If you are close to me, you would know that my self-help journey started about 3 years ago now. Throughout the past 3 years I've gone through many ups and downs. Happiness euphoria's and the lowest of ditches.
And each time I dug myself a ditch, I wondered...how the fuck did I get here...AGAIN?
Some self help gurus like to skim over this part. I am here to burst that holy fucking bubble.
You can positive affirm to the high heavens. You can read all the self help books available to you, go to all the workshops and lectures you could pay for, and you can be riding the smooth wave of abundance.
But, (and this is a big but) you are still going to have bad days. Like, really bad days. Maybe even bad weeks.
Here is part of what I have experienced. Both sides of the self help spectrum.
When you enter into this world of self help, every one seems so shiny and bright and happy. All the fucking time. They seem to be so calm and loving and as if holding space is no biggie. And. So. Damn. Skinny. And. Pretty.
This is how I felt when I first started my journey. And I too, thought this was easy. I was feeling better, more positive, more capable. And I felt that way for a while, even in the face of some nasty shit that went down in my life. I thought "Oh I can be like that too, I just have to think wonderful, happy thoughts and POOF my life will be better."
I'm sure I annoyed some people with my "see this with love" echoes. But hey, shit was working for me at the time
I'm not here to bash self-help (OBVIOUSLY).
I am a self-help teacher and what we teach is damn valuable and does help a lot of people. But as a teacher, we also have a responsibility.
The problem that lies in all this is when you become addicted to it. Addicted to self-help.
That when you start believing that if you aren't thinking happy thoughts, you aren't going to fly.
We become addicted to the next best thing in self-help land. Wondering, is this is going to the one to change our lives from here on?
I'm not saying you won't have epiphanies. You most certainly will. I 've had plenty of goosebump moments from simply watching a video or reading a passage. These things do resonate with your soul. My soul has been moved, many times.
But, your soul changes very slowly. No matter if you think that tomorrow is going to be drastically different. It may, it may not. You may be different, something shifted IN you. How you see things will improve. And that is fucking awesome. But you won't "poof" yourself to betterment in an instant.
That takes support and continuous practice (which many of us are probably lacking in). This is part of the reason why I am currently uncomfortable with coaches who charge 500 dollars for one hour of work with them. That's a hefty price, that some people can afford, but most cannot. I'm sure in that hour I will come out with some fantastic realizations but if I can't afford the support to keep them implemented...that leaves me so shorthanded. Who knows though, maybe one day I'll feel like my advice warrants that price tag....500 dollars an hour does sound pretty damn nice : )
Acute realizations are not everything in this modern world we live in. You are human. Yes, we are divinely human. We are cosmic beings, but we have a body too.
You know when you have a shampoo that you love and it makes your hair look so friggin amazing you swear you will NEVER use anything else? And then.....after a few months, a year...that shit just stops performing so great and you go back to "eh" hair? And so the search continues.
It's the same with self help. At different times in our lives one concept is going to work for us. Then through self discovery or other changes in our environment, even in our beliefs, what you think is your "faith" in it starts to waver. To err is human. To question things is normal. To wonder if there is something better out there is typical.
So then, out of fear and lack of "faith"... we google, and google, and read and read. This can lead to the next great discovery that will propel us on the next leg of our journey. But it may also drive you absolutely bonkers.
For me and I'm sure for many other women and men out there, it has driven me bonkers.
There are so many different ideologies out there, so many points of view, so many innovations that we can become overstimulated.
We start to question every.single.thing.
This is not something they tell you in self-help books. Or maybe they do but they make it look pretty.
Self-help can be an addiction too. It can be a replacement for all the shit you affirmed over earlier. That shit catches up with you. Same way a binger can go from stuffing her mouth with food, once she inspires her "discipline" she can eat nothing. A new addiction to replace the other.
I am guilty of this. Recently I realized that, I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to look my absolute best whenever I was going to do a pin-up style photoshoot. Every shoot I usually felt disappointed because I didn't look the way I wanted to and I felt awkward. Now that I am on a journey of feeling confident in my skin as it is, when I signed up for a new photoshoot, I felt this overwhelming pressure to get my shit together and feel 100 percent confident so I could rock the new photoshoot.
Do you see what I mean here? That is not something that is healthy either.
When was the last time you read a fiction book?
Next time you are at the bookstore contemplating over The Secret and The Power of Now (both great books by the way!) put them down for a minute and pick up Harry Potter or the like.
Buy the self help book but also pick up the wonderful works of a fiction writer. Their minds are just as valuable and inspiring.
I mean seriously, look at what has become of J.K Rowling...all with the use of her brilliant imagination.
Self-help books touch on the importance of creativity but they don't really explain how to tap into it. It is hard, especially if you are someone like me. Thinking I need to unravel all my wounds BEFORE I can do anything else.
It's just not true. You need both a change of mind AND inspired action.
I know that more and more coaches out there are starting to realize the importance of action and are finally speaking up about it. The mind and body are meant to be used together
You really can't just visualize and affirm winning the lottery if you don't fucking play it.
I however do want to go a little self-help on you and realize the important of SURRENDER.
So, you've tried everything, every book, every affirmation, every meditation, every program. And it's still not enough. You're still anxious, nervous that you aren't doing it right, pissed because you aren't seeing results (totally justified). I've been there, so many times. I'm here to tell you, give it a break. Take a break from reading all the emails, searching for the next book that's going to change your life. Just give yourself a self-help detox.
You feel like you are wasting more time cause you aren't happy and living the life of your dreams as so many of those coaches claim they are. But I promise you, things will unravel the way they need to.
It is not easy to let go, and don't blame yourself if you can't right away. We all have threads we hold onto, and when we are ready...we will let go.
I used to blame myself so hard for not having my shit together, I sometimes still do. But that is no help. I've fought with my own nature of being an introvert, of being slow to learn, of being slow to implement. And I've felt so flawed because of it. Maybe it is a flaw, or maybe it is MY process. Throughout my life, I have rarely said "oh I wish I would have done that sooner, or I wish I would have learned that sooner." Maybe I've felt that way, but then I realized I feel comfortable with the pace and that it is my process to let things drag on a little bit longer than most of the self help gurus would say is okay. Some people do great with being pushed, some people like it, need it, enjoy the pressure.
I sometimes do, but most of the time. I just don't. No coach, I'm not going to ask for that raise after 6 months because considering the circumstances I KNOW rationally it is not possible. You need ration and you need ridiculous. It is up to you to decide what needs rationalization and what is better being absolutely ridiculous.
My path is both.
Oh and the other thing is....you will never "arrive" at self help land. It's a process that never ends. And to evolve is something to be cherished.
My Self-help Detox suggestions:
1. Buy a fiction book and read it. Get lost in the fantasy, the ridiculousness. Be in awe of how someone's mind can come up with such otherworldly stories. You never know the kind of inspiration that could pop up in your head.
2. Do not read any self help emails, quotes, or books for at least a week (be careful of social media too). Or however long you think you need. Maybe shorter, maybe longer.
3. Get creative. Get a coloring book and color, paint a room you've been meaning to paint, be in nature, go to the ocean, color you hair or nails crazy colors, take a new class that is not self help or business orientated (cake decorating, paddleboarding, rock climbing). Fun is very important in helping yourself.
4. Bitch it out. For christs sake. Just bitch and moan all of your grievances. Your it's-not-fairs, your why me's. You probably resist the urge to do this because you don't want to get dragged down, but you may be suppressing the darkness within you that also needs the spotlight just as much as your light does. Make sure you do this around those who love you unconditionally (not around your boss or co-workers. not on FB).
If after these 4 suggestions you are still finding yourself overstimulated and reaching dead ends give this a go:
5. See a therapist/psychologist. Coaches are powerful tools in guiding you out of destructive patterns and reaching your goals but a psychologist can help you with any chronic mental illness you may be facing and don't know. Sometimes these ups and downs could be bi-polar disorder or very deep wounds that go beyond the self-help world.
Obviously I love self-help stuff, but everything in moderation. I do believe finding the right coach for you and your needs at this certain time in your life is very helpful in ending the self-help agony you may be facing on your own. You probably need support. If this is the case, put all your self help research to good use and decide what's most important for this period of your life. Is it emotional eating? Simply eating better? Business? Quarter Life Crisis? Spiritual?