You Have Problems Because You Like Having Problems, Not Because You ‘Can’t Fix Them’

blonde girl in a cabin drinking coffee

You don’t need more willpower to get over the big problems in your life. What you need is to understand why you’re addicted to them, and find another way to meet the unconscious needs they are serving. From there, they will dissolve themselves.

Human beings are remarkable in that they pretty much do whatever they want to do, even when the consequences or repercussions would be dire. Just ask anyone who’s ever done something they would ultimately come to regret – human willpower is a force of nature.

If you didn’t want to have problems in your life, you wouldn’t have them. You already know the answers. You know what you need to do. You know what you should be doing right now. Yet, you’re probably frustrated and exhausted and tired of trying, and that’s because you have two coexisting impulses. The conscious one is to move your life forward. The unconscious one is to keep your life where it is.

Successful, happy people are not actually that well liked.

At least, not by people who are very attached to their problems serving them. That’s a hard thing for a lot of people to consider, but accounts for a lot of self-sabotage. When being successful becomes an internal battle between having what you want and maybe losing a degree of love and acceptance from people you care about… guess which wolf tends to win (as the saying goes, the one you feed).

What happens when you have problems? You get love. You get sympathy. You get help. You get connection. You get bonding.

People form entire relationships around sharing their deepest, darkest issues and traumas, but that’s really not what true intimacy is, that’s what a defense mechanism is. That’s what you do when you want to show the world the worst of you, and see if they’ll still like you. That’s what you do when you want to surround yourself will people who will keep feeding your need to hold yourself back and co-create senseless drama.

Think carefully about how you speak of people who have the things you want. Do you consider rich people corrupt? Fit people shallow? Successful people amoral?

You’ve likely developed these opinions as a way to humanize people who are doing what you want to do, but feel you can’t do… people you are jealous of. What’s going to matter at the end of the day is who your success makes you, not what your success makes you. Because most human desires cater to wanting to be loved or accepted, if not by others then at least by ourselves.

Pain is a natural part of life, but it isn’t a prolonged thing.

Suffering is entirely constructed by the mind as a means of getting love or protection. Anxiety doesn’t come and stay, it comes and we keep it because we think it makes us more safe to be unhappy. Heartbreak doesn’t come and stay, it comes and we keep it because we are recreating our childhood concept of “love,” which is actually rejection. Self-doubt doesn’t come and stay, it comes and we keep it because we think the less successful we are, the less vulnerable we become to other people’s jeers and comments and desires to seek out our faults.

Once you realize that your problems are constructions that help you feel safe, you begin to identify your core desires. You can start hanging out with people who want to talk about their ambitions, not what’s holding them back from achieving them. You can start building your days around what makes you feel fulfilled, not what makes you feel so pressured that you perform. You can start allowing your work to flow effortlessly, because you realize that being stressed doesn’t make you seem more important or successful. You can start doing what you feel most naturally inclined to do, because you realize that what’s effortless is always what’s best.

You can start realizing that you have exactly the life you want – it was only a matter of figuring out why you wanted it that way.

You can then start allowing your life to become what you want it to be, because what you want is not to sustain unhealthy coping mechanisms, but to see them for what they are, and choose something better. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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