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Ok, so you have tried everything...

And no matter what you do, for some reason, things never change!

You still carry those extra 15 pounds around, you're still not speaking to your brother, you still hate your job, and you've had the same fights with your husband for the last 4 years.

(How could he not understand how important your birthday is? You've only been together for eternity!)

I get it - I've been there too!

So what the heck is going on?

Why are some things so easy to change, and some things remain a thorn in the side for years?

Maybe they have even plagued you since childhood!

Well, in order to figure it out what is stopping us we have to look at something many of us didn't even know exists!

We have to look at what benefit we are getting from the things we are not changing!

I know that on the surface that sounds crazy!

What possible benefit could we ever get from something so painful, something we want to get rid of or overcome so badly?

Even though this sounds crazy the truth remains the same, if we continue to engage in painful behavior, we do it because in some way it meets a need for us.

There is some benefit that we are experiencing.

What is the upside of not losing the weight?

(It might mean you can avoid intimacy and physical vulnerability)

(It might mean you stay true to the identity you have always had as "the chubby one"- who would you be if you lost weight? That feels scary to think about.)

(You might be afraid that friends will judge you or dislike you if you get in shape)

What is the upside to not speaking to your brother?

(It might mean that you can continue to believe that you are "right", convincing others of your "goodness" and his "badness" and never having to face any of the things that you did to make the problem worse.)

(It might be so that you never have to do the hard work of forgiveness.)

What is the upside to staying at that job you hate?

(You can continue to convince yourself that you could do better without ever having to prove that you really could.)

(You can fit in with your co-workers or with your friends as you bond over disliking your job.)

(Getting a new job might make it harder to fit in because that would mean you are happy with your work or making more money.)

What is the upside to having those same old fights with your husband?

(It might protect you from having to deal with the real issues in the marriage. If you can just keep fighting about how he works too much, you never have to deal with how alone you feel even in your marriage.)

(If you keep arguing about how to raise the kids, you don't have to deal with the fact that you no longer have anything in common except the kids.)

I don't know about you but some of these have definitely been true in my life, and it took me a long time to see it.

But when I faced it head-on, when I realized how I had been using these problems to protect me from seeing things I didn't want to see, I was able to breakthrough!

What will change for you when you find out what your benefit has been from the problems you've let hang around?

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