Why I sometimes say shocking things: the value of provocation for creating deep and lasting change

This is a topic that came up recently on Rori’s blog. I wanted to share more about my intentions when I sometimes say shocking things (such as “I don’t like condoms”).

Most people are familiar with the concept of ego (meaning, for example, the way that A Course in Miracles or Eckhart Tolle talk about it). The ego is the part of us that wants to be separate from others. It creates all of the dysfunction in our lives, including addictive patterns, conflict, separation, disease, and so forth.

We also have a Higher Self, which is tapped in to the collective consciousness through intuition, which trusts, which sees everyone as friends, which knows how to achieve win/win outcomes in every situation, and so forth.

Here’s the problem for most people: the ego runs on autopilot. It thrives on routine. No matter how much people try to stop smoking, or overeating, or biting their nails, or attracting the same old “story” or conflict into their lives, they feel powerless to change. The ego holds these old patterns in place to preserve itself, and these patterns can be very, very stubborn. No matter how much we consciously resolve to change, the unconscious routine-driven ego mind takes over and sabotages our efforts.

For years now, I have been searching for and experimenting with ways to get myself and others out of these old destructive patterns. What Is Holistic Belief Reprogramming?, which I talk about a lot on here, is the most powerful method I have found.

But it’s not the only one. Because the ego thrives on routine, another very powerful way to disrupt it is through shock or provocation. And I’ll tell you why. Here goes the ego, running the same old story it has always played out in your life (for example, the “poor me” victim story) … and then, wham! all of a sudden I do or say something completely different than I’ve ever done before.

What happens then? Immediately, the unconscious story becomes conscious. The story that was playing out has been disrupted, and the ego cannot go merrily along on its way. It has to sit up and take notice. I call this Ego Interruptus. These are powerful moments. These are moments where deep and lasting change becomes possible.

Let me give some examples:

Say, for example, that a woman has been playing the “doormat” role in her relationships, doing all the work, paying for things, seeking his approval, etc. Then suddenly one day she simply stops whatever she has been doing and says “no.” Perhaps she disappears for a day and takes herself to the spa instead of cooking and cleaning. You better believe he’s going to notice. All of a sudden, both she and the guy are going to be awake instead off unconsciously playing out the same old story. Now there is space for renegotiation of the relationship.

Or take the “I don’t like condoms” example. Lots of people are using them on autopilot, making all kinds of assumptions about why they are using them. If we ask the provocative question, “what fears am I covering up by using these?” then we open up space for a renegotiation of our relationship with condoms and sex.

I ask provocative questions with my clients all the time (don’t worry … I’m also gentle and loving! ;-). I don’t go along with the “story” that “I want to change but I can’t.” I ask them, “what are the reasons why you are refusing to change?” Wow does that open up space. “What are the reasons why you refuse to succeed?” “What are the reasons why you don’t want the intimacy you claim to want?” Ah yes, the ego cannot continue on autopilot when we ask provocative questions like this, because awareness has been brought into the situation. With awareness comes presence. With presence comes healing.

It is in part my willingness to provoke that empowers me to help my clients achieve dramatic and lasting change even when they tried everything else, and nothing worked. So whether you’re trying to lose weight, become more confident, have better relationships, or break through a particularly stubborn “sticking point,” my methods will work to get you unstuck.

By the way, I will be offering a Erika Awakening Coaching Page this week, but it will only be available to subscribers of my newsletter. If you’ve been wanting to sign up for sessions but are currently facing financial challenges (which, btw, we can alleviate with What Is Holistic Belief Reprogramming?), then this is your chance! Please click this link to subscribe now.

About the Author:

Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening

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  1. Andy Dick and Al Sharpton also say shocking things. People quit taking them seriously a long time ago.

    Interesting how you raise your prices, then "drop" them again almost immediately. David DeAngelo Marketing Class 101.

    For someone who claims to believe in authenticity, your marketing is anything but. Why should I believe you when I see such contradictory

  2. What fears am I covering up by using condoms?

    Hmmmm…the fear of getting AIDS for instance, then suffering excrutiating pain as my body begins to disintegrate and the only thing that keeps me from squealing in agony when I'm on my death bed, is my friend the morphine dispenser.

    Or better yet, I'm covering up from my fear of transmitting my disease to someone else,

  3. It's like what I recently wrote on my blog:

    "When your lies meets your truths…"

  4. I like to wear provoking clothing ;)

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