Self help is great in some respects and in others, it can be frustrating, confusing and jut plain wackadoodle.
It’s not that I don’t think it has merit (I am a self help author and coach after all : )
It’s that there are a few central beliefs that are thrown around in the self help world, that may trip people up.
They may actually make you wanna pull your hair out and scream profanities at the universe.
We start to hear them so much—that they are reduced to catchy new age slogans that we sort of tune out after awhile.
You learn about the “manifest your dreams” thing. You study it. You get excited about it. You read more books about it, maybe attend a workshop.
You’re hopeful. Excited even.
And then it doesn’t work.
You still don’t like your job.
You still feel disconnected.
You still don’t have six pack abs, stacks of gold or endless youth and vitality.
And you certainly don’t feel like you’re manifesting your dreams.
So you decide that—
Self help must not work. That woo-woo stuff must be a bunch of b.s.
And you scream profanities at the universe.
I get it. I’ve been there.
If you follow the self help or spiritual growth world—there’s little doubt you’ve heard the following sayings. But as with anything in life, let’s look at them with a curious, open mind and make sure they are truly of benefit to us—and not actually holding us back or a source of frustration (an energy that doesn’t help us to attract what we want)
8 self-help beliefs that may do more harm than good—
1. Everything happens for a reason—Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe some things happens, just because they do. Maybe we don’t need to try to connect ourselves to horrible things, and internalize that we deserve it, or we attracted it. Maybe some things just happen, regardless of our energy, our horoscope or how the planets are lined up. Maybe the only reason it happened is for us to learn to maintain our vibration, no matter what (very good idea indeed)
2. Ask and it is given. Maybe everything we ask for, isn’t given—in exactly the way we ask for it…. Maybe, as the Rolling Stones say—”You can’t always gets what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.”
This, I found to be spot on. While I genuinely believed that winning millions in the lottery was not only possible, but highly probable, it still didn’t happen. But what did happen, is that I won the “life lottery” in so many more meaningful ways than just a mountain of money (but yes, the prosperity showed up too : )
3. You get what you give (or you attract everything to you based on what energy you give out in the world) Mmmmmm, as much as Abraham Hicks tries to explain why young kids get horrible diseases, and why traumatic things happen to innocent souls—I don’t buy this one all the time.
And, it’s another potential black hole for guilt. If all these bad things happen to me—then I must have deserved it, right? This one, we need to take with a grain of salt and be easy on ourselves.
Yes, I do believe we are energetic magnets. I do think there is great value in learning to master how we feel and what we think. I also believe that there are certain things that fall out of our ability to explain, or make sense of. And the best thing we can do is get back to a place of feeling good, feeling better and being playful, deliberate and light about our energy, no matter what happens.
4. Don’t do it if it doesn’t feel good. I am pretty sure cleaning toilets won’t ever feel good to me. Or paying taxes. But I do them anyway. I like not being in jail and having a clean toilet! And even beyond those trivial things—there are the larger growth phases we may go through in life, that don’t feel good. But when we move beyond our comfort zone, feel a bit of the uncomfortableness—the gifts that are on the other side are worth it.
5. Live just for the moment, just for the now. As a parent of an 18 and 20 year old, to tell them to only live for the now and today—would be leaving out a big part of it. Yes, I get the idea behind this one. Be present. Enjoy the now. But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my “now” is pretty amazing because a few years back, I planned ahead, thought about my future and set things in motion to make sure my “now” would be what I wanted it to be.
Sometimes you gotta live for tomorrow a little bit as well. It’s not just about now. It’s about setting the intention to have a succession of successful and pleasing “nows.” That requires we think ahead, plan ahead and create a vision for what we want our tomorrow to look like.
6. Never say never. I am never going to intentionally eat insects. Never. Never going to jump out of a plane. Never. I will never again spend so much of my energy on being angry or arguing over pointless things. There are things I know I will never do again. It’s ok to say never when you’re that clear. Clarity is good.
7. You create your reality. Do the babies that get hurt or have horrible illnesses create that reality? Some would say it’s the parents’ energy. Some would say that yes, that child did, on an energetic level—create whatever is in their reality. I don’t buy it. I think sometimes bad things simply happen. It’s then up to us to react, feel and think in ways that get us back on track, energetically speaking.
While I do believe this one a good portion of the time, there are certain situations that I simply can’t accept as being created by that person. God will have some explaining to do. Again, this one can make some feel like they deserve unwanted or bad things and can create unnecessary guilt and self doubt.
8. We are all mirrors or we are all one. I am not one with certain people. Just no. My energy and who I am, is not one and the same with people who do unspeakable things. Nope. If this is a universal truth, God will have to explain this one as well. Just don’t buy it and I think it turns people away from self help and personal growth.
There is good intention behind all these beliefs. And there are aspects of each, that I believe to be absolutely true.
But the main point we need to remember here is this—
Lets not be sheeple!!! (see definition)
sheeple—people compared to sheep in being docile, foolish, or easily led.
Let’s shy away from believing something simply because the latest, greatest self help author or guru wrote about it.
And better yet, let’s not be spiritual sheeple.
Let’s not believe it just because the latest, greatest self help author or guru wrote about it.
Believe it because it feels right and adds value to your life.
We gravitate towards self help to be helped.
To feel better. To manifest our dreams. To feel loved and connected.
We reach out to self help to . . . get help!
So if it isn’t helping, then move on or take a good hard look at YOU.
Maybe it isn’t the saying that doesn’t work. Maybe it’s old beliefs, ways of thinking and feeling that are tripping you up.
Maybe you do create your reality through your energy—but simply understanding what that means, isn’t enough.
It has to be lived.
And it has to be felt, known and believed in such a way that there isn’t an OUNCE OF DOUBT.
AND THAT, my dear friend—takes patience, time and commitment.
But that’s a whole other topic (and post)
Remember—it takes us decades to learn ways of reacting, feeling and thinking in the world that maybe DON’T work in our favor.
So let’s give ourselves a little break, be patient and acknowledge that it may take a bit more that a workshop, a book or one online program—to change something in our life.
Self-help and personal growth are merely tools we can use to get closer to what we want in life.
But ultimately any of those tools, beliefs and online workshops, aren’t worth a dime if your aren’t going to make a conscious choice to change the thing you want to change.
SO IT COMES DOWN TO A CHOICE.
You have to consciously CHOOSE to change.
But how cool is that?
It’s ultimately, your choice.
Your choice how your life looks + feels.
Who doesn’t have problems?
Who doesn’t have concerns, worries and frustrations?
Most of us, living on this planet have an issue every now and then (understatement).
We have health concerns, environmental concerns, money issues, relationship frustrations, car problems, boss problems, cranky kids—life problems.
It’s not perfect or pretty (or seemingly fair) all the time. Not even.
Sometimes life just gets messy (as in red-hot mess, messy)
And in the not so distant past . . . that has bothered me a tad. It had me asking big questions like—
- Why are we even here if it’s such a struggle?
- Why do we get on such a great life high— only to have shitty things happen?
- Why cant it just be easier?
- Why are people so insensitive (or worse)?
- Why can’t we all just be born with lasting heath, endless supplies of money and unquestionable values, morals and common sense?
Most of us ask these questions (or similar versions or these) at some point.
We all get hurt and we all find ways (hopefully) to rebound when life deals us an unwanted hand.
And what if . . .
—the problems we have are merely opportunities to grab ahold of an even bigger, more profound level of joy, happiness, health and abundance?
—the struggles, pain and hurdles are simply minor road bumps that (with patience, compassion and maybe a couple bottles of good vino) can propel us closer to living our desires?
What if the problem has a purpose?
Because haven’t you noticed that when you experience something challenging and you approach it from the “glass half full” perspective—you come out the other side of that with a greater sense of knowing, faith and acceptance?
When you can make peace with what is + see the potential gift in the problem—you win.
It comes down to this—you have two choices in regards to how you handle snafus, issues, drama + problems—
- You can see every problem a gift. You can see perceived problems as beautiful opportunities for an even deeper sense of acceptance, love and faith. You can see your health issues, your money issue, and your relationship issues—as a great big chance to get super honest and real about what you are truly feeling and thinking in life. It’s a chance to be 100% accountable for your energy.
- Or there’s always choice two. Choice two is to stay stuck, give into the problem, believe it and go down the rabbit hole of despair, disease, distrust and fear. Choice two is the one that perpetuates the lie that we are powerless. Choice two, if we don’t learn from it and turn it from foe to friend—is the one that can wreak havoc on your otherwise incredible life. This choice moves you further away from the life you want. It’s simply the choice to survive (or nose dive) get by, exist and feel more as a victim in life.
You have two choices—to thrive or survive.
And when you choose well (in spite of what trials and tribulations are manifesting in your life)—you turn your problem into pure passionate potential.
Bad ass, unwavering, passion-filled potential.
When you decide to make peace with the problem—you say ‘yes” in an even bigger way to your desires.
It’s how we create miracles. It’s how we go on when the going gets tough.
So next time you feel irritated, annoyed or let down, ask yourself—”what is this problem teaching me, or asking me to step into and how can I learn quickly, efficiently and lastingly?”
Because don’t we all want to learn, move on, grow and be better than we were the day before?
Don’t we all want to be happier, healthier, wealthier and more in alignment with our souls truth?
I say yes.
Bucket loads of love, goodness + joy your way.
“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
So I’m not really going to write about the art of being a whiner, in the sense that I really think it’s an art—and to be appreciated or revered like the Mona Lisa.
Rather, I want to whine about the whiners.
And if you don’t know what the official definition of a whiner is, see below and thank you to the almighty Merriam Webster—
- a person who makes frequent complaints usually about little things
I think we could expand that definition to include big things as well. There are plenty of people who make a habit out of whining about the big things—taxes, politics, environmental and social issues, etc.
But the MAJOR difference I see between whining and constructively bringing awareness to “big” topics —is that whining generally doesn’t involve any sort of solution and it tends to be a repetitive pattern–sort of like a broken record.
I mean, most of us don’t LOVE taxes, but is whining about it 24/7 really doing anything? No it isn’t.
Yes, we can bring awareness to important topics, but in order to fix a perceived problem—we have to quickly switch our predominant focus (vibration) to solution based thinking.
The truth is—we’ve become a society of chronic whiners. And why is that? We have more “stuff,” more supposed freedom and more choices than ever before—yet we whine, we whine and we whine a little more.
We complain about little things like our iPhone reception, the horrible wifi connection, the traffic, how much we don’t like our ______our_______and our________. And we complain about the larger, much more pressing issues—but it seems few actually get out in the trenches and do something about it.
We like to complain A LOT for a society that supposedly has A LOT. So . . . .maybe it’s not the stuff that makes us happy (big hint).
Or maybe it’s that the complaining is actually a pretty big clue that our lives are—
- out of balance
- not appreciated enough
- or a big combination of both
The point is—if you care anything about living a life that is energetically awesome, joy filled and full of things you love—whining won’t be instrumental in getting (or keeping) you there.
Whining ruins things. Whining makes you feel icky. It is an insidious little jerk that winds up sucking the sparkle and light from your soul.
So, what this article is really about isn’t the art of whining—it’s about the art of appreciating.
Because appreciating is really the opposite energy of whining. And appreciation is what gets you happy, healthy, abundant and just basically like a puppy frolicking in a spring meadow full of flowers (I know, it’s dorky, but isn’t it a cute visual?)
Here are 4 simple tips to turn a bad case of the whines into a better case of appreciation and gratitude (because this is what gets you the goods)—
- Pay attention. Most people are super detached from who they really are and how they are showing up in life. Choose to pay attention to the overall vibes you are putting out into the universe. Committing to becoming more aware of what you are offering is critical.
- Notice patterns and major “themes” that you tend to repeat. Do you manage to feel a great deal of gratitude in certain situation or at certain times? And in other situations, notice it heads south into the deep, dark abyss of whiner-land? Note those times that you feel deep gratitude and appreciation and—DO THAT MORE. And note those times you head towards the dark side and—DO THAT LESS.
- Appreciation journal. Create an appreciation journal and before you go to bed every night and write down what you appreciate in your life. If you’re too tired or lazy to do this—go back to step one and start over. The more you find to appreciate, the more to appreciate will find you.
- Practice, commit and repeat. Turn these simple few steps into a new habit. It only takes about 30 days to change a behavior and the same amount of time to create a better habit.
You can’t fix a problem by putting the majority of your energy and focus on what’s wrong. You fix a problem, big or small (world hunger or a hangnail)—by focusing on the solution and then bringing action and appreciation into the mix.
Is it idealistic (or nearly impossible) to try to find something to appreciate in the face of something painful or horrible? Yes, it can be. But it’s the key to being able to change it. Plus, it just feels way better than staying stuck in feeling bad, powerless, frustrated, angry or resentful.
Let’s choose to create habits and ways of being that support living beautiful lives—lives that we find more to appreciate and be grateful for than we do to complain about.
Lives that our dear grandmas would be proud of.
Here’s to you! I know you will choose wisely.