The practicals about overcoming your inner obstacles to fulfilment.

Four things hold you back from fulfilling your potential in life: difficult memories, unresolved emotions, disempowering beliefs and dysfunctional habits and behaviours.

Let’s look at how we heal these, and  ultimately to discover that the healing process itself becomes part of our gift to the world.

Last week I talked about the practicals of making the most of yourself in life. This week I want to talk about overcoming your inner obstacles.

You will remember the four principles of fulfilling your potential in life are:

  1. Make the most of what is special about you.
  2. Overcome your inner obstacles to fulfilling your potential.
  3. Learn to feel the support of Life itself.
  4. Take action to improve your life.

Four things can hold you back from fulfilling your potential:

  1. Difficult memories of historical experiences that wounded and undermined your sense of self.
  2. Unresolved emotions that still remain in your body from these experiences.
  3. Disempowering beliefs about yourself and the world that resulted from those early life experiences.
  4. Dysfunctional habits and behaviours you developed to compensate for those difficulties, disempowering experiences, feelings and beliefs.


Briefly, the process for healing what holds you back traces the same steps:
we need to

  1. Remember (including muscle memory)
  2. Welcome the feelings, letting them surface and release
  3. Dissolve disempowering beliefs
  4. Develop new empowering beliefs
  5. Let go of old habits and behaviours
  6. Find new ways of acting
  7. Discover the gifts from the wound

The final step, the most important step, after sufficient healing has taken place, is when the old wound becomes part of your gift to the world. My twin brother’s heroin addiction and his death from an overdose is part of what led me to be a psychotherapist, coach and personal transformation facilitator.  When I help people, I see it as something that I am doing as a gift to the world on his behalf.

So how do we heal ourselves?

Self-healing is best done with a facilitator, either one-to-one or in a group. This could be with a Deep Coach or psychotherapist, or a hybrid. Reading books doesn’t help very much, because you only get ideas rather than changes in the feelings in your body.

Why is this? Humans are relational mammals. Most of the disempowering experiences of our life happened in relation to other people – a parent, a relative or teacher. Even a quite subtle psychological or emotional disconnection in parenting can damage a small child in unexpected ways.

Healing takes place in relationships too.  If there is some aspect of yourself that was not loved as a child, healing comes through learning to bring love to that place in yourself. The facilitator, coach or therapist brings sponsorship (compassion) to that place in you, and you learn to do it for yourself.

In a group, the process is magnified by the group field – the compassion and healing power is held within the group as well as the group facilitator.

Coaches and psychotherapists can sometimes make this complicated by developing sophisticated techniques, but the essence is the healing power of learning to bring love to a wounded place in yourself, and to be sponsored by people on the outside.  In a group, it can be incredibly powerful to discover that everyone is wounded in some way. Our parents were busy and we didn’t get all the attention we needed. For example, my parents were only 10 years out of the second world war when I was born. They were still carrying some of that in their psyches. Children are super-learners, they suck up everything their parents teach, mainly from the behaviour of their parents.  This includes all the empowering things, but also all the disempowering things.

So, learning to welcome all of ourselves is the key to healing.

We need to, both release any old feelings, but also to change any disempowering beliefs that resulted from the old experience(s). Something happens in the world, we have feelings, and if the event is repeated a few times, we may end up believing that it means something about who we are, our place in the world or our competencies. We need to change the way we feel about the old experience and any disempowering beliefs that resulted from it.


There are several methods we use to heal our inner obstacles to fulfilling our potential during the 4 day The Personal Transformation Intensive: Life Talent Level 1, Friday 17 – Monday 20 January 2020 and the 15 day (over 4 modules) Life Talent Programme: Level 2 starting on 6th March 2020.

As I have mentioned previously, the general pattern of the training is that I make a presentation on a topic and then demonstrate a healing technique with a group member in front of the group. The participants then divide into groups of three and replicate the exercise, with each person getting a turn to be the explorer (doing the healing), the coach and the observer. Being a coach and an observer really helps you understand the material more deeply so you can apply it to yourself more fully.

We spend time identifying what needs to be healed and then use simple, yet powerful, tools that help heal the old memory. There are usually three components:

  1. A guided meditation that gets us in touch with our feelings, because if your feelings aren’t engaged, you won’t heal the feelings.
  2. Allowing any old feelings that are in the body to arise and be welcomed.
  3. Bring our competent adult minds and warm tender hearts as a healing force to bring healing to our younger selves. Both the coach and the explorer bring their compassionate hearts to bare slowly, perhaps over a number of sessions, as healing takes place.

The most important thing, however, is that both your small group (consisting of you, the coach and the observer) say “yes” to your experience and that I do too. Soul-to-soul encounters occur when you suddenly feel seen and understood, and then find yourself ready to move on from the old experience. It can be very touching for all concerned.

By the end of the programme the group knows you profoundly. Both your uniqueness (Life-Calling +Strengths + personal history + vision) and also your vulnerability. As Leonard Cohen says in his song Anthem:

“Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in”

Your vulnerability is part of your sensitivity and your sensitivity is what makes you human and able to relate to other humans.

Today we have discussed the second of the four Life Talent principles:

  1. Make the most of what is special about you.
  2. Overcome your inner obstacles to fulfilling your potential.
  3. Learn to feel the support of life itself.
  4. Take action to improve your life.


Next week I will write about the practicals of the third principle, “Learn to feel the support of life itself”.

Not only do we have our inner psychological resources, and the friends who love us and believe in us, but we are are intimately connected with the world. By broadening our attention out wider than just ourselves, we experience ourselves as something much bigger than ourselves.

If you want to read more about the four principles of Life Talent you can read previous posts.

  1. Make the most of what is special about you .                                                                       a) So what are the practicals for making the most of your life.
  2. Overcome your inner obstacles to fulfilling your potential.
  3. Learn to feel the support of Life itself.
  4. Take action to improve your life.