I am coming to the conclusion that everything I was trying to get myself to do is better approached by exploring how to allow myself to do it.
😤✋❌ how do I get myself to do the thing?
😎👉✅ how do I allow myself to do the thing?
It’s obvious, on reflection: if “I want to do the thing”, great! The motivation is there, for some part of me that has grabbed the mic and is calling itself “Malcolm”.
The issue is that some other part of me doesn’t want to do the thing, for whatever reason, or I’d simply be doing it. (To be clear, I’m not talking about skills, just about actions, that I’m physically or mentally capable of taking.)
So there’s a part of me, in other words, that isn’t allowing me to do the thing that I supposedly want to do (I say “supposedly” because the part claiming I want to is necessarily also partial).
…and that’s the part with the agency to enable the thing!
So the question is:
if I supposedly want to do a thing, and I’m not, can I find the part of me that doesn’t want to do it, inhabit its perspective, see what it’s caring for, and bring that into contact with my desire to do the thing & the whole situation?
This is a lens on using the therapeutic reconsolidation process in each moment.
It’s kind of implicitly inspired by PCT, along with a ton of other things including Michael Ashcroft’s stuff I’m sure plus my “nothing-to-do meditation” aka “allow myself to die in this moment” which you can read a twitter thread about here or watch a video where I explore it here.
I’m practicing this Allowing move on really basic stuff at the moment. For example, “can I allow myself to get out of bed?” which was the motivating impetus for the first tweet in this thread.
Of course, the even further extremes of “get myself to do” are “make myself do” or “force myself to do”.
But it’s not about the force, it’s just that “get” is still privileging the perspective that already wants to do the thing, not the part that is disallowing it.
It’s worth noting that there may be a “should you reverse any advice you hear” thing here. As far as I can tell, this new approach is thoroughly backed by systems thinking and in some sense universally applicable, but its pragmatic usefulness for me right now may be related to the phase I’m at. It might not be the thing for you right now!
This post was originally a twitter thread, and someone replied:
can i allow myself to see the other perspective, even when it means relinquishing dominance and so the thing might not get done?
To which I responded: ah yeah it’s trippy—the more dominant part also has to allow pausing to take the perspective of the other part.
There’s a whole dance here, which ultimately is the thing I call a trust-dance (in this case, internal trust-dancing).
Want to learn more about Allowing or other powerful gentle motivation untangling techniques? Join us Sept 24 or 25 at the Goal-Crafting Intensives, where our team of coaches will work with you to figure out how to get you unstuck towards what matters most to you.
Constantly consciously expanding the boundaries of thoughtspace and actionspace. Creator of Intend, a system for improvisationally & creatively staying in touch with what's most important to you, and taking action towards it.