Inside the book

You’ll find

Ground-breaking Concepts, Techniques, and Exercises to help you achieve your goals.

Concepts Like:

Techniques Like:

Exercises Like:

Family Pie Exercise

The purpose of this exercise is to begin to highlight some of the threads by which you are bound to your family. The better you understand the roles assigned in your family—especially the role you are expected to play—the better you’ll be able to differentiate between your role and your true self. This exercise can help you begin the discovery-recovery process that will, in turn, prepare you to change.

  1. Get a large piece of blank paper and 2 different-colored pens. Choose 1 pen to represent you.
  2. Draw a big circle and divide it into as many pieces as there were people in your original family.
  3. Label each piece with the name of a family member,
    including yourself.
  4. Write a detailed list of your qualities in your designated piece with the color you chose to represent you.
  5. Then write detailed lists for all the other pieces in the other color—except for qualities that are the same as yours. Write those in
    your color.

Digesting Your Family Pie

The first thing to recognize is that the qualities you have used to describe yourself—the ones in your pie piece—are the qualities that make up your idea of who you are, the ones assigned by your family to maintain the balance. But while true of you, these qualities are only a part of who you really are.

Perhaps you describe yourself as insecure or irresponsible. If you’ve written “secure” or “responsible” in someone else’s pie piece, these qualities may be yours as well. Take some time to wonder why you adopted these particular qualities, however you learned to be who you are:

  • What messages about yourself did you receive as a child?
  • What stories about you are still being told?
  • What was your nickname?
  • Are you the one who was “always late for school”?
  • Were you the one “Mommy could always count on”?
  • Were you the “little angel” or the “little devil”?

If you look carefully at your history, you may be able to see how you were guided or encouraged to act in a particular way or to think of yourself as a particular kind of person. You may approve or disapprove of the part you were cast to play in your family drama, but this is the person you decided your family needed you to be.

Using these tools will help you discover:

When you can you will is not intended to take the place of therapy.
It’s intended to help you recognize the Good Reason you’re stuck,
and appreciate the Obstacle that seems to be blocking you