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!
Talking about a spiritual awakening is either going to make you—
1. Squirm —and make you run away and never come back (either because you are already fully awakened, you think it’s nonsensical woo-woo, or you are choosing to stay stuck in your comfort zone) There may also be some eye rolling and you may say to yourself “these PEOPLE and all their talk about spiritual crap, the light, the crystals, the patchouli (yuk!) the warm and fuzzy—ENOUGH ( I still heart you, I loathe patchouli, am not particularly warm and fuzzy, I swear, eat meat and don’t compost…..and yes, I am highly spiritual)
2. Perk up—and dive right in with me (because you get excited just hearing the words “spiritual awakening,” are mildly annoyed, but curious or just like diving in!)
First off, what is a spiritual awakening?
A spiritual awakening is a very personal opening and awareness of your intrinsic connection to a higher power which you may call God, the Divine, your spiritual Guides, the almighty, universal energy (or whatever word you associate with your creator)
And if you don’t believe in a higher power, then your spiritual awakening can be that thing that makes you feel more alive, connected and authentically YOU.
You without the mask, the layers, the wounds, the baggage and the stories that you carry with you that hold you back from being, having and doing all the amazing things you are here to do in this life. Maybe it’s being in nature that makes you feel spiritually awake. Maybe it’s playing with your dog, being with your loved ones, traveling, working out, yoga. There is something out there that just makes you feel more alive.
That thing that makes you feel more you, more alive, more LOVE—is the very thing that will help you have a spiritual awakening.
This “waking up” can make us feel all sorts of different things such as—
- fear + apprehension
- tiredness and wanting to sleep more
- restlessness–a desire to move, shift, change . . . GO!
- increase in dreams, intuition + synchronicity
- physical changes in your body like more sensitive to light, sounds, energy
- a deep desire to spend more time in nature
- more meaningful and stronger relationships with certain people and a complete disconnect from others
- a sudden increase in ideas, thoughts and creative energy
- increased (healthy and conscious) sex drive
- a call and sincere desire to be of service in the world
What are the signs that could mean you are ready for a spiritual awakening?
Really any of the above listed items, with the addition of boredom, grouchiness, extreme disconnection, depression . . . any extreme change in behavior or feelings can indicate that we are disconnected from our soul and those extreme feelings are a great (although they may not feel that way) indicator of our need to wake up and connect with our souls calling.
But it doesn’t have to be a big bummer or negative that leads us to that path.
We can be super happy, feel alive and aware, but just feel a need to go DEEPER.
Listening and discerning are the keys to being able to have a spiritual awakening. I think most of us know when our lives are out of balance and we feel shitty. I think most of us know when we are on track and feeling connected.
Discern, listen and pay attention to what your soul/sprit is trying to say to you. You always have support. You are always connected to the divine. It’s just a matter of choosing to see the truth in that and then also choosing to say YES to that calling.
Choose the awake version of your life. It is far, far, far more satisfying and magical than the mundane, blah version.
I won’t close with “in love and light” because that may be FAR too warm and fuzzy, but I will tell you I care, I believe in you and I know that mounds of miracles are possible for you.
Excellence is a habit, just as much as a lack of excellence is a habit.
But what is excellence?
In my world, which is a world based on a strong connection to the divine (God, Source, Spirit, whatever word you choose)—excellence isn’t so much about the stuff you have, the letters after your name, or the tax bracket you are in.
And it is for sure not about being perfect.
It’s about the quality of life you have.
Excellence (in The 2 Choices world)—is about how you feel and how connected and in love with life that you are. It’s also about feeling a sense of inner success—that you’re on track, pointed in the right direction and feeling generally super ON FIRE about your life.
It’s about your evolution, and your overall energetic offering to the world.
Yep–it’s about energy.
And yep—it’s about the CHOICE to do things in a way that get your energy up**, so you can attract more divine gifts (quality food, nice things, luxury, travel, love, health, joy, harmony).
Excellence is a habit. Happiness is a habit. Success and living lives that really feel good—are all habits.
And habits are a choice. And if you’ve been following me for anytime at all—you know I am all about the power of choice.
If we truly desire to change any little or big thing in our life—and create a sense of excellence—we need to choose it.
And then choose it over and over and over again (create a habit out of it).
Yes, Aristotle is spot on—excellence is a habit. And I may add to that—
Excellence is a choice.
The following list is what I personally follow on a day to day basis that has turned my life around—180 degrees.
And I say this with a sense of humility, grace and gratitude.
There is no chest pounding here.
It’s an honest soul share—from me to you.
I was broke and broken. I was confused, sad and angry. I felt lost and bored with my life.
And then I found a way out. That way out (and through) has gifted me with—world travel, incredible personal and professional relationships, peak health, financial abundance, real joy, and a deep sense of gratitude. .
I want everyone to feel this way.
The list . . . 11 Daily Habits to Create Excellence
Creating your own unique personal excellence routine is one of the most amazing forms of self love and self care that you can gift to yourself. I fully encourage you to use the one I created, or come up with your own!
Just as we get into habits that don’t support our dreams and desires and life—we can create new habits that do support what we want. And in the end—it is a choice.
If anything, remember that each day, how you live your life—is a gift and a choice.
I sincerely hope you choose to love the heck out of each day.
p.s. I will be in Paris, Provence and Rome this May-June, scouting for retreat locations, book business + to follow through with a spiritual calling that has been growing stronger and stronger (it has to do with Mary Magdalene). Excited to share this next evolution with you all.
**up also meaning aligned, pure and free of mixed vibrations or energy frequencies.
If I stumbled across this heading, I would probably be like . . . no way!
Get outta here. Only two?
No one is gonna tell me I only have two choices! I mean come on, we live for our choices, don’t we?
We live for having many choices.
It’s what makes us feel free.
There is something quite expansive about knowing you can choose many different things.
And there is also the flip side, which I know you have most likely felt—that sometimes it feels like there are TOO MANY CHOICES.
I call it choice overload.
It’s when we get that deer in headlights sensation—when it is just too much, too many, overload to the senses.
So, yes, on one hand having many choices can be a great thing, and on the other hand—it can be counterproductive.
Having too many choices actually holds us back when it creates that sense of being overwhelmed and also when having too many choices creates an inability to make conscious, grounded choices.
So, whats an inquiring mind to do?
If you are, like me, I want to have the best possible life that I can. I want to feel free, happy and alive. I want to feel peace, harmony and abundance. I desire travel, good food, happy people around me and I desire things in my life to just be super dialed in.
Don’t you want a life that lights you up? Where you are excited about each day.
Thrilled. Magical. Sizzling.
Harmonious + Free.
Prosperity? Yes. LOVE? YES PLEASE!
Success on your own terms? Absolutely.
Can you relate to this?
Can you relate to wanting to be super in sync with your life? To know and feel such a deep sense of truth, that there is just no doubt.
No doubt that you are on track—in your zone. And If you are a spiritual person (or faith based ) then you also want to feel a sense of being connected with your higher truth, your larger vision and your God, your Source.
This is truly when the magic happens.
I believe, that when we get to this place—this is when the miracles really start to show up for us.
And having these things show up in our lives (or not show up) is a choice.
When it comes right down to the nitty gritty of living blissful, connected lives—you have two choices.
You get to choose one path—which is a set of beliefs, feelings and general ways of being in the world—that line up with and support your dreams and desires.
Or you have the second choice—which is to think, feel and act in ways that don’t support you.
Two choices (which really encompass many different choices) but can all be narrowed down to either things that support your divine path, or they don’t.
You are choosing love, joy, happiness, optimism, connecting, awareness, gratitude, appreciation, faith, surrender–things that get you energetically lined up for success.
Or, you are choosing blame, guilt, hate, anger, victimhood, unconsciousness, self-hatred, self-sabotage—you are choosing things that you know, on some level—are holding you back from your greatness.
Two choices—to be in your zone of creating what you want, or to be in your zone of creating what you don’t want.
You get to choose. That is the brilliant thing about it all.
ps Find out more about these 2 choices and what they can do for you. Get my bestselling book, The 2 Choices on Amazon right here.