If you’re struggling in a particular area of your life, it can be helpful to identify the block. In other words, when you move forward toward what you want, what happens? What gets in the way? Here’s a quick 3-step process that can help you identify your block.
Step 1: Identify Your Want
Before you can identify your block, you have to identify your want. What are you wanting in your life? How do you want your life to be different? What are you moving toward? If you could wake up tomorrow and your problems could disappear, what would your life look like? What would you be doing? How would you feel?
When working to identify your want, it’s important that your want is something about you. Your want should be internal—something you have complete control over. The reality is we have little control over the actions of other people or outside circumstances. If we focus on a want that is outside of our control, we are bound to be disappointed.
Let me give a simple example of what I mean. Let’s say you are going to the state fair with your family, and your want is that the weather will be sunny and beautiful. This is a bad want, because you have zero control over the weather. A better want would be to be the type of person who can have fun and enjoy yourself at the fair, no matter the weather.
Here’s another example that is a bit more complicated. Let’s say your want is to have a great marriage. This is something a lot of people want, but it still isn’t completely under your control. You could be the best husband or wife, and your partner still might want a divorce. You can’t control your partner. A better want would be to be a loving husband and father.
Step 2: Identify the Block
Once you have identified the want, think about your life. What happens when you try to move forward toward what you want? What gets in the way? What blocks you?
Here again, the key is to identify something internal that gets in the way. I recognize we all face external blocks as well (e.g., the government, stock market, grumpy boss, etc.). But again, we have little control over these external factors. We can complain about them, but we usually can’t change them. It’s better to focus on blocks that are internal, because we can actually do something about them.
For example, if you’re the type of person who has trouble enjoying the state fair unless the weather is perfect, maybe what gets in the way is your perfectionism, or your uptightness. If you struggle to love your wife and kids well, maybe what gets in the way is your critical spirit or selfishness. Try to identify the key block inside you that gets in the way.
Step 3: What Would You Like to Change?
The final step is to go back to your want, and ask yourself the following question: Given what you know about your block, what would you like to change in order to get what you want? If you are clear about your block, you might gain insight about your next growth step.
What is something you are wanting in your life? When you move forward toward your want, what blocks you or gets in the way? What would you like to change in order to get what you want?