top of page

Common afflictions: the only three "problems" and what to do about them

I’m curious, do you recognise the following challenges?

1) You don’t know what your true “purpose” is, you just know that you’re not doing it now, and you’re feeling frustrated about not knowing what you should be working toward.


2) You know what you want, and you’re doing all the things you know to try to create it (read: networking, podcasts, books, seminars, meditation, workshops, therapy, coaching, etc.), but nothing seems to really move the needle.

During an online personal growth event I hosted over the weekend, these were the two themes that clearly emerged among the dozens of participants who joined live (that’s some of you reading, so thank you for being there).

After taking a few days to reflect on this experience and the stories I witness, I realised that I needed to get underneath these "problems" and recognise the principles at play. After some time in the introspective bat cave, I think I've done that, and I'd like to invite you to test them with me, to see if they hold.

I assert that both of these “problems”, actually, all problems (yes, I dare to use an absolute), stem from a set of narrow but common enduring internal feeling states, AKA personal realities, namely:

  • Inadequacy - feelings of unworthiness

  • Isolation - feeling different, and hence disconnected from others

  • Lack - feeling that a certain desired reality is inaccessible/unattainable

Take a gentle look at a particular perceived limitation in your life and check whether it is associated with one of these common personal realities. I suspect it’s the case. I also suspect that if we were to magically dissolve these feeling states inside of each of our psyches, that points 1) and 2) above would become redundant.

I’m going to be a little presumptuous here, if I may, and anticipate your “so what”...

‘Okay Anne… now we know this, what should we *do* about it?’

Well, there is no so what today.

The invitation is to get even more curious.

Or, if you want to peel these back a bit further, maybe consider to ask yourself the question:

'Who am I in the absence of this sense of [inadequacy/isolation/lack]?'

Sit with that.

And then I want to ask you to have a little faith that simply giving some compassionate attention to these things is sufficient to create change. Even if small, at first.

*Pause and exhale*

I was going to write more this week. I was going to take you on a deep dive into Greek mythology and extend the reflections on a post I shared on LinkedIn about the fearsome and misunderstood creatures that are Harpies. You can read my live post here, or read the version on my blog here.

But as irony would have it, shortly after I posted about the mythological personification of self-sabotage, I tried to answer my phone in the middle of a group call I was attending and in the process of using shoulder phone and trying to mute and turn the sound off on my call I managed to knock an entire cup of freshly made coffee into my laptop keyboard, and the workday was done.

Anyway, apparently that needed to happen. After I dropped my computer off to the Mac doctor, I was able to lay on the grass in the sun for and hour and feel life go by a bit more slowly.

Thank you Harpies.

This was going to be one of the power questions I had planned for you:

What becomes available to you on the other side of that destruction?

(You might need to read my post for proper context, but feel welcome to try it on anyway.)

My answer: rest.

Briefly back to those principles I laid out... which personal reality do you recognise? How is that showing up for you? Your brave replies are warmly welcomed and gratefully received. You can leave them here.

Thank you for showing up.

Keep showing up.


Not yet subscribed? Click the image below to make sure my latest personal development perspectives are arriving in your inbox.


bottom of page