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How To Befriend The Part Of You That You Struggle With?

Befriend the part you struggle with and notice just how much energy becomes available to you to show up the way you want to. Truth is that it's much easier to accept, befriend, and even celebrate the part(s) of yourself that have gotten you what you wanted, that fulfill the role you've been taught to embody, and that are socially acceptable to share. Depending on the spaces you navigate as a leader, certain parts of you will be more or less appropriate to share at the work place, at home, or in the different spaces you navigate at any given time.

Still, there's a solid chance that bullying yourself won't make that 'part' go away. Yes, you know the one. That's the part of you that feels like you're not enough, that you should have learned by now, that you should be able to deal with 'it' on your own, that you should get over 'it', that you're 'too' much, or that you're 'too' little. Take your pick.

If shutting this 'part' down is not an option and celebrating it isn't an option either, then what's the door # 3 ? Door # 3 is getting curious about this part of yourself. Why does this matter? Because, if you understand this part better, it's less likely to hijack your nervous system when you're navigating change, challenge, and opportunity. It's less likely to steal the steering wheel of your decision-making bus. That way, the version of you better equipped to make decisions can drive.

Depending on your image of 'success' and depending on the school of thought you've been surrounded by, you may believe that getting rid of this part of you is the only way to keep going forward. That might require suppressing, punishing, or ignoring this part. Truth is that that will likely work for a while... until it doesn't. So, how about we go with curiosity instead? Here are a few questions to try on for size:

  • What's the unmet need this part of me is trying to respond to?

  • What might be a different way of meeting that need?

  • What does this behaviour protect me from?

  • What might be a more helpful, protective behaviour?

  • What happens if this part doesn't protect me?

  • What might become possible if this part of me is released of the burden to protect me in ways that no longer serve me?

At the end of the day, the message this 'part' has internalized is that it's not to be accepted because it's inadequate in some fundamental, immovable way. May I let you in on a secret? We all have that part(s). Yes, even that person you admire deeply, even that other person who has taught you so much, and even that person who you hold in the greatest regard. The invitation here is to understand that part, understand its intentions, and whether its current way of meeting a certain need can be transformed into a more sustainable one.

For more on navigating change, challenge, and opportunity, check out existing blog articles!

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