The Balance Code

What are You Unlearning?

March 06, 2024 Katie Rössler Season 2 Episode 18
The Balance Code
What are You Unlearning?
Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever felt like you're navigating through a maze of beliefs that no longer seem to align with who you are becoming? 

Join me as I embark on a journey of self-discovery, shedding the layers of conditioning that have shaped our lives. It all begins with a simple question: what are you unlearning right now? 

Let's unravel the mysteries of our past, confront the shadows of our conditioning, and emerge with a newfound sense of clarity and purpose. Welcome to the journey of unlearning.

What we talked about:

  • Reflecting on the beliefs instilled in us from childhood and questioning their relevance in our lives today.
  • Recognizing that many of these beliefs served a purpose in the past, but may now hinder our growth and well-being.
  • Challenging the notion that our value is tied to achievement and learning to find worth beyond external validation.
  • Exploring the origins of our belief systems to understand the impact of unlearning on our lives and relationships.
  • Acknowledging that the journey of unlearning may lead to extremes before finding balance, and embracing the process of trial and error.
  • Recognizing the discomfort that arises when challenging ingrained beliefs and seeking support to navigate the journey of unlearning.
  • Striving towards a place of authenticity and firmness in our beliefs, free from external influence and manipulation.


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 What are you unlearning right now? Those things that you were conditioned to believe as a child that you're now realizing It doesn't make sense anymore. That's what we're talking about today. Welcome to the balance code podcast, a place where you have permission to step outside the hamster wheel of day to day life and learn tools for better balance.

My name is Katie Ressler. I'm a licensed therapist and hidden grief and burnout specialist. I help ambitious high achievers who are ready to get off the one way train to burnout and learn better tools to embrace life. Oh, and by the way, I'm an American living in Germany, who's still learning the language.

A mom of three and an entrepreneur. Living my balance code is what helps me keep working in incredible ways. without burning out. So let's discover our balance code together. Welcome back to the podcast. I was talking with [00:01:00] a friend the other day about the things that I'm realizing I'm unlearning in my life.

It was spurred by that discussion about what was happening in my nine year old's life and the things that she was already being conditioned to believe. If I think differently than my friends, they won't like me. And I'm like, whoa. You're nine, and this is already conditioned in you. And then I started asking myself, well, what are the things that are conditioned in me that I need to start to unlearn?

And so that process has led me down a very interesting path recently. As I started asking my community online, too, what are you unlearning? Well, in that, I started getting answers about my feelings don't matter, that I'm not supposed to have a voice, that if someone does something to me and my feelings are hurt, I need to care about their feelings first.

And it became very clear to me, we have a lot to unlearn. So what are you unlearning right now? And why? [00:02:00] I really believe that a lot of the things that we were taught in our childhood. We're for a purpose, right? Often we think like, oh, it was all bad and generationally all these things are coming up. But there was a reason for these things.

There was a reason why we were taught to people please. There was a reason why we were told to be careful about speaking up. There's a reason why we were told performance matters, right? Like you work hard because that's the only way you're going to pay the bills. So all of these served a purpose and for our parents and our grandparents generations, they made sense.

But I think we're all getting to a point where we are wanting to stop and really look at, are the things that we learned back then actually serving a purpose anymore? Are they hurting us? Because what might have kept us safe or generations before us safe, are they even needed now? I have found recently that when I speak up about certain things, It has a negative [00:03:00] impact at times and I immediately feel a sense of shame and guilt and I shouldn't have said anything and you know what I'm upset people and what, what do I do about this?

How do I fix it? And I thought, what are there other people in the world who feel this way? Or are there people in the world who say what they think and they don't feel any guilt or remorse afterwards? Now, I don't necessarily want to be in that latter tribe, but I realized I often condition and I'm careful about what I say, being very diplomatic because I'm afraid of people's responses.

Then I think about generationally what that has been like in my family line. And of course, naturally as a woman, I think about the woman wound, right? Of if we speak up, what could happen to us? And it just feels like, oh, a big weight on my shoulders. And I realized I want to unlearn these things for some of us.

It's about people pleasing, right? Let me put other people's first for others. It's about [00:04:00] performance and, you know, I have to achieve, I have to get the gold star in order to have worth, to show that I matter, to show that I belong. And again, these probably served a purpose. Generations passed because of things happening in the world, but over time, as we're parented in a certain way, we're stuck feeling that way.

And the shame and guilt spiral that happens along the things that, or around the things that, are connected to what we need to unlearn. I often think about the fact that, you know, if we want to change habits in our lives, if we want to think differently, believe differently, we really have to almost like pull up the roots of that belief system.

But I was talking to a client recently and I said, sometimes you need to assess where the roots are. If I go, okay, I want to pull this tree up and get this out of my yard, I need to know how far those tree roots go around my [00:05:00] yard. Are they going under my house? When I pull this up, am I actually going to tear up the foundation of my home?

We need to understand where the roots of our belief systems come from. So we understand the consequences that will happen as we unlearn them. The other lesson I'm learning right now is as you unlearn. The pendulum kind of swings in the opposite direction, which isn't always the best thing, but it's a learning experience, right?

I find this when we have a lot of rage and resentment and anger towards a certain situation, of something we've learned. You know, take the example I shared of If somebody does something to me that hurts my feelings, I have to consider their feelings first, right? There might be situations in that person's life where they're like, I have so much anger because I could never speak up and I could never say that really bothered me because I had to think about everyone else, right?

So you have all this anger and rage. So, when you finally decide to unlearn that belief system and shift, you might start to become super blunt and reactive and just, [00:06:00] ah, at people who hurt you. But I encourage you to remember that the pendulum will swing to the middle and to see this as a learning experience because you're learning a new habit, right?

You're unlearning the old and you're learning the new. And as you learn that new, you're going to make mistakes along the way. So as much as you can put your ego and your pride to the side and go, I'm still learning. I'm learning how to stand up for myself. I'm learning how to have a voice. I'm learning that I don't have to over perform or over people please or be a perfectionist.

Whatever it might be. Whatever your thing is. And I, right now I'm in a phase where the pendulum has kind of swung the opposite direction. Binding my middle. The more we can just go, this is a learning experience. It helps the people around us, right? It helps the ones who are like, Ooh, these roots impact me that you're pulling up now you're changing and shifting.

And I get it, but how you're doing it [00:07:00] hurts because as we change, we affect the system around us, right? You know, when I talk with my daughter about her experience, I'm very aware that as I help her feel more confident. It's going to impact the friends. And I don't mean that necessarily in a positive way.

For some of them, they may not, they may go, I don't like you and shift, right? And go, nope. I experienced that as a kid. I experienced those times where people didn't want to be my friend because, well, no, I don't actually like that. Or I do like that. Or I want to do something different. That is the black and white thinking of childhood.

Something happens in adulthood where we continue with that thinking. And again, the pendulum is swung to one side. So as you're unlearning, as you're realizing it's trial and error and it's big learning experience within this new learning belief system, you have to give yourself grace. You have to be willing to apologize.

[00:08:00] Even if there's things where you go, I don't know why that hurt you. You know, this is, this is how I feel. This is what I think. I'm standing up for myself. I'm finally speaking out or yeah, of course I dropped the ball on that because my worth isn't about what I do. Right? Like we get on our soapbox. And I say time and time again to the people I work with, be very aware that when you speak from a place of anger versus a place of wounding, you won't be heard because all that will be experienced is the anger, that soapbox, that, ah, now sometimes movements have been created by people who are in a place of rage and anger and resentment.

We've seen those things happen and politically that's happening in the world, right? They're just like, ah, versus the people who can stand firm. And say from a place of healing, this is not okay. This is what's happening. Your responses aren't going to make me shift either. When I, I feel very strong in what I'm saying.

Do you see how that's very different place? But that's [00:09:00] the pendulum swinging to the middle, or more of a middle ground, right? So as we unlearn and we get out of the I'm so blah against all the things that happen to me, whether it be because of religion, because of family, because of our society or our culture, and we go, okay, I'm unlearning, I'm going the opposite side, now let me find that middle.

And the middle is your true personality. It's based on your values. It's based on the things that really you want to live by, your moral compass, your ethical code, whatever you call it. That's that middle place. And you find that, and once you find it, you feel that strength. You feel that healing. But you have to walk the journey.

So it's very easy for us to say, well, I'm unlearning this, or I don't like that this is the belief system, I want to break this. But when you go on that path, be prepared for what's to come. Be prepared that not everyone's going to like it. And be prepared that you will get into that place where you [00:10:00] swing to the opposite end and you might attract the wrong crowd as you do that, who are ready to be led by someone who feels the same righteous anger and go, okay, guys, I'm in a, I'm in a trial and error learning process.

Like, let me, let me move to the middle and then I can speak. And then you'll feel much more confident. Our nervous systems, when we start to shift and change our habits and behaviors, you probably have experienced this as you're trying something new. And then all of a sudden you get out of the habit and you get really angry at yourself and frustrated and your nervous system gets all worked up.

It can feel like you've done something wrong, especially if for a long time you feel like you didn't have a voice. You felt like you had to put everybody else first, felt like you had to perform and do for your worth. Right? As soon as we start to shift our behaviors, our nervous system will be like, Mayday, Mayday, going down, ship going down, watch out.

And you're like, what? Why? Like everything is fine. I'm [00:11:00] just learning a new way of being. And so in those cases, I remind the people I work with that it's like, imagine crossing your arm. You could do it right now. How do you cross your arms? Is the right on top or the left arm on top? Like cross your arms however you normally cross your arms.

And now cross them the opposite way. And for many of us, it's like, yeah, that's okay. It feels uncomfortable. It feels wrong. Feels like I've done it the wrong way. The other way is clasp your hands together and do your fingers intertwined. And now do it the opposite way, so your thumb, the other thumb is front.

How does that feel? Oh, that felt weird. That feels uncomfortable. Like, it feels like I've done something wrong. Have you? Or have you just crossed your fingers a different way? So the more that we realize, hey, the uncomfortable feeling, this nervous system being kicked up, I just need to know I'm safe as I do this trial and error, that I'm safe as I'm learning a new way of being and a new belief system.

And whether that's because you go [00:12:00] and work with a coach or a therapist or a guide, whether that's because you involve A team of friends who are like, you're, I got you. You're okay. Everything's good. I know it's, it's scary to start to speak up. It's scary to do less. It's scary. You know, whatever it might be, you've got those people to support you because you'll need that reinforcement for your nervous system to know you're still safe.

You're not rejected. Everything's okay. All is good. Right? So be aware that your nervous system is a big piece of it. That uncomfortability is a big reason why people don't unlearn things. Cause they're like, well, I don't want to feel the shame. I don't want to feel the guilt. I don't want to feel like I've done something wrong.

I don't want to feel like I'm not worthy, but you will never unlearn something if you don't learn to face the uncomfortable. So what are you on learning? And are you ready to go on that journey? Have you really made sure you've got the support and you're really understanding the consequences that will come?

That will be so worth it in the end, I promise. [00:13:00] Once you get through the pendulum swinging and going into the middle and a lot of us want to be like, well, can I just skip to just going straight in the middle? I mean, great. If you figure out a way, please tell me because like, I think you'd make a lot of money, write a book about it, right?

Teach us all. Naturally, it's, it's like the pissed off teenager, right? We're like, this little kid is scared and then we shift to the pissed off teenager. And then once that heals, we're in the middle and we're more foundational. We're like a column of light that's able to say, I'm here. This is what I believe here are my values.

This is what I think. I won't get pushed around anymore. I will not be bullied. I will not be affected by this. My performance is not part of my worth, right? Like you can stand firmly, not be blown by the wind of other people's thoughts and their guilt tripping and their issues with you. You go, this is fine.

That's all part of this journey of growth and personal development that all of us are on in some way just know [00:14:00] It's important that you have that support It's important you have those people who can stand beside you Through the mistakes who can love you through it all and that you give yourself grace to so reflect today What are you on learning?

What would that process look like for you? How can we prepare for the pendulum to swing and what will it feel like when you're finally at the center? And here's defining our balance code. Thank you again for listening to today's episode. As one of my listeners, I have a special gift for you. Do you ever feel like you're simultaneously doing way too much while also not feeling like you're doing enough?

I have a workbook. That's going to help you solve that problem and get to the root of what actually needs to be done and what matters to you most based on your values. Check out my juggling all the things workbook below in the show notes so that you can use this special gift to simplify your life. We all need that.

And if you're [00:15:00] interested in working with me, check in the show notes below on information on how to do so here's to finding our balance code.