Are you trying to get the unworkable to work?

How often have you heard the advice, “Consistency is key!”

But is this actually good advice?

On this Full Moon in Capricorn, a sign infused with drive, ambition, and the desire to build toward one’s goals, let’s look a little deeper.

Sometimes persistence does, in fact, yield unicorns and rainbows, and building self-supportive habits is a great way to stack the wellness deck in our favor.

But it’s also possible to persist at things that don’t work, and simply doing them more doesn’t change the fact that…they don’t work.

The things we persist at, in spite of getting very little to no return, give us vital clues to our family patterning.

As kids, we learned from our family how to “do life.”

We learned how we’re supposed to behave, think, feel, and be if we want the world, and our place in it, to make sense.

But of course, not all of that teaching is accurate.

Many of us inherit a closetful of outdated beliefs that don’t accurately capture reality and programming that doesn’t help us understand ourselves or the world, nor how to achieve our goals.

But if we’re not aware of these patterns, we’ll continue to use them unconsciously, wondering why our efforts aren’t having the hoped-for impact.

This can trigger self-doubt and shame, blaming others, or feeling like the world is against us.

For me, this has been especially true with close relationships and money.

These are two areas where my childhood programming wildly diverged from reality

…and my inner work revolves around challenging my thinking in these areas, unearthing disowned feelings, and developing new skills so that I can take different actions in the world.

One of the ways I’ve identified those programs is by looking at where I continue to run into obstacles within the areas of close relationships and money.

Once I have a situation in mind…

…now it’s time to get curious about how I tend to respond in this situation, and one of the most productive methods for me, by far, is to journal while I’m in the situation.

For instance, people not responding was a massive trigger for decades, meaning I’ve had plenty of opportunities to explore. 😉

When someone wasn’t replying, I’d grab my journal and pour out what I was thinking and feeling, and I’d list out what I’d like to do and what I’d already done.

For instance, things I liked to do included:

– Revising a follow-up email in my head, oh, about two billion times, going back and forth on whether or not I should send it, the precise wording, the timing, etc.

– Talking to multiple friends about why they thought this other person wasn’t responding.

– Mentally going over all of our recent communications, scouring them for “clues,” especially those pertaining to what I “must” have done wrong.

Instead of immediately doing those things, I wrote them down in my journal.

Over time, it became clear that, wow, these reactions run like clockwork in my system.

As soon as there was a hint of delayed response, my inner system ran the protocol without fail.

And what also became clear was the protocol wasn’t working.

I had learned this response from my family, so it felt like “just the way things are,” not something I was actively doing myself. It seemed like this was the only logical response to someone not replying.

For me, journaling created more space between trigger and habitual reaction, and sometimes all we need is the slimmest of gaps for change to find a way in.

Another clue, I’ve found, is to pay attention to areas where we’re saying…

“I’ve tried everything, and nothing’s working!”

These are typically areas where family programming is active, and what we’re actually experiencing are the limits of the program.

We’ve run the (unworkable) program every which way we can think of, and it’s still not working.

This is where another set of eyes can be super duper helpful. Close friends can point things out (but keep in mind that the people you’re close to might have similar programming/blind spots), as can a good therapist.

“Trying everything” can be tricky to spot, because we might take actions that look different on the surface, but at their core, they’re simply another manifestation of the programming that isn’t working.

For instance, if we’re drawn to emotionally unavailable partners who aren’t able and willing to change, it doesn’t matter how many books we read, classes we take, meditations we do, etc.

If we’re using that information to try and get them to change…it won’t work. No matter how many times we run the program.

But when we pick up another book, we might think, “Ah ha, but this book’s about The Special Fancy Method. I haven’t tried that yet!” but the core principle is still at play, that of trying to “make” an emotionally unavailable partner available without their full participation.

Persistence, in this case, is a dead end.

Being able to acknowledge when something isn’t working is a prerequisite for change.

After all, why would we change if, deep down, we’re still convinced that what we’re doing is the only way to go?

The energy of Capricorn can help us move mountains, one rock at a time, but it must be channeled in service of things that actually work.

This Full Moon, get curious about something in your life that feels stuck.

Take some time to journal on:

– How this situation makes you feel

– What you think about this situation (for instance, what’s your current understanding of it–what do you believe to be true here?)

– What you tend to do in this situation

This curiosity opens the door to deeper, long-lasting change.

It helps us build new, genuinely supportive patterns rather than wondering why nothing seems to work.

Change is absolutely possible.

You’re not broken, you’re not unworthy, you’re not a lost cause.

You’re a wonderfully complex human who, like all of us, has been taught some things that simply don’t work.

And now…you have the power and freedom to learn new things that do.

Happy Full Moon.

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