Tag Archives: Universe

What does “Getting out of your own way” actually mean?

It’s a phrase you’ll have come across fairly often if you read many self-help books or coaching blogs but in my experience it rarely comes with a translation into plain English.

I know I’ve been guilty of using it without an explanation myself, so I thought I’d take this opportunity of explaining what I mean when I use it.

And here’s the disclaimer – I can, of course, only speak from my own experience.

Your idea of what it means for you to get out of your own way may well be very different – and if what you read here doesn’t chime with your own experience, please join in the comments and let us know what it’s like for you.

There’s an old Chinese saying that I’m very fond of. It goes something like

The path is smooth, why do you throw rocks in your way?

and for me, that sums up the difference between life when I’ve got out of my own way, and life when I’m actively getting in my own way.

When I’m getting in my own way everything is a struggle.

I let the Saboteurs and Gremlins influence me and I doubt my own judgement. I talk myself out of ideas and I ignore my gut instinct. Everything starts to feel like a huge effort and if I’m not careful I can end up in a very dark place and feeling woefully out of control.

Not Nice At All.

Conversely, when I’ve got very firmly out of my own way life has a natural flow about it.

I have ideas and act on them and good things result. I follow my gut instinct and even better things result.”Coincidences” start to happen and undreamed of opportunities happen along. The Universe guides my hands and all is well.

And what’s the difference? Well for me it has to do with control, and specifically with letting my conscious mind or Ego take control.

When I’m going with the flow I’m acting on instinct. I know I can trust my gut instinct because it knows, for sure, the right things to do. I’ve called it The Universe before now and that has to do with it seeming to be connected with forces way beyond me in the way that apparently external things start to go right for me when I sit back and let The Universe take control.

When my Ego thinks it knows best is when things start to go wrong. That’s when the self-doubt kicks in and the Saboteurs come out to play and suddenly I’m stumbling over rocks that weren’t there before and everything goes to hell in a handcart.

So lack of control comes about from my Ego’s attempts to regain control from The Universe, and I end up the loser.

I’ve just been through a few weeks of being Ego-led and ended up dispirited, tired and unwell – but, as my dear friend Lisa said to me the other day, “at least when you’re ill it gives you the opportunity to think about what’s led you to this place!

And I can see that, as my Ego took over, so I stopped doing all the positive, nurturing rituals that were enabling me to keep put o my own way. My Ego decided I could do without them and persuaded me they weren’t necessary any more – one look in the mirror is all the proof I need that my Ego doesn’t know what it’s talking about (one is rarely so unattractive as when one has a heavy cold, I find…)

And why did my Ego step in?

Because it was feeling threatened. Again.

Because it knows that, for me to grow and develop and realise my potential, it needs to diminish and dwindle, and it doesn’t like that.

This kind of thing happens to all of us as we go through change – the habits and beliefs of the past can be like a ball and chain, holding us back and keeping us anchored in the ways of being that we’re trying to shake off.

We’re attracted to the familiar, even while we’re being tempted by the promise of more and better.

So while it’s frustrating I know that this past month is a normal part of the process.

I will shake off my ball and chain and I will get back out of my own way. It’s good to have had this reminder because it’s shown me that what was once a normal, comfortable, familiar way of being is now uncomfortable, unattractive and dispiriting.

I’m ready to clear the rocks from my path and stride back out onto my Journey again.

But first I’m going to have another Lemsip…..


The Universe would like a word…

Hello, I’m The Universe.

Well actually I’m Cathy’s Universe – you’ve got one of your own but I know you’re used to seeing me referred to as “The Universe” so I thought I’d go with it.

Cathy can’t think of anything to blog about so she’s asked me if I’d like to do a Guest Post for her and, well, how could I refuse?

She’s not going to read this so it’s the ideal opportunity for me to tell you what’s really been going on over the past year or so since she went solo – but it’ll have to be our secret – if you rat me out I’ll wake up your Gremlins…

So. I’ve known Cathy since before she was an egg but she’s only really become aware of me quite recently. Well that’s not quite true – there have been times when she was aware of something but she didn’t want to notice me so she’s spent a fair few years blocking me out and willfully doing the exact opposite of what I’ve tried to suggest.

She’s been REALLY REALLY good at almost going along with my suggestions and then convincing herself not to listen at the last minute. But we’ve learned and grown together and I went for some vocal projection lessons in the Spring and since then she finds it much more difficult to ignore me.

And once she began listening, she became more and more interested in what I had to say – and now look at us!

I have to say though – she thinks she’s a recovering control freak but actually she’s just moved the controlling stuff in a different direction. She used to spend all her time trying to control other people and being, generally, something of a self-opinionated bossy-boots.

That description is VERY far removed from who she is today but, I have to tell you, she has spent a considerable proportion of this past year getting in her own way by insisting that she knows best.

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time you’ll know she’s been through a few swerves in direction and it’s made her look a bit flaky to some people.

The thing is, we’ve had a good long sit down over Christmas and she’s finally realised that this doesn’t have to be difficult.

All she really needs to do is listen to me and go with the flow and it’ll be fine.

She’s the one that’s been making everything difficult for herself – and in fact we had one of our conversations in the shower yesterday morning and she actually said to me “You told me to do this, this and this a year ago. I didn’t want to listen then, but now I know you were right. Sorry”.

And I’m thinking “Don’t apologise to me, Dear, you’re the one that’s been flailing around, I’ve got all eternity and limitless patience – and a stack of good books to read!”

So now, finally, we have a arrived in a place of calm and floating and rightness. You will see all of that reflected when the new combined website and blog appears sometime soon and you get a very clear of what Cathy’s up to and why.

Last year was The Year of Flail – this year will be The Year of Calm.

And one last thing – if you’re a regular reader, you’ve got to know me quite well by now. But there’s someone else who you might not know quite so well, but who is VERY interested in making your acquaintance and has lots of things they’d like to tell you.

So – what’s Your Universe trying to tell you, that you haven’t been wanting to hear? And what would happen, do you think, if you started to listen?

If Your Universe would like to reply to me, I’m all ears!!