Who do you hate? (Or “How to get unstuck”)

I hate BonoHere at Screw Work Let’s Play HQ we’ve been busy getting ready for the Screw Work Let’s Play Programme which starts tomorrow.

On the 8 week programme we deal a lot with the internal blocks that stop people getting the working lives they want.

As a result, we’ve learned a lot about why people get stuck…

Sometimes we want something so badly – to make more money, to be recognised for our best work, or to slow down and enjoy our lives more – and yet whatever we do, we can’t seem to get it.

To explain why I think this is, I need to talk about Bono, lead singer of U2.

A lot of people find Bono annoying, particularly in Britain where hating Bono has become something of a national sport. There are T-Shirts, blogs and more than one Facebook group.

Why do people hate Bono?

Whatever you might think of his music, when the strength of feeling is far out of proportion to what he does you can be sure it’s not simply a matter of taste. (Let’s face it there are far more despicable people out there in the world)

Bono is hated in Britain in particular because he breaks the rules of British culture. He gets ideas above his station, he behaves as if he actually is all that. And this is the great taboo of our country – to boast, to be arrogant, to believe you have the right to change the world.

The cost of this taboo is that we Brits err towards being apologetic, downplaying our abilities, and suppressing our own power. It is a culture of playing small.

When a natural part of our personality (in this case, our confidence and willingness to acknowledge our own talents) is suppressed at an early age, we see it all the larger in others. And we hate it.

It’s a universal (and uncomfortable) truth that the solution to our block lies in that which we hate. Wherever your life is stuck, whether it’s wanting more confidence in your work, making more money, or allowing yourself to relax, you have locked away the part of yourself you most need.

How do you find out what this part is? Look at who you hate. Whoever you find most irritating or infuriating will represent the part you have hidden. If you’re suppressing your own confidence, it might be Bono. If you’re suppressing your desire to be better compensated for your talents, it’s the shop that charges a premium price for its goods. If it’s allowing yourself to relax, it’s the guy at work who seems to do no work at all and gets away with it.

How to get unstuck

Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you become exactly what you hate. (You may not want to start wearing wrap-around shades indoors.) Mixed in with your prejudice, there may be some very valid reasons for disliking someone. But you can still use that person as a pointer to what you need.

Look at this person that irritates you, ask what it is that gets your goat, then ask yourself what part of your own personality might you be suppressing that this person represents? Then ask “If I could access that part of my personality (confidence, ease with making money, the instinct to treat myself more kindly), would that help me get what I most long for in my life?”

I bet the answer is yes.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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