I need to get out of my own way

Is this really true? Let’s unpick this common phrase to bring attention to what’s actually going on rather than giving unquestioning attention to what’s being believed.

“I just need to get out of my own way”

Is this true?

It’s something clients often say, and I’m confident I must have said it, or thought it, over the years.

But is it true?

Who is the you that’s getting in your own way?

If it was you being in your own way, why haven’t you stopped doing that by now?

Is it so powerful, this ‘you’ that’s in your way, that you can’t move it?

Well, yes, actually, it is powerful when it goes unquestionned because the power that you innately are is bringing it to life. You are animating it with belief-ful attention.

You believing that there is a ‘you’, separate from you, that can get in your way is going to create a powerful, real-feeling experience that appears to be true.

But is it?

Say more about this

Attention brings to life whatever it is directed at. It makes what was otherwise a passing, fleeting thought into a definite ‘thing’.

It’s a very cool mechanism because it enables you to turn ideas and dreams into reality.

But you’ve also got carried away with this creative capacity and not noticed where you’re creating against yourself. Hurting yourself with your own creative capacity.

So in this instance of ‘getting in my own way’ you’ve given attention to this fleeting thought — and it’s one which hurts you when you believe it.

Then, because nobody’s told you this is what’s happening, and because they’ve told you bad feelings are wrong and need to be got rid of, you’ve been trained to set about trying to excavate these bad feelings from your self so you can feel OK again.

You’ve tried to fix what was never broken. The creative mechanism is working perfectly and in the only way it can — bringing to life and making more real whatever you give attention to.

In fact, the creative mechanism is so perfectly designed, that it even comes with bad feelings built-in — as a 100% reliable alarm system to tell you when you’re creating in opposition to the natural flow of life.

The alarm system is just telling you that you’ve tried to hold down, label and package what is innately flowing, transient and ever-changing.

So what’s actually happening when I get in my own way?

This same attention-fuelled creative mechanism is in play.

There is a thought ‘me’ which — in the presence of belief-ful, unquestionning attention — is given life and appears real.

You’ve simply tried to grasp and label an ephemeral, flowing thought: ‘me’.

This already starts to feel bad with just the ‘me’ thought being believed, but you don’t tend to notice it at this stage. Which is fine, because what comes next happens fast and so it very quickly makes the bad feelings more obvious.

In the blink of an eye, and in the continued presence of belief-full attention, the ‘me’ thought is soon joined by it’s familiar friend-thoughts: ‘I lack’, ‘I’m not enough’, ‘not this’.

And these friend-thoughts bring their friend-thoughts: ‘you don’t deserve success’, ‘you’ve never been able to do that kind of thing’, ‘you’ll always fall at the final hurdle’, ‘you’ll look stupid’, and more.

Continued belief-full attention on this original ‘me’ thought and all its friend-thoughts has now increased the confusion and discomfort because it’s creating a real-looking lacking you with all these real-looking problems and it feels more and more painful — the amount of creation against yourself is increasing so of course it hurts more.

The degree of confusion in the system is now at a level that means you are not seeing the world clearly. It’s filtered through a very definite, fully-believed lens that says ‘I can’t’.

Now it REALLY feels like ‘you are in your own way’.

And in fact, yes, in some way you are. Because there is only you — Awareness  — involved here. You giving unquestioning, belief-ful attention to a thought that appeared within you — making it appear real and solid — and then feeling the resistance of your nature (flow) buffeting against an attempt to fix and hold a transient thought in place. This is going to create discomfort.

But can you just un-believe a thought?

Absolutely! You do it all the time. It’s just this ‘me’ one looks more convincing, and necessary for survival (it’s not by the way). You can see through it as easily as you saw through the belief in Santa.

So what now?


Give that powerful attention that you are to open, curious questioning.

All of the above happened because of ongoing, unquestioned, belief-ful attention. And so the undoing of it is questioning.

Not solving. Not changing. Not replacing. Just questioning.

And by the way, feel free to jump layers here and go straight to the heart of it — seeing through the heart of the confusion really does loosen the previous layers.

You can begin with the outer layers — Is it really true that I always fall at the final hurdle? Is it really true that I’ve never been able to do this kind of thing?

You can move a layer in — Is it true that I lack? What would be lacking? From where? Can I see a gap here that could be filled, and something I can fill it with? So what is this ‘lack’ referring to?

Is the thought ‘not this’ true? I can definitely think or say that it shouldn’t be like this, but does that change what’s happening? Or does it simply create a feeling of resistance and frustration? Is that just me creating against myself again by believing a ‘not this’ thought?

And right at the heart of it — is it true that there’s a ‘me’ to which this original ‘me’ thought is referring? What can I find that is solid, definite and constant? Because it certainly feels like there’s a consistency to this experience of ‘being me’ — so what is that consistency that I’m talking about when I say ‘me’ or ‘I’? What can I actually find?

I would love to hear what you discover through this!

With love, Helen

I coach and guide smart, passionate, curious people who care about improving the lives of those around them. Often coaches and leaders, they’ve worked hard all their lives to be the ‘best’ them and it doesn’t seem to have delivered the happiness, security or freedom they expected. Now they’re wondering what else is available. I guide you back, prior to stories, to remember the real you because that’s what you, me and the whole world really wants! Find out more here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed