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  • Writer's pictureIngrida Danytė

How the ability to push shapes success in adulthood

Updated: Jun 29

In our journey through life, we often find ourselves striving for various goals and ambitions. It's a natural part of our human experience to dream, aspire, and reach out towards what we desire. But have you ever considered that games that require us to push ourselves physically can be a great support in the process of achieving our goals? Let's explore this concept through the lens of Fundamental neurological actions commonly used in somatic movement therapy.

The forgotten art of pushing

Let's go back to our infancy. Oh, how much we experienced: we tried to stand up, fell down, tried to do that again, and fell down again. It was precisely in early childhood that we encountered five basic neurological actions. First, we honed the skill of yielding (1). Once we became experts at this, we were learning to push (2), and after pushing, we reached out (3) for the toys around us that caught our attention. We grasped (4) them, and if we really liked the toy, we pulled (5) it towards us. If we were to view these actions as a part of our daily movement, it would become clear that Fundamental neurological actions are the building blocks for the phrases and sentences of our activities. In our early development, these actions also established a base for our perceptual relationships (including body image and spatial orientation) and for our learning and communication.

Currently, many of us spend a significant amount of time reaching out – whether it's achieving business or career goals, or pursuing personal dreams and desires. We extend ourselves, eagerly moving toward external goals and aspirations. However, reaching is just one of the five basic neurological actions, each with its place in the sequence of actions. Amidst our constant reaching, we often overlook the importance of pushing. When faced with difficulty in reaching, in therapy we usually take a step back and strengthen the act of pushing. Pushing is an act of separating ourselves from the immediate environment and creating the necessary foundation for reaching.

Imagine a baby who has just discovered the hands-and-knees body position. This infant is naturally drawn to a toy placed in front and instinctively reaches out for it. However, there's a crucial element in this process – the ability to push. While one hand reaches forward, the other must support the body. Without adequate strength in the supporting hand, the baby tumbles to the floor. Over time, the strength of the pushing hand grows, allowing the baby to not only reach but also maintain the desired position. This simple yet profound lesson from infancy illustrates a fundamental principle: pushing precedes reaching, and support precedes movement.

Empowerment through pushing away

When we find it challenging to reach our goals, it's essential to recognize the significance of practicing pushing in our lives. Pushing makes us physically denser, grounding us in our bodies. Psychologically, it teaches us to feel our own boundaries, the importance of maintaining those boundaries, and our ability to support ourselves.

The act of pushing empowers us, imbuing us with a sense of strength. Just as a baby separates itself from its mother or the supporting surface when pushing with both hands, we learn to say "no" to what we don't want. Pushing becomes a tool for creating boundaries and asserting our desires.

Our ability to push reflects our inner sense of support, individuation, self-confidence, and the capacity to move forward. It's a reminder that we can stand on our own two feet and advocate for ourselves.

Practicing pushing in life

When we get lost in our plans, aspirations, or dreams, when it becomes challenging to pursue business and career goals - not everything goes as we desire, let's start nurturing and strengthening the "muscles" within us that support us in this moment.

First, we can turn to simple yet highly effective practices of pushing, allowing us to reconnect with our bodies, feel our boundaries, and establish a connection with the ground. For example, in the mornings, let's incorporate belly crawling or pushing away with bent knees on the floor into our exercise routine, using our hands to push away. Additionally, morning push-ups or weightlifting at the gym can fuel the engine to move forward. Later in the evenings, let's invite our partner or children to play simple pushing-away games - holding hands or shoulders, pushing each other away. These experiences are very enjoyable and uplifting.

Also, let's practice saying "no" more often. When we're not sure what we want, we can still refuse what we definitely do not want. Turn away from images we don't want to see. Don't listen to what we don't want to hear. Don't try to understand what we don't understand at this moment.

We can also support our tangible presence here on this earth: prepare good and delicious food, pay more attention to our personal financial well-being, and nurture the relationships we already have.

Closing thoughts

As we cultivate the art of pushing, we find the balance between reaching for the stars and staying rooted in our truth. Through this dance, we not only shape our path to success but also nurture the very essence of who we are.


Ready to start your transformative journey of self-discovery and healing? Reach out to Ingrida Danyte at, a dedicated Somatic Movement Therapist, and start embracing your path to healing today.

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