Image of little girl with cat in front of window - collage by Maartje de Boer

Feeling stuck? Break the spell of your unconscious beliefs and emotional triggers.

This is the story of a little girl. She has grand dream and is on the verge of stepping into a brighter world and becoming a bigger version of herself, but she is afraid to move forward.

She is watching and waiting, not sure for what. Longing for her new life, she feels safe right where she is, on that ledge, with her cat, surrounded by her familiar world.



Better said: she thinks she feels safe, but in the meantime, she is making herself small and unnoticeable, preferably invisible, by staying her old self. And even though the world she knows is not as bright and glorious as the one she can see through her window, it is the one she has known her whole life.

She feels stuck, but she's not sure why.

We've all been there, right? Procrastination galore, doubt, preparing instead of doing, overthinking. And in the meantime, blaming yourself for not making any progress! Because no matter what you do, you keep coming to a standstill, like riding a car with the brakes on. Cringing because you can hear the grinding of the brakes on the metal.

And all the self-help tips and tricks in the world will not talk you off of that ledge. Or they might for a while, only for you to run back to it or cling on to the next ledge for dear life.

If you're like me, you've tried to move forward in so many ways: baby steps, different planning methods, willpower, or the opposite: doing stuff when you feel like it, dedicated focus hours, accountability, etc.

The thing is, it's not about willpower or anything our conscious analytical brains can think of.

Because the problem is hidden on a deeper level. It's our unconscious programming, the beliefs and emotional triggers we accumulated as children. Push those buttons, and here we go again, feeling as unsafe in our adult bodies as that little girl (or boy) felt back in the day. And we don't even know this is happening!

Those beliefs are what make us sabotage ourselves. They get triggered by what we do or experience and send us into panic mode. That's when our mind takes over and it has only one job: keeping us safe. So where does it take us? Yep, back to that ledge that we know. Job well done!

How do I know? I've been there, in fact I'm there right now with my business. Oh, I can see where I want to go, and every now and then, I see a glimpse of a bigger version of me doing it. But I can also feel this blockage inside of me. Holding me back.

And when I learned about unconscious beliefs and emotional triggers, it resonated deeply with me. It makes so much sense!

A personal example: growing up, my parents told me to study hard and get a job. That was the most important thing in life: getting security. Since this has been ingrained in me since I was little, do you think relying on a business to earn a living ánd feel safe doing it seems possible for me?

I was also taught by the girls who bullied me to not stand out and be different. So, I learned to keep my head down and not cause any waves. It will not be a big surprise that this makes it quite difficult for me to make waves with my business, even though I know exactly what to do.

Thís is what is holding me back.

And I believe the only thing that will free me up is to deconstruct those beliefs and patterns I developed as a little girl—break their spell and process the associated emotions. How?

I'm still working on that, but here are a few things that help me:

  • realizing those beliefs are just thoughts, given to me by somebody else, or an interpretation by me, as a little child, of what was happening. Basically they are just stories that I have been repeating to myself. 
  • being aware of resistance and other negative emotions coming to the surface and, instead of ignoring them or analysing them away, trying to feel them in the moment, to let them be and process them.
  • writing about those emotions, I ask myself questions like 'why do I feel this, what story (belief) is attached to this?', 'is it true?' etc. 
  • looking for evidence to the contrary and celebrating other people's successes (and mine) as such.

It's all about the inner work. This takes time, but it's worth it. 

In the meantime, I'm taking baby steps that feel safe, so I keep making some progress.

Ps. after writing this, I wonder: am I really stuck, or is that also just a story I keep telling myself? Hmmm, interesting. 


If you're comfortable, I'd love to hear about your experiences and how you've managed to break free from these patterns. I believe sharing our stories can be a powerful way to inspire and support each other on our personal journeys.


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