Someone I know well has been struggling with a lingering childhood wound. They were telling me that they had shared their struggle with a friend, and their response had been, “You’ve just got to get out in front of it.” Now I know this friend meant well, but I am of the opinion (which I voiced in a loud “no!”) that this is dead wrong.

This is an “old paradigm” way of thinking, right up there with “no pain, no gain”—which doesn’t work, by the way.

You don’t need to get out in front of it, you need to get underneath it. Hold that thought.

I told my dear friend what happened to me when I tried to “get out in front of it.” Think of a sweaty, huffing racehorse, galloping as fast as her four legs will carry her, to get out in front of the pack. The pack represented my struggle, my issue, my wound—that thing that blocked my way forward.

Does this sound familiar to you? Often when I’m mentoring clients, they realize they have, in their own way, been running like a racehorse pushed to the edge. Their exhaustive attempt to get out in front of “it” has led to glasses of wine to end the day, sleepless nights from tension and worry, copious numbers of self-help books, podcasts and TED Talks, and generally filling up any spaces that could be used to hear themselves think and feel what they’re feeling.

According to NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Health), 1 in 5 U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2018. That’s 47.6 million people! Addiction statistics show almost 21 million Americans have at least one addiction, and 15 million people in the United States have an alcohol use disorder. Although there are no statistics for this, I’m hazarding a guess that busyness addiction impacts well over 80 million adults aged 20-60, and that many of these adults are included in the aforementioned statistics.

In what ways are you attempting to get out in front of the pack? Is it working? Are you able to sustain your energy? Do you feel exhilarated or exhausted? Do you feel in alignment with your authentic self? Are you happy with you? Or are you running to win a race against yourself?

Which brings me back to “you don’t need to get out in front of it, you need to get underneath it.” The first step of my Calling in Clarity framework is “reveal” for this very reason. When you reveal the belief that you’ve unwittingly adopted (from childhood wounds, inherited beliefs, etc.), you are then able to get underneath that belief and see it differently.

This is where healing begins—from underneath, not out in front.

How do you know if you are entwined in the old paradigm of “get out in front of it”? Excess! Yes, excess—when you’re doing more than is necessary. This includes over-thinking, over-doing, over-drinking, over-working, over-travelling, over-exercising, over-planning, over-caregiving—though no doubt you have what feels like a “valid reason” for all this.

No! It’s not valid – it’s a choice. What you do, how you feel—it’s a choice, and choice is your magic wand to wield for powerful, life-enhancing change.

Are you feeling inspired to get underneath what’s getting in your way, and switch out of the fast track to gallop freely towards your definition of happiness, success and purpose-centered living? Start here.

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