Does holding onto problems give you a gain? Perhaps even a benefit? Sounds a little strange maybe and yes it’s very possible. It’s called secondary gain
I find that sometimes clients who have a ‘limpet-like’ grip on problems, the reason they hold onto it so tightly is because they are gaining something else from it which is a positive
How about feeling unhappy, unsatisfied with life and career despite a well-paid job. What can you gain from it? On materialistic level, toys, lifestyle, nice car, possessions, the list goes on. You buy these things and for a very brief moment, you feel better and then it’s gone. Back to sqaure one, this is not something that can be bought out of.
And still, you feel unhappy inside. So, what do we do? We spend more to feel happy going round and around as if in a ‘double bind’ (catch 22).
What can we do to break out?
Start by identifying the specific problem underneath, ask yourself “what specifically is the problem?” Repeat asking yourself till you get there.
Identify the secondary gain
Ask yourself, “What do I gain from keeping the problem?” or for what purpose do I hold onto the problem? Repeat asking yourself till you get there.
Were you surprised at the connection? Notice how you had put all that effort and energy into gaining which kept the original problem? (May have even felt a bit silly!)
You now may find you have much greater motivation to let go. This approach works for problems of all shapes and sizes, in work, life, career, business and sport. Its important to understand the relationship between the gain from the problem
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