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How to Get Out of Your Own Way

The more I coach people the more I find that my job is to help people get out of their own way. It doesn’t matter how old or what title or what industry people are in. Most of us have quirks that get in the way of what we truly want. It’s not our fault; we are hardwired for safety and anytime the amygdala senses a threat, real or imagined, the brain defaults to the coping mechanisms learned early in life. I say all this to assure you that 1) We all do this; 2) No one is at fault.


That said, if we want our life or work to be different in some way, then it is our responsibility to take on these quirks. We can change how we respond and react. A while back, a friend sent me this essay on “scientific prayer” called The Golden Key to Prayer. I’ll explain how it works below, but if you want to go to the source material and I suggest that you do, now you’ve got it. The method below is a way to deal with ANY problem. Seriously. Any problem, whether that is a snit with another person, financial troubles, legal troubles, a health issue, etc. 


I used it last week when a warning light came on in my car telling me I needed to get it checked out. I got it checked out — I did not ignore that — but I applied the method below to circumvent my worry and the impulsive desire to just go buy a new car instead of getting the old one fixed. What happened? What I worried would be a $2200 fix turned into a $450 fix. And no new car payment. It works!


The Method

  1. Acknowledge the problem. The problem is ___.

  2. Decide. Now that you’ve acknowledged it, stop thinking about it. This is the Golden Key. Stop thinking about the trouble, what could happen if, how “they” are wrong, how you are wrong, etc. STOP thinking about it. 

  3. Re-direct your thinking, over and over as necessary, to something that is more powerful than you. This is how you turn The Golden Key. Technically, the essay says to think about God, but if that turns you off, don’t think about the G-word. The idea is that you think about anything more powerful than you are, like nature. All the laws of nature are more powerful than I am. So are puppies. Or babies. They have a universal appeal that is more powerful than I am. What fills you with awe and/or joy? Think about that instead of whatever trouble you’ve been thinking about. Maybe you believe in Creativity. Or the power of love. Beauty. Peace. Whatever works for you, as long as you are not the thing you think about. 

  4. Say a mantra, a word, an affirmation or a little prayer. For example, “The universe is creativity.” “Puppies are love.” “Love is powerful.” Whatever works for you.

  5. When your mind wanders back to the trouble, and it will, say the mantra and I find it helps to picture the puppies or mountains or ocean, etc. Then go about your business.

  6. Don’ts. Don’t try to imagine or figure out how the trouble will be resolved because then you are still thinking about the trouble instead of puppies. Don’t check in on how the issue is being resolved. Yes, take whatever the actions are — if you have a doctor’s appointment, go to the doctor’s appointment — but don’t keep checking in on the issue in reality or in your mind to see if the scientific prayer is working. Checking stops the process. 

  7. You don’t have to believe any of this. You just have to have an open mind and try it. Give it time to unfold and see how this method works to keep you out of your own way. 


Let me know how it goes!


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