Life Coaching Tip: I am closing out the series on the sneaky traps you can find yourself in when attempting to uplevel your life with one of the most menacing of all—the “Calamity Trap”. This brilliant method of self-sabotage is so cunning that you likely have not realized it’s coming from your own primal brain—instead interpreting it as a “sign” to change course. . . Until now! Awareness is always the first step towards growth and change. If I’ve sparked your interest, then please, read on. . ..
Your primal brain—aka “ego” or “subconscious mind”—is extremely committed to keeping you safely tucked inside of your comfort zone. It is fear based and reactive. It doesn’t give a hoot if you feel alive as in flourishing, happy, and fulfilled—its only goal is only to keep you alive as in not dead.
Yep, your primal brain is a total buzz kill. And it operates according to the long-held limiting beliefs that you acquired as a young child and are likely unaware of because you’ve stored them deep in your subconscious mind.
Typically, these limiting beliefs sound something like this . . ..
I’m not good enough:
* I’m not good enough to be, do, or have _____________.
* I’m not ________ (smart, qualified, talented, organized, young, old, experienced, educated, capable, strong, pretty, outgoing, confident . . .) enough.
* There’s something wrong with me—I don’t have the ______ (skills, strengths, intelligence, talents) that other people seem to have.
* I’m a hot mess!
OR – I am not worthy of love, respect, and attention:
* I shouldn’t bother anyone with my thoughts, opinions, or ideas.
* I need to hold back, or I’ll make my ________ (parents, siblings, partner, work colleagues. . .) feel bad about themselves.
* I don’t deserve __________. (success, wealth, love, happiness, fame, fulfillment . . . )
* It’s selfish (or greedy) to put my needs and desires ahead of my family’s and do what makes me happy.
These false beliefs are your primal brain’s marching orders, and it will compel you (by whatever means necessary) to live within these narratives.
Your well-intentioned primal brain interprets any life change, including achieving your goals, as unsafe. And so, it will lure you into one or more of the traps mentioned in this series to block transformation in such an insidious way that you likely won’t even know what’s happening—until now! (wink)
Jen Sincero, author of “You are a Badass” (and my pretend BFF) says your primal brain (what she calls the “Big Snooze”) is like an overprotective Italian mother who has good intentions but will beat you over the head with her rolling pin should you venture outside into the scary unknown. It’s her job to keep you inside the familiar, risk-free zone of your present reality, and she will do whatever it takes to stop you from moving forward.
This is the visual I’d like for you to imagine when you think of the “Calamity Trap”—The overprotective Italian mother of your primal brain creating chaos in your path as she attempts to keep everything as is. Punishment, prevention, and protection are her jam.
And, once she gets all hyped up, it can feel like the universe is conspiring against you!
These are some of the things that happened to me during my first few Shine On program launches: technology issues (so many technology issues!) , car problems, washing machine malfunction, a fall into the dog pen that made my face look like I lost a prize fight, the flu, and more.
And, of course, this happens to my clients too. The moment they decide to up-level their current reality, their primal brain rushes in and causes all kinds of trouble!
Here are just a few things that have happened to my clients in the last year while in hot pursuit of their dreams…
- Jury duty
- Identity theft
- Sick children
- Computer crash
- Migraine Headache (onsetting just before social situations only)
- Broken garage door
- Dog “skunked”
- Neck injury (from working out)
- Neck injury (“for no reason”)
- Blown-out tire
I could go on, but you get the idea. Once you fully commit to changing your life, things can get a little bananas!
Now, of course, accidents, illnesses, and general nuisances are a natural part of the human condition—and can happen for a host of reasons beyond your control. (No gaslighting or victim-blaming intended—ever!)
But, if you notice a pattern of chaos happening around you and suspect you might be knee deep in the “Calamity Trap”, here’s what I recommend:
- Get Curious: Are you in the process of making a life change or even just thinking about doing so? If your answer is no, then breathe. This too shall pass. If your answer is yes, then still breathe and move on to step #2.
- Journal: Ask yourself what old, subconscious limiting stories or beliefs might be coming up for you. Write about them and allow yourself to be vulnerable and honest. Shame and fear want to stay hidden in the dark. This is where they gain power and strength. But when you bring these thoughts and feelings into the light, they diminish and weaken. And it’s your soul that gains the power and strength!
- Affirmation: Offer your subconscious mind some new thoughts and beliefs. Remind your brain that there are alternative thoughts and beliefs that are safe, helpful, and true, such as: My ideas and opinions are valuable. When I shine, the world benefits. I deserve all the success, abundance, and love my heart can hold! I am bold, courageous, and determined. I have everything I need to succeed!
- Decide: Decide that you are the boss of your brain. Settle into the knowing that the calamities you’ve been experiencing are not signs that you should stop moving forward—but signs that you are on track. As you shed some of your long-held, limiting beliefs, it’s understandable that your primal brain will throw a fit. Nothing has gone wrong!
- Act: Take the next step towards your goals and dreams, no matter what dumpster fire is burning in the background. Nothing will put out that fire faster and quiet the fears smoldering in your subconscious mind than direct, audacious action.
Sister, stay the course!
You can pat yourself on the back and rest easy because everything is unfolding perfectly.
Keep. Moving. Forward.