How is your problem helping you?

by Aimee Serafini on February 17, 2013

“If it was helping me, it wouldn’t be a problem!” you say. No, I know it doesn’t make immediate sense.  But usually most of the problems or issues or lack of success in our life is in some way helping us. Perhaps protecting us from something.


And if you really want to move through it, it is critical to find out what are the benefits of staying in your problem. It can also be called a secondary benefit.

Our body/mind’s first priority is to keep us safe. Often familiarity feels safe, even if it is in fact dangerous (like domestic abuse). Because safety is often linked to our ability to predict what will happen next. Or our ability to confirm that our beliefs are true. So if you have the belief that men are controlling and violent (because of your experience), it feels safe in some way to have that reaffirmed – confirming that you really do understand life. You are right. And there is predictability in that you know the pattern that it will follow generally.

Now domestic abuse is an extreme example, but with all my clients, this shows up in some way in their lives.

If you are stuck in your health goals, perhaps you might feel you would lose some of your friends – that would be unsafe.

If you are stuck in your financial goals, you might feel that friends and family will assume you can loan them money (I’m pretty sure this is the reason I haven’t won the lottery yet :-), and you don’t want to have to have that conversation. Or they might make judgments about the kind of person you must have turned into in order to be wealthy.

If you have a weak immune system and get sick often, it might be a way of not being asked to do more.

If you need to outsource something for your business and you keep delaying getting recommendations, it might be because you really don’t want to give up control. Or you think it means you’ll have to earn even more money.

Most problems have at least one secondary benefit.

My question for you, what issue/problem do you have, however small, and can you think of a benefit(s) from keeping it?  Awareness is the first step.

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