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SORTTing Out Rackets

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

Last week we explored a way to quickly and effectively SORTT out issues. We simply uncovered the underlying core value / need behind the grumbling emotions, took steps to resolve the emotion and took action to generate a solution.

This week we'll add to that, by SORTTing Out two types of common rackets.

Rackets are the grumbling "truths" / complaints that we repeat over and over again about ourselves and the world. They can make us feel depressed, increase our sense of powerlessness, and make us feel like a victim in our lives.

However, when addressed properly, rackets can also be a first step in a powerful daily life-practice that leads to less stress, more grounded sanity, greater satisfaction and win-win solutions for all. SORTTing out rackets not only helps us to shed emotional bricks and to see the world more simply and clearly. It opens us up, reveals new doors and opportunities, and frees us to experience a world beyond our previous limitations.

For example, maybe you've heard (or had) rackets like these:

  • They are all crazy.

  • I'm not good enough (smart enough, funny enough, tall enough etc.)

  • They get that (great house, great income, great girl) because unlike me, they have an unfair advantage (rich parents, prittier, smarter, etc.) so there's no point in me trying, I'm powerless.

  • They are bad/wrong/jerks/evil/terrorists because they don't fit my preference (religion, race, status, lifestyle)

  • The universe is out to get me -- "I'm not allowed to be happy. The minute I'm happy the universe finds a way to mess me up."

  • I don't want drama / toxic people around me

SORTTing out rackets not only helps us see the world more simply and clearly. It sheds depressing thoughts and opens us up, it reveals new doors and opportunities, and it frees us to experience a world beyond our previous limitations.

Rackets are most often a sign of:

- pain that hasn't been resolved - grief that hasn't been released - voices within ourselves that haven't known a better way to ask for what we need

In other words -

Rackets are tragic attempts to express and feed our core values.

SORTTing out rackets returns our personal power to us.

As a first step to SORTTing out rackets, let's make sure we're not over-generalizing.


One kind of racket uses general, broad, sweeping terms like, "always, never, nobody, everyone, everything, nothing". These rackets blind us to the infinite diversity of nature by collapsing our perception down to one little hurt focus.

Nobody listens to me. Women are crazy. Men are jerks. Everything in my life sucks. By shifting the absolute of a generalization to a specific action, person or thing, we can (one step at a time) reduce our mountain of misery and find new options, like this:

Some people don't listen to me. Some women are crazy. Some men are jerks. Some things in my life suck. Can you feel how the second set of statements opens your mind to see other truths?

Some people sometimes listen to me. Some women aren't crazy. Some men aren't jerks. Some things in my life don't suck quite so badly. By going from absolutes like, "always, never, nobody, everyone, everything, nothing" to more specific and moderate phrases like, "some, sometimes, this one thing, this one person" or something very specific, we can free ourselves from over-generalizations.


With a single action, person or thing to address, now we can SORTT out the pain starting the "S" step with things like this:

Yesterday, John didn't listen to me. Sometimes Isabelle acts crazy. Tom can be a real jerk sometimes. I don't have the money I want right now.

SORTTing A Racket

That brings is to the next step, and a much larger pool of rackets. Whenever we have a recurring pet peeve, a recurring complaint, a cynical story that we tell on repeat like a proud badge of misery, the repeated explanations we use to talk about ourselves and others, we're probably exercising a racket. If we are telling a story about why we are victim to circumstance, if we are explaining why we are powerless, we are probably exercising a racket.

Behind every racket is a yearning, a core value, an innocent underling need, that's tragically trying to express and resolve itself. It wants resolution, but it doesn't know how to get it. Frustrated, it turns to grumbling stories of defeat. To actually resolve the racket, it helps to actually sit intimately with the core yearning.

What might be examples of common yearnings behind some common rackets?

Here's one example:

Racket: I'm not good enough - I'm not smart enough / funny enough / tall enough etc. What am I deep down, secretly, yearning for when I tell myself I am not good enough? Maybe I'm yearning to be wanted. Maybe I'm yearning for appreciation. Maybe I'm yearning to finally accomplish what I have wanted to accomplish. Maybe I'm yearning for a kind of joy that I've been dreaming about.

Can you feel the difference in your body between these two?

A: "I'm not good enough" and B: "I'm heartbroken because I am yearning for appreciation."

Do you see how we've moved from the "S" part of SORTTing to the "O" part? Do you see how we've lightened a weight from "feeling defeated" to "feeling sad"? Can you see how we now can move to the "R" part of SORTTING it out, exhaling the heartbreak and sadness, and inhaling the fact that actually, we're really yearning for appreciation? With 90 seconds, tracking, release and taking action, we can finish SORTTing this out permanently.

Here's another example:

Racket: They get that (great house, great income, great girl) because unlike me, they have an unfair advantage (rich parents, prittier, smarter, etc.) so there's no point in me trying, I'm powerless. What am I deep down, secretly, yearning for when I tell myself this conclusion? This could be:

a yearning for ease. a yearning for security or companionship. a yearning for my own power.

Now we can SORTT it out. We can sit for 90 seconds attentively feeling the grief and angst that is yearning for a felt sense of my own power. We can spend 90 seconds inhaling how sweet it would be to feel a felt sense of power, and exhale the grief. Release, Track, then find a request you can make of yourself or others to get the felt sense of your power, right now, that you're hungry for. You can return to the article on Generative Requests if you get stuck.

Here are other examples of the yearnings, the true core value, that might be behind other rackets that are tragically trying to be heard and resolved:

Racket: They are bad/wrong/jerks/evil/terrorists because they don't fit my preference (religion, race, status, lifestyle) Ex: my boss is such a racist jerk.

Maybe I'm yearning for safety, comfort, peace of mind. Maybe I'm yearning for a world with more kindness in it. Maybe I'm yearning for support for my own choices, community. Racket: The universe is out to get me -- I'm not allowed to be happy. The minute I'm happy the universe finds a way to mess up my life. Maybe I'm yearning for ease Maybe I'm yearning for joy Maybe I'm yearning to finish grieving past losses. Racket: I don't want drama / toxic people around me.

Maybe I'm yearning for ease. Maybe I'm yearning for shared play. Maybe I'm yearning for calm connection and intimacy. Maybe I'm yearning to focus on living in my own joy. While rackets might be a good first step in the S part of SORTTing it out, if we don't SORT them out, unfortunately:

- they keep coming back over and over again

- they're not helpful - they don't contribute to resolution - like a hypnotic brain-wash, they prevent us from seeing other possibilities or having a different experience - what we focus on, we get / interpret / project - we don't take responsibility because our victim story gives up our person power Remember, rackets (both our own rackets and other people's rackets) are tragic attempts to express and feed core values.

Now that you've seen how to unpack the yearning behind a racket, here is a quick review for how to SORTT out and resolve them:

- S - Say it - let yourself really enjoy the racket. Make a puppet and really go into it, fully express it. - O - Observe it - find and feel the innocent core value / yearning the racket is trying to give. What is the heart most yearning for? What pain or grief is wanting to be resolved? - R - Release the Emotion - sit with the felt sense of the yearning - inhale the yearning, exhale the racket, the pain, the grief. Do this slowly, deeply, 3 breaths, 90 seconds. Feel the release of the unhappy, focus your attention on the yearning. - T - Track the shift. Am I less emotionally charged now than I was before, or more? Give it a number. If it's not a 2 or less, go back to R and repeat. - T - Take action - what request can I make of myself or others that would feed this core value right now?

Sometimes in life we try to make ourselves feel better by telling (and re-telling) a racket. Doing this, we shift our thinking from pain to self-justification, from sadness to self-defensiveness, from hurt to cynicism.

Sometimes we try to avoid our pain, sadness and hurt by "looking at the bright side of things" or by telling a rational story to try to explain it away.

While these methods may comfort some people, SORTTing it out is not about temporary fixes or band-aids, but permanent resolution. Instead of the spiritual bypass of trying to change the mental channel, we actually address the core issue and care for it. This isn't about the mind assessing and evaluating what is happening. It's about providing actually empathy and actual action to resolve the core so that we can return to the spark in each of us.

By SORTTing out our rackets, we can reduce enormous amounts of frustration and find easy steps to provide care and resolution. When we regularly SORTT out rackets, we are lighter and more compassionate as human beings, and more able to see the innocent core values in others' tragic expressions, as we facilitate them to care for their needs in less tragic ways too.

When we are skilled at doing our own SORTTing, we can more quickly and efficiently help others to SORTT out their rackets too.

Here's to less anger, more compassion, more fulfillment and more power to live joy!

What racket will you SORTT out today?

Walking The Talk

How can you benefit from this Tip for Sanity?

  1. What is the tip described here? Describe when and how it could be applied.

  2. What are some pros and cons of SORTTing out rackets we come across each day?

  3. How might life be better if we and our friends SORTTed rackets instead of being weighed down by them?

  4. Where might you apply this practice to increase resolution and fulfillment in your life? In your relationships? At work? In your community or groups you enjoy?

  5. Very often, depression stems from not understanding and taking action to care for our needs and others' needs. How might using this tip reduce depression or dispair for yourself and others?

  6. What do you value as your biggest take away from this week's Tip For Sanity?

For more help with this tip, or if you’d like a free phone consultation toward an ongoing coaching relationship, call Maya toll-free +1 (800) 889-3829 Tue-Sat 1-4pmET or click here to book an appointment.


Maya Gail Taylor's work with more than 10K clients as a consultant, coach certification school owner, wellness coach, tech developer, author and human evolution trainer has earned her more than 500 LinkedIn endorsements. She trained extensively with Marshall Rosenburg, David Deida, Ken Wilber, Newfield Network, BayNVC, Integral Institute and many others, while delivering her own body of work called "The Integrated Approach" (TIA), a meta-catalogue of skills and technology supporting the evolution of human consciousness through psychographic awareness, balancing, empathy and a 10-point integrated emotional intelligence informed by needs-consciousness and the transpersonal. To learn more about this method, follow LIFTnibbles on YouTube, Instagram or Facebook.

In sessions with Maya, you can trust you will get care, confidentiality and extraordinary results.

Click here to schedule a session or call +1 (800) 889-3829 Tue-Sat 1-4pmET.

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