One Foot on the Gas, One Foot on the Brake

June 23, 2016

Categories: Change

Have you ever been in a situation where you are trying to make a change in your life, but it just isn’t working? Or maybe you find yourself taking two steps forward, but then two steps backward?

Sometimes when this happens in my own life, I have noticed that there are actually multiple parts of myself that pull me in different directions. There is a part of myself, usually conscious, that pushes me in the direction of my goal. But then there is another part of myself, sometimes unconscious, that pushes me in the opposite direction of my goal.

It’s as if I have one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake.

I’ll give you an example from my own life. One of the things I’m trying to work on is getting better at relationships, dating, and being open to vulnerability and commitment. This is a conscious goal. I try to make a concerted effort to meet new people, date, and open myself up to relationship.

But there’s another part of myself that pushes me in the opposite direction of my goal. This is the part of myself that likes to be independent, enjoys my time alone, wants to be free and unencumbered, and is afraid of commitment. I’m not as aware of this part of myself. It mostly operates underneath the surface, outside of my conscious awareness. But it’s there, and it works in direct opposition to my conscious goal.

If you are struggling to change something in your life, it might be worth thinking about whether there might be another part of yourself that is operating underneath the surface, in direct opposition to your goal. It might not be something big. It might just be a feeling you get sometimes, of wanting something different than your conscious goal.

Awareness is the first step. Once you are aware of the different parts of yourself and what each part needs and wants, you might be able to work out a solution that honors the needs and wants of both parts. This could allow you to take your foot off the brake and have a clear path toward your goal.

Discussion: What is something that you are struggling to change in your life? Might there be one part of you that has a foot on the gas, and one part of you that has a foot on the brake? What does each part of you need and want? What could be a way forward that honors the needs and wants of each part?


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