemed to fill that hole inside that longed for more and different.
In many approaches to coaching, we might go about unpicking the beliefs that support this emptiness and feeling of lack.
Introducing a gratitude practice could be one approach and there is a lot to be said about the common sense of ‘counting your blessings.’
Or finding and introducing some new core beliefs about him ‘being enough’ might be another method. Or soothing the young part of himself to feel ok in the present. All those are legitimate and valuable techniques.
However, they require effort and discipline to maintain. My client, like many others, already had a ton of things he was focused on maintaining. Adding something more, didn’t seem that helpful.
Instead, we looked in a different direction. One that brings effortless change. One that we are all capable of.
It starts with a question.
I began by asking him ‘who is it, that wants what his business partner has?’
Of course the most common answer to this question is ‘I or me.’
It was his too.
As we began to consider, what or who ‘me’ is with my client, some interesting revelations began to emerge.
I asked him to find where ‘I’ is in his body.
You can do this yourself…
He couldn’t locate ‘I’ in his body. When he hesitated, I asked if he was on an operating table, would a surgeon be able to locate this ‘I’? It’s not the brain; it’s not the heart…
Of course not.
‘So’, I said ‘we have to conclude that we all have an experience of ourselves which seems connected to but also independent of our body.’
You might call this ‘awareness’ or ‘consciousness.’
This consciousness is like a movie screen on which all of our experiences appear. This movie screen is permanent, enduring. It can’t be damaged, broken, taken away or destroyed.
These experiences we see on the screen are created through the power of Thought (I’ve written about that here). Effectively, we are projecting a movie of our life into the screen of our consciousness.
Like all movies, these experiences can be dramatic, tragic, romantic, spiritual, sexual… the full gamut of human experience.
You might be thinking, so what? How does that help me stop comparing myself to others?
When my client began to see this as a truth (not just a concept)... in other words he tested it out for himself and saw if it made sense to him… his experience began to shift.
On some occasions he could see he was projecting a movie of comparison and lack. It had tight feelings associated with it which were letting him know about his state of mind and presence (I’ve written about that here.)
Now the thing about movies, is that even if you are lost in the extraordinary illusion of the film maker’s art, there is a part of you that always knows it a movie. That at any point you can get up from the chair and walk away.
Of course we can’t walk away from our experience of consciousness, but when we see it as a movie rather than pure white knuckling reality, then life takes on more of the flavour of a game.
My client found he could start waking up from the painful movie he was experiencing in his consciousness and bring his attention to something more open, playful, hopeful and creative.
Put it another way. He could see that he played a habitual movie of lack and he could now choose whether to pay it any attention or to leave it be.
The more he left it be, the less energy and persistence it had. Without the sunshine of attention, it began to wither, and new possibilities emerged.
In amongst those times he noticed he had less on his mind. With less on his mind, he was more present and these thoughts of lack and comparison were fewer and far between, because they weren't taking him away from being present.
Finding yourself in loops of comparison and feeling like you are falling short is a common experience for the six figure plus business owning dads I help in my 6 month 1 on 1 online coaching program.
I guide them how to go from living with stuckness, disaffection, workaholism, burnout and not being present, to creating dependable inner peace, excitement, engagement, motivation and greater fulfilment in both their work and family life.
One of the things we prioritise is how to get really content about how life is right now, without having to get to a particular destination or change something on the outside.
If you’d like to find out more about how this programme can help you and if you’re a good fit, send me an email.