Why You Stay With What You Don’t Want

Nov 2018

During a recent Emotional Freedom Techniques training, we discussed the concept of psychological reversal (PR).

This term is used to denote unconscious resistance to healing, resolving or moving away from something you don’t want or moving towards what you do. The benefits of hanging on are sometimes called secondary gains or payoffs.

I mentioned that I have the proverbial 10 pounds that I would like to release. Anyone who knows me knows that I have been harping on this for years.   One of the participants in the course (thanks Jessica) asked me – what benefits do those 10 pounds provide?

I took some time to think about those benefits and came up with seven!
Here they are.  My ten extra pounds help me to:

  1. Stay motivated to go for walks on a regular basis
  2. Be diligent about what I eat and drink, especially having lots of water
  3. Take care to dress in a way that “flatters” my shape
  4. Remove temptation by not keeping snack food in my home
  5. Be mindful of my posture
  6. Make healthy choices like adequate sleep and dealing with stress
  7. Not be judgmental about others who also have weight or body image issues.

Could I do all these things on my own without the motivation provided by those ten unwanted pounds? Of course.  Even the awareness of how they “serve” can free up my intention to finally either release the weight or simply live with it. I can choose to do these things without those ten pounds to prompt me.

Is there something that you don’t seem to be able change, let go of or even start? It could be about money, career, health, a relationship or getting going with something. Ask yourself what benefits you are getting from hanging on or staying stuck. Do this with curiosity and without any judgement or self-recrimination.

Once you understand your “hidden agendas”, you are in a better position to implement the change you desire.


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