One of my favorite coaching techniques is something called “Parts Work.” The work is rooted in the idea that humans are comprised of a variety of internal parts… the shy part, the outgoing part, the grumpy part, the joyful part, etc… and they all are serving important purposes, using the best tools they know.
Often the feeling of “stuck” comes from the sense that 2 (or more) parts of yourself are in conflict. And the most common conflict I’ve noticed over the years is between the “Freedom” part and the “Structure” part.
There is a part that values spontaneity, wildness, and the freedom to do what you want when you want.
There is another part that values safety, security, ritual, and the predictability of schedules.
What’s interesting is that both parts ultimately want the same thing… for you to feel happy and fulfilled.
Checking things off the to-do list, and being on time helps you thrive. Saying yes to something fun at the last minute also helps you thrive.
The best part is that when they work together, stress melts away, clarity shows up, and you maximize happiness.
It’s like a tree with strong roots (structure) that supports large, long branches to dance in the wind (freedom).
The paradox about freedom is that you can have more of it when you have solid structures in place.
For example, committing to my morning practice helps me flow with the unexpected later in the day. Knowing when appointments will happen keeps me from worrying about when those things will get done (teeth cleanings, oil changes, taxes etc.) so I can enjoy a vacation more.
I’d love to hear if you’ve noticed your parts being at war, and what ideas you have for helping them collaborate. Leave a comment below!