As you Stage Climb, you’ll encounter hooks – parts of yourself that act as obstacles standing in your way of living life at your target stage.
Hooks are anomalies to the way you normally function. Think of them as your connections to stages other than your default stage, which is the stage that you tend to identify with currently.
I use the word “hook” as a metaphor, because these lower-stage hooks do keep you hooked to a lower stage. You might also call them your “hang-ups.”
In Stage Climbing, hooks are your thoughts, feelings, and/or behaviors that are characteristic of stages (other than your default stage) in a given life area. And in order to be considered a hook, it needs to be identified with a specific stage.
I believe hooks develop for so many reasons: genetic/nature and/or environmental/nurture. Too often the hook’s origin is not clear or even traceable. For this reason, I rarely spend a lot of time exploring the origin of a hook. Instead,
I help people identify, understand, manage, and remove them.
As you will see, this is an extremely important part of the Stage Climbing process, as it is a key to resolving your most daunting issues.
Sometimes a hook to a lower stage is like a “fly in the ointment.” explaining why you have difficulty enjoying life or some important aspect of it. Some hooks are blind spots – you don’t realize you have them, but others around you might.
Sometimes you are very aware of having other hooks and often only you are the one aware of them. In this case, they might be some of the parts of yourself that you choose not to change or to share with anyone else.
The question you need to ask yourself regarding a problematic hook is whether or not you are willing to do what it takes to “unhook” it. Do you want to manage it, remove it, or neutralize it?
Hooks can sometimes work for you in certain specific situations – and when they do, enjoy and cultivate them. But as you learn more about the lower stages, you’ll see that more often they tend to hold you back.
More about hooks next week.