When we encounter an area in our lives in which we are not experiencing success, generally it is because there is some part of ourselves standing in our own way. It may be a feeing of unworthiness, doubting our own potential for success based on a past history, or just a generalized feeling of insecurity or fear.
Underneath, there is an aspect of our character that we are holding back on – not expressing. That hidden part of ourselves is not among the tools in our arsenal that can help us to create the success we seek. The challenge then becomes to activate the inner tool we are not using, so that we can achieve the outer success we seek.
Recently it has come to my attention that up until now I have been holding back on my power to initiate and direct outcomes in many areas of my life, especially in romantic relationships. I have been a ‘yielder.’ This habitual tendency to yield to the initiative of others has become so apparent to me that it’s almost embarrassing.
Yesterday, I was walking down the streets of New York City and a fellow walking the opposite way was on the same trajectory about 2/3 of a block away. Immediately I shifted to walk more on the left (to accommodate him), he shifted to his right (to accommodate me), and we went back and forth like that as we continued to walk toward the same space until he finally stayed his ground and we passed. What I noticed is that this was not an isolated incident for me. This happens 2 or 3 times a month.
Sometimes it is appropriate to yield. However, the problem with yielding way in advance – out of habit – is that it gives the other person all the power, and all the responsibility for creating successful outcomes. In relationships, if I’m always yielding, then I become invisible — how can the other person please me if my attention is always on adapting to them?
Also, if I’m not participating in directing the ship . . . . .
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