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True Self – Focus on the Cause Not the Symptoms

true self

Have you noticed the general tendency to focus on the symptoms of a problem rather than address the underlying cause? One good example of this approach is western medicine. The accepted modality is; if it hurts we have a drug for that.

My mind works a little differently. If it hurts, I want to know why so I can eliminate the cause. Masking the pain without addressing the cause is what I call the ostrich approach. It’s like sticking your head in a hole so you can’t see the lion running toward you.

The futility of the quick fix

When people feel dissatisfied, unmotivated, and unfulfilled there is an underlying cause. When your life or relationships are devoid of passion and meaning, there is a reason. Changing your situation, your partner, or your career might provide some temporary relief, but it won’t fix the problem.

At first, things might seem much better, but when this pattern interrupt wears off old established responses will begin to surface once again. There is one primary reason why changing your external environment will usually only provide temporary relief. Do you know what that reason is?

Before I tell you, I feel compelled to provide this warning.  This basic truth is something that most people are unwilling to accept because it involves a little thing called personal responsibility. If you are one of the few who isn’t put off by the idea of personal responsibility, then keep reading.

Fix the cause and the symptoms disappear!

Let’s begin by establishing 5 fundamentals that hold true almost regardless of the challenge. Granted, there may be other influences such as radical nutritional imbalances or serious behavioral challenges, but for most of you those factors don’t apply.

1. Everything follows the law of cause and effect.
2. Symptoms are an effect, not a cause.
3. At least 90% of the time the cause is internal.
4. Internal conflict on a core level is the cause.
5. Resolving internal conflict eliminates the symptoms.

These 5 fundamentals are the foundation of my coaching practice and the reason why I’ve been able to help clients from all over the world overcome such a wide variety of personal and professional challenges. It all boils down to this: When you resolve your internal conflicts your external reality changes and your life gets better.

Your takeaway is simple

What is the most important thing you can take away from this article? Well, obviously, I can’t walk you through the whole process of eliminating internal conflicts and creating internal harmony in such a limited format. That’s why I wrote TRUE SELF and why I work one-on-one with coaching clients.

Still, there is a paradigm shift that you can make right here and now that will get you moving in the right direction immediately. Here are a few steps to will help you accomplish that.

5 steps for resolving internal conflict

1. Values. Get very clear about your core values. Where do you draw the line between right and wrong in all the important aspect of your life, relationships, and business dealings?

2. Decisions. Once you have clearly identified your core values write them down so you can refer to them when making decisions. Violating your core values creates internal conflict so be determined not to let that happen.

3. Passions. Next, make a list of your passions and then compare them to your core values. Be sure that your passions are in harmony with and supported by your core values. If any of your passions conflicts with your values then it is inappropriate for you and needs to be replaced.

4. Goals. Now think about your goals in every area of life. What do you want to accomplish in your personal life, in your relationships, and in your career. Write down your 3 top goals for each area.

5. Motives. Finally, identify the reason behind each goal. Why do you want to accomplish those things? What are your underlying motives? Then compare your motives with your core values to make sure they are in alignment. Be sure there is no conflict between the two because if there is you will end up sabotaging your own success.

Aligning with your True Self

These five steps will help you create an internal environment of peace and harmony by eliminating some of the major causes for inner conflict. When we live in harmony with our true self it changes our reality in wonderful and unexpected ways.

When we are aligned at our core, life feels better on every level. As our overall energy becomes more positive it changes the way others respond to us. Knowing who you are and what you stand for is both empowering and calming at the same time.

A willingness to take personal responsibility for every aspect of your life gives you the ability to be the architect of your own reality and the designer of your own outcomes. This is the power that comes from being your True Self and living by the law of cause and effect.

Do you have a strong sense of your True Self?
Have you ever sabotaged your own success?
Do you know who you really are at your core?

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10 Comments

  1. Sage September 26, 2012 Reply

    Great advice! I also try to look for the cause of the problem rather than masking it or numbing myself from the pain it’s causing. It’s only when I look at the underlying cause (which is sometimes scary!) that I can move forward.

  2. Chris Akins September 27, 2012 Reply

    Jonathan,

    This is insane! I posted a very similar blog today about solving life’s problems, and it contained a number of the same the same fundamentals you list. While the contexts are different, the nature of problems and solutions are the same.

    Great post.

    Chris

  3. Harleena October 18, 2012 Reply

    Wonderful post indeed!

    You are so right about focusing on our inner selves and trying to find out the internal cause, rather than focus on the symptoms that are mostly external.

    Once we are able to deal with the core – internal issues that trouble us, which you rightly stated is in 90% of the cases, the external becomes nice on it’s own.

    Thanks for sharing. :)

  4. Anna October 19, 2012 Reply

    Important points! I never particularly liked the feeling of curing symptoms, either. It’s like putting on make up when you have got a skin condition from eating too much diary. It can’t be a long term solution.

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