ballnchainOver the past 12 months I have had a great opportunity to reflect on what I want and what don’t from life.  I was earning good money and was challenged, but not overloaded or stressed which gave me time to think.

I came to realise that what I want is pretty obvious and very achievable yet I wasn’t doing it.  I realised that all my energy was getting consumed by my ball and chain.

The ball and chain is part of the iceberg that’s below your surface that consumes your energy and feeds your ego but it doesn’t bring you satisfaction or happiness.  It comes from deep inside your subconscious and ties you tightly into your fears and insecurities.

In some cases that ball and chain may be the need to be awesome so we get getting mummy and daddy’s approval.  This can translate itself into an unhealthy focus on your career, having a fancy house, being good at sports, or being the perfect parent.  All our energy is consumed working long hours or trapping us with a large mortgage.  In other cases the ball and chain might be avoiding something painful so that we put more energy avoiding rather than dealing with it.   The change in our mind-set which results from avoidance will increase the chance of the bad thing happening, almost like we are drawing our-self towards it like it is fate.  For example we are scared of losing a loved one so we control them which pushes them away.  We have a fear of losing our job so we focus on pleasing our boss or looking busy and don’t add value resulting in us being redundant.

The thing about a ball and chain is there are probably lots of energy sources around you which are trying to maintain status quo and re-enforce inner fears that trap you.  This may be parents fearing you take unnecessary risk, a partner scared you may find a better life without them, or your work trying to keep control of you.  You may find that breaking the ball and chain requires courage, a lot of effort, persistence and discipline, but over time you will start to succeed and you will see an amazing shift in your mind-set.

I have also found that when coaching you need to deal with the ball and chain if you want to help people move forward.  You can’t dismiss it or underplay it.  People at the conscious level will acknowledge where they want to be, but if you don’t address the underlying ball and chain you won’t see sustainable change.  You need to be practical and recognise that we need to address our ball and chain before we can get into a self-actualising mind-set and this can take time.  Support people to focus on the ball and chain and recognise that it is a bit like trying to cut through a padlock with a paddle pop stick.  It takes years and lots of persistence but eventually we can break free.