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.
I know some self help books can get sort of (yawn) BORING. But I do have a list of favorites that have helped me personally to achieve greater wealth, health + happiness.
My Top 10—
- Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown. I love this book because it deals with two things that are very close to home for me—courage and vulnerability. All of Brenes books are amazing, but this one really spoke to me. If you are ready to ditch feeling small and incapable and ready to recognize your true potential—give it a read!
- The Game of Life and How to Play it (Prosperity Classic) by Florence Scovel Shinn. This book is super old school, but well worth a look. The author show you how to increase your results in your life with the power of the spoken word. It’s basically manifesting 101 using the power of words. There is a strong Christian slant to it, but I consider myself to be more spiritual than religious and I still go back to this book again and again.
- Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte. What’s not to love about Danielle? I also love her most recent book The Desire Map, but Fire Starter Sessions in my favorite! This book got me totally fired up and ready to create.
- Carry on Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life by Glennon Doyle Melton. This is part self-help and part memoir. Glennon’s book was one of those that I couldn’t put down—from start to finish. I could relate so much to her (funny and frightening) stories about addiction and downward spiral. The book is really worth the read if you’ve ever struggled with self worth issues, addiction or shame/guilt in your life. She also has an incredible online community called Momastery.
- 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey I love this book because it has a lot to do with my topic of CHOICE! I think I first scanned this book on my dads book shelf way back when. It’s old school and highly worth the read. This book consistently makes it on many “best books” lists.
- The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace T. Wattles This book is somewhat of a cult classic and is along the vein of Think and Grow Rich and The Richest Man in Babylon (also great reads . . .) This book gets into the psychology and mindset of creating abundance. If I notice myself slipping into old patterns, I pick this one up again and get back on track.
- The Law Of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham by Esther and Jerry Hicks. I first learned about manifesting and law of attraction through the Abraham-Hicks material and it has changed my life. They were really the pioneers of LOA and manifesting (even though The Secret would claim otherwise). All their book are great and truly helpful if you believe in LOA and manifesting (try it, it just may change your life!)
- Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How to Say No by Henry Cloud. I added this book to my kindle awhile ago and forgot about it (hmmm, interesting how sometimes we block out the things that would be the most helpful) This book is CRITICAL for anyone who struggles with healthy boundaries.
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. What’s not to love about Elizabeth Gilbert? Her book, Eat, Pray, Love was such an inspiration and Big Magic is another great read by this author. I had a chance to see her recently on her book tour for Big Magic and I love her take on living a creative life.
- The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. This is just a must. When you can get to the place when you are operating your life from the “right here, right now” place—you win.
I have about 50 more I could add to this list, but I chose these as my top 10 because I feel each one of them has had a significant impact on at least one area of my life. The key with any sort of self help or personal development tools—is to make the choice to actually USE them.
They can’t work if we don’t work them.
What are some of your top self-help or non-fiction books? I would love to know!
Yes, that is me right there in front the Eiffel tower with my lovely daughters.
One of my bucket list items was to take them to France and Italy for a couple weeks and it was such an incredible experience.
I have a thing for France (I am there yearly) but this was my girls first time to get to experience the whole European thing.
It was truly a memory I will cherish FOREVER! (thank you God)
Some people may look at this and think “great, its easy for her . . . she has money” or “how self-serving” and even “that won’t ever happen for me.”
I so get this, because I used to think and say those things (and in fact, sometimes I slip and find myself falling back into patterns that don’t help me live to my full potential)
But the truth is—I didn’t get to the Eiffel tower, to spending weeks in Europe and having incredible relationships and experiences—by coming up with great excuses and justifications.
I worked on my shit.
I healed the places that were stuck, dark, angry and just plain icky.
We can’t get to our next “level” of growth and awareness if we are stuck in patterns that were responsible for getting us there in the first place.
Simply, we need to change if we want things to change. And it’s really not that hard.
Scary? Maybe a little.
But whats worse? Stretching to a new level and feeling some discomfort along the way—with the hope of creating new, great things in your life.
Or……playing it safe, staying where you are because it’s “a sure thing, ” safe or comfortable.
What feels better? What feels worse?
All it takes to live a life you really want—is to consciously know what it is you desire, write it down, nurture is like a tiny baby kitten and then get (and STAY) excited about that tiny baby kitten (which is the love, the travel, the experiences, the new home, the healed relationship with your mom)
You can’t expect to get to Paris, when your stuck in Wal-mart (no disrespect if you’re a Wal-Mart lover—it just creates a feeling of “lack of” whenever I have ventured in there)
You can’t expect to feel high energy and on top of the world, when your feelings and beliefs have you feeling buried.
You cant have a ton of $$ in your bank account when you FEEL broke.
You start the process of living an exquisite life by actually starting to live like you have one.
But how? How do you get from feeling mostly burnout to feeling beautiful?
You take baby steps and you are relentless about doing nothing other than working on feeling good, feeling better and being clear about your desires. You gotta know what it is you want first, then you gotta learn to be a vibrational match to that thing.
Then you sit back, chill-ax and know it’s coming (but you cant get irritated + annoyed if you think you’re not getting it when you want it…you can’t fall into that trap)
Most people won’t be able to jump from broke to billion, so you start one day at a time, choose your thoughts, feelings and actions to line up with your Eiffel tower—that thing that truly lights you up and that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.
p.s. what’s your Eiffel tower? What’s that thing you want to conquest next? Let’s get on it! Share with me—I wanna know!
Today feels like a great day to begin a soul cleanse.
A soul cleanse—oh yes, yes, yes!!! What the heck is that, you ask?
A soul cleanse is a deep look into what is working/not working in our lives.
A soul cleanse begins with asking— “what uplifts me, what inspires me, what turns me on and gets me fired up, makes me laugh, smile and feel playful?”
What makes me feel good. Really good?
And conversely it asks “what is dragging me down, sucking my energy, leaving me feeling depleted, bored, sad and tired?”
What is making me feel crappy?
A soul cleanse is about weeding out what doesn’t feed your higher purpose in life. And it makes room for more light, love and connectedness to the Source of all life.
Then take note. Allow this new space of openness, shedding of old s**t and letting in of the wanted, the pure, the beautiful and the true.
And if this feels to . . . woo-woo . . . too “out there”—then simply do a little mini cleanse. This can be cleansing your e-mail account of old emails and unsubscribing from lists that don’t add something of value to your life.
It can be getting super honest and clear about what you choose to do with your extra time in life. Is watching TV at night really uplifting you? (and the answer can be YES. The answer doesn’t have to be NO. If watching a couple hours of mindless TV at night helps you relax and it’s working for you—then the only thing you need to drop is the guilt about it and just enjoy it—guilt free.)
You could also do a mini juice cleanse (I am starting the blueprint cleanse in a couple days . . . LOVE this one. I always come out of a juice clean feeling super alive.) Or you could commit to removing junk food from your life for a couple weeks.
The sky is truly the limit. The point of a soul cleanse is to just accept, own and embrace the fact that you have all these delicious CHOICES in this life. And what you choose—impacts your life on so many levels.
So, I say—CHOOSE THOSE THINGS THAT GET YOU CLOSER TO THE TRUTH OF WHO YOU ARE—YOUR SOUL.
Ask that beautiful soul, today, right here and now—what you can do for it.
And just listen. Listen to that part of you that knows, knows exactly what it is that you need.
What did I discover from sitting on the beach for 9 days?
Mainly, I learned that I like sitting on the beach for 9 days! Who doesn’t, right?
But it certainly didn’t start out that way.
I was checking my phone, fidgeting and generally struggling to relax.
I was also REALLY judging that guy with the selfie pole. Who created this? Lord help us.
It honestly took me about 3 days to settle into vacation mode and allow my body, mind and spirit unwind a bit.
And it got me thinking . . . I think for most of us, it can be a challenge to settle into vacation mode when we spend most our time in “get it done” mode.
So it’s critical that we learn ways to drop in FASTER, so we can enjoy MORE and stress LESS.
Here is a quickie list for learning to quiet your mind and settle into vacation mode quicker, faster and more efficiently—
- The week before you leave for vacation—plan on getting through your to-do list at least 2 days early. This was you won’t feel rushed to the finish line (departure date)
- Print out all your travel stuff, itineraries, places to eat, etc.. at least 2 days before you go. The goal is to really get all loose ends tied up 2 days before you leave, so the two days before you leave, you can calmly and enjoyably pack and take care of any last minute things that didn’t get done from the to do list.
- Set an intention for you trip. Don’t just wing it. Why are you going? What’s the main pull? Set an intention for smooth travel, enjoyable people sitting next to you on the plane (one can dream). Pre-pave your vacation as being super relaxing even before you arrive.
- Once you arrive at your destination, unplug. You will survive if you don’t check Facebook and Instagram for a week. You will live. If you can’t totally unplug (oh,come on, just do it) then make a commitment to yourself to only check in once a day. Really, unplug.
- LET IT GO. Have fun, unwind. Be present. Let go of your concerns and fully immerse yourself into where you are at—if it’s the beach, get in the water, try something new, order drinks with cute umbrellas. If you’re in Europe, don’t be a stodgy American—try the food, attempt to learn the language, see the sites, be patient and enjoy the culture. Wherever your travels take you, make a sincere effort to BE PRESENT and enjoy the experience.
The main thing to remember is—what’s the point in taking all the time, spending all the money, if you’re just going to be taking pictures with your selfie pole the entire time, or staring at your phone?
The purpose of getting away—is to get away. It’s to drop into a new experience, do something different and let our minds relax. Because in that, we get inspired. We grow. We make room for the next big thing in our lives.
So go take a trip.
Get to know new people. Try some weird food and learn how to say thank you in a new language.
Get out there an explore. And chill out and be a nice, patient, conscious traveler when you’re doing it.
p.s. In the 2 choices world—you are either doing things that line you up with living an amazing life, or you are choosing things that keep you separate from that. And it ultimately comes down to learning how to manage your thoughts and feelings. To learn more about the 2 choices, check out my book on Amazon. And choose wisely!