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Self Sabotage & Passive Aggression

Not Just Your Typical Post!

When I think of “passive aggressive behavior” I think of behaviors between two or more people. It can be a spoken or unspoken attempt to control another individual, with the purpose of affecting the outcome that is wanted or unwanted.

But what if it is possible to be passive aggressive towards ourselves? To try and manipulate ourselves in that same hostile and controlling way.

Consider those situations you want to do something and yet you do not do it. I am talking about things you really want. What I have found is that some or many of the things we want to do but do not do are the outcome of  unconscious resistance to ourselves. On the surface we say we want something and yet deeper down, in our unconscious we do not want to risk experiencing the thing or situation.

I can say I want a better paying job, a better relationship, to move to a new area, more clients, etc., but if I am afraid of the outcome, say rejection, I may not move forward to get those things in my life.

So on one hand we are telling ourselves we really want something and at the same time we are resisting and possibly passive aggressively flogging ourselves for not doing it. We have passive aggression interactions with others because we want or don’t want something. We can do the same thing to ourselves. The outcome: we create hurt and pain within ourselves (even if we are not aware of it)!

So what do we do about this passive aggressive behavior toward ourselves? Own it. And I don’t mean the own it in your head, I am talking about owning that we don’t want to do it at the head, heard and soul levels. This level of ownership opens the door to real change (and healing). Sit with your resistance as long as you need in order to fully feel it – not just think it. Own that you want this thing or situation but at the same time and perhaps even stronger you don’t want it (because of the possible outcome that may not be what we want it to be).

Once we fully own, at a heart level, that we are holding ourselves back – then we have taken the power back from our unconscious tendency toward passive aggressive resistance. Now we have a chance of stepping beyond our own passive aggressive resistance toward creating more of what you want in your life. Now we can consciously choose to do or not do something. Try it.

  1. Look at what “want” you have had for some time.
  2. Have you been putting it off, if so, look deeper for avoidance which is also a “don’t want”
  3. Stop & fully own that resistance and speak it out loud.
  4. Step forward and honor your want
  5. Now decide consciously if you still want this thing or situation and own that decision
  6. Now either let it go or decide what step you could take today, tomorrow or next week to get this want in your life.

Real Giving

Real giving of yourself takes heart and I would argue soul. It may look different for you than me, but it is there. For me,
writing. I really like to write once I get started. But what I have noticed is that when I write something that really means something to me takes energy and heart. And the more you can tap into those when you are giving – the better the giving. If I am going to “ship” as Seth Godin” says, and I want to ship something that has really value – it will probably be something that I wrote from my hear and soul.

Don’t just go through the motions in your job, marriage, relationship with your kids – put some heart into it. That is real giving.

Allowing Visualization to Work

Visualizing what we want in our life is a great step toward creating what we want. There is value in visualizing what we want.

The trick with visualization is to visualize and then get on with doing what it is that will bring that visualization into reality. Can visualization alone attract what you want into your life? Possibly. But I see a great deal more evidence of success by individuals adding other key ingredients to their visualization, like passion and action.

I have found that passion and action go a long way toward bringing about the future we want to experience. Visualizing a lot of money in the bank or the love of their life standing next to them, but then never taking the risk to get out there is naive to me.

Visualize and then get out there and passionately pursue your vision and allow your intuition to guide you along they way rather than your fear or want of control.

Ever Expanding Opportunities

Ever have that thought, “they’re getting ahead of me”, “they did what I was thinking about doing”, “they are better at it than me”, “I’ll never be as good as them”…the list goes on. You may not say these things, but do you have some parallel thoughts of your own?

So someone is already doing what you thought about doing, great! They are doing it better than you judge you could do it, great! They are way ahead of where you are at – GREAT!

What I experience in my life is continually expanding opportunities. There are so many facets to parenting, to running a business, to growing roses, to making love – the list is endless. Some of those ideas might be an  idea that changes how the world works, others may not or may not in a big bang way.

My point is – don’t spend a lot of time comparing. Do a little homework and then follow your intuition. The world is always expanding into new frontiers, from the pony express (days, weeks, months, years?)  to electron mail that is in (milliseconds, seconds, minutes).

Move forward. Take the risk. Copy if you have to – but get out there and then really listen to your intuition so you can make course corrections if beneficial to you and the world.

An Aspen is Not a Pine

This is a simple post, in length, in concept and presentation. This picture was taken in Colorado on January 2, 2012. Since November we have had 2-3 snow falls and consistent temperatures down into the teens overnight.

Something I have noticed over the years, many Oak trees keep their leaves (dead/dried) through the winter, most Pine trees have needles year round and Aspen trees lose their leaves in the fall.

Why do some trees keep their foliage while others lose theirs? I don’t know. What I do know, a Pine grows to be a pine, an Oak an Oak, and an Aspen grow to be an Aspen. And I would guess that each of these trees is best equipped to support whichever foliage they grow.

Now if we went and started plugging pine needles into an Aspen I am guessing with enough attempts to “change” the Aspen it would wither and die. Chances are, the Aspen is likely to grow into a magnificent tree all on it’s own, if left to grow as it was meant to be.

But isn’t that what many of us try to do, change ourselves (or even change others). We go around trying to plug pine needles into ourselves, trying to imitate others, when the foliage that we have brings out the best in us.

Joy & Satisfaction

Where are you putting your energy? Or are you? Is it flowing, impacting the world around you or blocked up and withdrawn. Which is more likely to create a life of joy and satisfaction?

What if you could choose when to stop and when to expand out? Of course the answer is you can – but do you?

Is there someone you want to call but continue to put off calling? An activity that is about expanding versus withdrawing, going unconscious?

Stop – Make the call. Spend 15 minutes really talking and connecting to your son, daughter, mother, father or friend. Stop and connect with you – feel your own heart. Connect with you and then connect with someone else.

Happy New Year to you.

What Next People?

So, what exciting things are you intending for 2012? What really sounds good to you versus what you “should” or “have to” do? I know, you may have things you don’t want to stop doing because of the impact on your life style. But what about the incremental steps you can start taking today to move you in the direction of what you really want to do and experience in your life? Dig down and dream, feel the excitement that comes with putting your ass on the line. Dream big and then take it step by step.

Go for it!

Something Good IS Happening Right Now

Have you ever found yourself thinking, “I feel good things coming my way”, and then wallah, good things start popping up? I had to laugh this morning as I found myself thinking about the “good” things that have been happening in my life. What made me laugh was that recently I have been expecting good things to happen – and low and behold, good things begin to pop up in my life.

What if they were always there but we are continually looking at what could be different, the gap between what is and what we wish or want it to be? What if we just appreciated what is and loved the unfolding process?

I put “good” in quotes because maybe it is all “good”!

Why Be Alone When You Can Be Together

It’s a festive time of year. Lots of energy and excitement. Gatherings. Celebrations. Travel. For many this time of year is packed full of activities, events and parties. For others it can be a quieter time, more alone or even feeling secluded.

My point to this post – I find being in relationship and spending time with people I want to be around can be very enjoyable and nourishing. Can you imagine relationships as being nourishing?

If you can, set an intention and make a commitment to connecting with others over the holidays.

If you can’t, why not take a chance and give it a try this month. Set an intention to spend time making a phone call, getting together for coffee, for dinner or for a hockey game.

The point is, go for connection this holiday with individuals you want to connect with. You will be giving to yourself and others at the same time.

Show Up & Get in the Game

Last week my 2 daughters were in a play at school called Nanny Claus. Our older daughter got the lead role and our younger daughter got a total of 9 words to say. Our younger started with 3 and she was proud when she was able to get more. 

In addition to the entertainment, or maybe because of this it was entertaining, I saw something in how both of my daughters participated in the play. They both had presence. Not only were they there on stage, but they showed up. You could see a playful intention and commitment in the participation.

I can see this being the case with our older daughter who had the lead role, but it would have been easy enough for our younger daughter with the 9 words to check out. She could have dismissed her contribution because of the number of words she was able to say. And yet she did not, she was engaged just as much as her older sister – and I could see how that impacted the play. She was on and she had enthusiasm to do her best and it was obvious. She added to the energy, joy and entertainment of the play.

I write about this because we all have a chance to show up. Regardless of our part in the play of life –  we can all add to the energy, joy and entertainment of each others lives.

Stand. Step forward. Show up – fully. Let others see you. Let you see you.

What can you do today or tomorrow to show up? Make it simple and easy. And then do it again.