Here is the first part of an interview I recently conducted with Laura Gevanter. With a degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst already under her belt, Laura attained her Life Coaching certification from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching in New York City. (Her coaching practice is called Present Tense Coaching). She is also the host of the Life in the Present Tense blog radio program. I think you’ll find Laura’s take on the five reasons people get stuck with self-help interesting.
Greg: I guess the best place to start is: where did these 5 reasons come from? What was the motivation?
Laura: I stumbled upon the term self-help junkie and immediately identified with it. I knew exactly what it meant. It’s the feeling that this newest, latest and greatest book or self-help audio was going to be THE thing that was finally going to get me the results I wanted. You read book after book after book and nothing happened. But I’m reading all these books, why isn’t my life any different? The excitement you feel is fleeting, but the adrenaline rush is habit-forming. You hear about a new book, go on-line immediately to order it and watch the mail each day till it gets there. You then devour it in one night.
Yes, you say as you turn the pages, by the time I’m finished with this book, my life will turn out exactly how they say it will on the back cover. And then you’re done. If you are like most people (myself included) you skim over the exercises (I’ll come back to those later) and breeze over the “5-steps to take to get you “there”. Uh, maybe, but not today. Know what I mean? Self-help does not work. I then gave this some thought and came up with an explanation that really resonated with me (and others I’ve discussed it with) that without using the basic principles of the law of attraction, you will most likely not get the results you are looking for. I’ve identified 5 reasons why self-help does not work and how to get any program to work for you by applying these principles.
Greg: That makes total sense and I’m sure many people can relate to what you’ve experienced. So, I guess the next obvious question is what are the 5 reasons you’ve identified?
Laura: Okay, here goes.
1. Most self-help implies that there is something wrong with you that needs to be fixed. If you look through all the book titles, you will inevitably find some area that you are “lacking” in. The issue here is that there is a “right” way or “better” way for you to be and that is can be “fixed”. You are overweight, out of shape, can’t get out of your own way, procrastinate, chose the wrong people in relationships, etc. If we come from a place of self-love and compassion towards ourselves we can chose to decide to create certain changes in our lives based on the motivation that it feels better than what you are currently experiencing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you, you are perfect just the way you are, unless of course, you decided to take action to become a different and from your perspective, possibly a better version of you. Which leads me perfectly to the next reason, which is…
2) You can’t get to where you want to be until you are okay with where you are. To some people, this sounds backwards and counter-intuitive. If I am okay with where I am then how will I get to be where I want to go? But I am NOT okay with where I am which is why I’ve purchased this book in the first place. Let’s look at it from a different perspective. You’ve heard the expression what you resist persists, right? Well that is exactly what is going on here. If you don’t make peace and accept where you are right now, with all of your circumstances, you will continue to create/attract more of the same. You can move, change jobs, find a new relationship and you will basically be bringing the same energy with you and virtually re-create what it is you are trying to move past.
So, what this really means is accept that this is where you are, in a temporary situation and use it as an opportunity to get really clear about what it is you DO want. For example: You are in a job that you hate. You dread going to work in the morning. It is natural to say “ I am not okay with where I am, there is nothing about this job I like”. Now let me make distinction here. Being okay with something is not the same thing as tolerating something or telling yourself you need to accept that this is the way life is. Far from it. You are using it as an opportunity to clean up your “low energy” thoughts about it in order to allow what you really want to come into you life. The fastest, easiest way to do this? Appreciation. It will send your vibration skyrocketing.
Find any way you can to appreciate something about where you are right now. You can start with your commute if you have one, your co-workers, the hours you work, the office space, the food they serve in the cafeteria….you get what I am talking about. Make a list of any and everything no matter how small about what you appreciate. Once you do that and are feeling a little better about where you are…now is the time to make a list of exactly what it is you DO want in as much detail as you can as if you were putting in a custom order, because that is really what you are doing.
3) You are starting from a place of looking at and focusing on what is are lacking in your life, not what you do have that is working. I cannot stress enough how important this is. If we seek out help in the first place, we are coming from a place that something is lacking in our lives, not a very good feeling place. We see something that we want and for whatever reason, are having a hard time getting there. I suggest that people start from a place of what IS working in their lives, what they have that they are grateful for and see where they are already succeeding. You will start off in a higher energy/vibration than if you were to look at what you feel is missing. What happens to many people is they read all these books, listen to audios and they become experts. Experts on what they don’t have and they start to put their attention and focus there.
So, they start a program all excited and after a while are not getting the outcome they want and feel like they have failed so they are in the exact place where they started and now they have evidence to prove it. When you look at what is going well for you as your starting point you see what is possible and the energy that you are putting out is from a feel-good place. I do have abundance in my life. I am successful at some things. I can create what I want in my life, etc.
Stay tuned to the this blog for the rest of Laura’s five reasons and our interview…