The Issue Behind the Issue

First published on HuffPost, December 2, 2017. Published again on Thrive Global, March 9, 2018 under the title "Inner Mastery/Outer Impact".

The “issue behind the issue” is breaking the habit of being yourself (Dr. Joe Dispenza), discovering your “who” (inner mastery) to create high impact in your external environment. It takes time and commitment to change our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It takes courage to surrender to the unknown and let go of the need to be in control of one’s environment. It takes practice and experiences to reorganize the neural pathways in our brains to be in alignment with the idealized self, i.e., proven by the science called neuroplasticity.

It's normal to think “in the box” because we’re attached to our conditions in life, neuro-chemically and psychologically. It’s time to be aware and witness these conditions and begin the process to think “outside of the box”. Allow yourself to be vulnerable, open, and dream of that greater you and step into it, step by step, like Gandhi, Churchill, and Mother Teresa have done. They had a vision and kept going regardless of the many roadblocks and curve balls thrown at them. Dreams can be achieved when your inner and external environment no longer hold you back.

Practice breaks the habit of being your old self and opens you up to positive change towards becoming the new you, unfolding that new chapter in your life. Although it’s helpful to understand your past and heal your stories, it’s time to rewire and transform your brain into a new map of your desired future. The future you that you want to become—to achieve inner mastery for high outer impact which is in essence the meaning of getting to the “issue behind the issue”. 

One of my roadblocks was not wanting to be in the spotlight, center stage, the center of attention. The “issue behind the issue” links psychologically to a childhood story—better to be seen and not heard, keep quiet, remain behind the scenes. I’m sure many of us grew up in households whereby our parents meant well as they wanted us all to behave well. The “issue behind the issue” is like peeling off the layers of an onion. That was the first layer.

The second layer related to my Mother’s competitive nature with me while growing up. My teenage story concerned me not shining or expressing my voice because when I did, my Mother would withhold her love for me because she had to be the center of attention. After years of psychotherapy, self-help, and coaching, I have uncovered this story and have healed it. Most everyone thinks my Mother is a nice lady and she did the best with what she knew on how to raise children. I honor my Mother’s presence in this world.

Digging deeper, the third layer is fear of authentically expressing my voice because of being hurt by criticism and judgement by others but this can be rectified with my new story to not take things personally. At a Hay House Writer’s Workshop in Bristol, England, CEO Reid Tracy, mentioned that there will always be people who criticize you and they’re in the minority. Most people give good reviews. The message is to focus on the positive and discern what is considered constructive criticism and take it into account.

Personally and professionally, there may be more layers to uncover but I’m ready to enter the new chapter of my life with a stronger voice.

That was the threshold I crossed at Dr. David Drake’s three-day retreat “Crossing Your Next Threshold” in New York City that I co-organized as Team Leader as well as having facilitated one group session. Through experiential learning, my brain became rewired to accept being in the spotlight with authentic self-expression. As a coach, trainer, facilitator, leader, and writer, one has to be center stage for awhile until it’s time to co-lead or co-create with others. Hence, I shall continue practicing leading self, leading others, and leading communities with authenticity, humility, nonjudgment, loving kindness, mindfulness, and compassion learned from my chosen role models. After all, life is an interactive journey.

Now, I’m exploring my new map of my desired present and future, although most of it remains unknown. I’ve taken the leap with faith and trust.

What’s your “issue behind the issue”?