Why Self-Help Books Are Failing You And What You Can Do Today!

Stacks of books

How many times have you read books, searching for strategies to help with some part of your life you’d like to improve, but you see no results? Maybe you’re inspired as you read, connecting with different parts saying, “yes, yes!” in your head, feeling like you’ve finally found some answers. But as much as you want to change, and you actually try to implement the strategies, life happens and you go right back to your same behavior.

You read a leadership book and see exactly where you can improve, but you aren’t able to translate that into the workplace when you’re in the moment. “I need to be more assertive” you say to yourself, but you don’t know how, and you don’t really know why you aren’t assertive to begin with, so you feel defeated.

You read a dating book and say to yourself, “Omg, I totally do that!” but it just sits in your head and the next time you go on a date, everything goes out the window. You’re on autopilot.

Why does that happen? You WANT to change, you’re COMMITTED to change, but you’re not SEEING change.

I’ll tell you why. Reading books is an intellectual pursuit, and change is an emotional endeavor. So if you don’t bring the emotional side into what you’re reading, it stays trapped in the intellect. Sure you may use tactics that work for a short time, but they’ll fade away because you’re operating from your head.

So how do you connect emotionally to a book? Well, it’s tricky to explain because you’re reading this just as you would a book… with your head. And as I write this, I’m using my intellectual brain to explain an emotional process. See how that’s hard? But I’m going to give it a try.

Below are steps to help you connect more emotionally with the books you read to affect true and lasting change.

Set Your Intention
Before you even begin reading, tell yourself you want it to have an impact. Say “I want this book to help me with X or help me change X.”

Take It SLOW
Don’t devour the book in a few days. You need to break it up into pieces and digest it slowly. You can do this by only allowing yourself 1-2 chapters per week, or (even better) read until something strikes you and then stop.

Put It Down
Once you stop, set the book down for a week and don’t pick it up again. This is where the intellect-emotion part kicks in.

Sit With It
It’s time to bring that intellectual wisdom into your heart/gut/intuition/emotion. This is the tricky part to explain. Right after you put the book down, close your eyes. Drop your focus down to your heart or your gut, then allow yourself to expand, almost like meditation. Is anything there? Do you FEEL anything? At first the answer may be no because you’re numb and stuck in your head. This takes practice! Lots of practice. Keep sitting, but don’t force it. Are images coming to mind? Are you feeling uncomfortable? Is your body “abuzz”? Again, if you don’t feel anything, don’t worry. Try it again tomorrow. Try it every day for a week.

Look For Triggers
Maybe the book talked about taking things personally, and that resonated with you. You then sat with the feelings. Great! Now it’s time to look for where this shows up in your life. Maybe someone critiques an email you wrote and you notice you’re taking it personally. You’ve now identified a situation in your life that relates to something in the book.

Check In With Your Feelings
When this happens, ask yourself how you feel. Do you feel rejected, not valued, afraid, embarrassed, belittled? Do you want to fight back or turn around and hide? What comes up for you? Also, do you want the feeling to stop? Probably yes! Let yourself feel your feelings!

In What Other Situations Have You Felt This Way?
Let’s say you feel belittled. When have you felt that way in the past? What was the situation? Go back as far as you can remember. Maybe you were in 4th grade and you talked about your summer vacation as part of “show and tell.” The teacher chuckled at your destination, only 10 miles away, saying that’s not a “real” vacation. Your heart sank; you felt unimportant. Remember the keyword here is FEEL. The subconscious operates on images and feelings, not words or linear thinking.

Identify The Belief
Behind these recurring feelings is an old belief. Perhaps these feelings of belittling come from your belief that you have to do something monumental to be important. Small acts don’t count. Nearby vacation spots are worthless. Just being you isn’t enough. The email critique stems from feeling you’re worthless. BINGO. You take things personally because it hits the nerve of you not being good enough. You have now made an emotional connection to something in the book.

Change Your Response
The next time you take something personally, you’ll be able to identify it more quickly and know where it stems from. Now it’s time to change your response and behavior. Ask yourself, “Is this person intentionally belittling me, or is this because of an old pattern?” Yep, it’s almost always the latter and simply ACKNOWLEDGING this can make the feelings dissipate. You’re looking at it through a new lens. He/she isn’t belittling you at all, it was just your interpretation based on events from your past. Understanding this allows you to let go and move on. Each time it comes up in your life, you have the power to challenge the feeling, and when you do, it becomes weaker and weaker.

Repeat!
Go back to the book and read another section until it resonates with you and start the process over again. Yes, it’s a PROCESS and definitely takes time, but this is how you’ll turn an intellectual pursuit into real, actionable change.

Do you have a book on your nightstand now that you can try this with? I’ve put this 10-Step Guide into a free PDF so you can download it and use it with your next book. Reference it each time you repeat the process.

Download Turn Your Books Into Action

*BONUS*
Download this BOOKMARK with the 10 Steps. Then print, cut and put it in your book as a reminder!

As always, I love feedback, so please let me know how this process works for you.

Much abundance,
Tracy

Guru Wanted

guru

It is funny how our civilization tends to elevate people.

Sometimes people who are elevated grow a much larger ego, but never really grow their own value inside. People can tell you a million times a day how wonderful you are, but if you don’t feel it inside… it doesn’t matter.

Putting people on pedestals is a disservice to you, to me and to anyone who is placed on a level of perfection will find it’s a threshold they cannot maintain. Perhaps from all appearances they can remain in this state of having overcome their humanness, but we usually wait for them to fall.

We all fall.

We all flounder.

Some of us may have experiences we can reflect upon that help others. I am surely as flawed and screwed up as the next person. And at times people can tell me how I’ve helped them or how wonderful I am… and I just can’t buy into it.

I was talking to a friend of mine and she mentioned a peer who called herself a ‘guru’ and all I thought was ego. No one is a guru. No one. It is our perception which makes it appear they are ‘above us’. I will never be above anyone, but I do feel like I up-level.

To up-level is to become lighter, less encumbered by my own thoughts, feelings and actions. To feel good most of the time, no matter what’s taking place outside of me.

I am more true to myself, more authentic and therefore even if I am depressed or angry, I am way happier than I used to be. Upleveling comes from speaking your truth. PERIOD.

If you ain’t speaking or living your truth then you’re faking yourself out. You aren’t the guru on the mountain, you are disconnected from your truth. I know because I’ve lived both sides of this coin. I used to try to buy into the fact that I could help strangers on a plane, but I could never help myself.

I just pretended I was okay–God forbid anyone find out that my careful veneer of ‘knowing it all’ was utter bullshit. It was a HEAVY burden to carry. Not saying the truth of my feelings out loud and always strategizing left me empty and making decisions from a state of lack rather than abundance.

Stating your truth builds trust within yourself. I do it constantly. I want my connection I’ve built with myself to be sustainable and strong, even when I feel weak. Perfection is the biggest sign of a weak connection to oneself. It says, “I do not trust who I really am, because I will be judged and cast out.”

We can feed ourselves this crap. Or we can get real. How do we get real?

  • Stop telling ourselves stories which state, “If I say my truth, I will be lost, abandoned or annihilated in some way.” This is just our mind trying to keep us safe from going away from our learned beliefs, which keeps us in the behavior of creating shitty stories where we feel incapable of taking emotional risk.
  • Realize everyone deals with issues of self-worth. EVERYONE. And if you hear anything different, it’s bullshit.
  • Resistance comes up when we want to go beyond our walls, or we are not happy with OUTSIDE circumstances. We’re in a place of nonacceptance, which also leads to bad decision-making.
  • Staying in a state of lack. As long as we believe we’re on our own, we’re screwed. Every bad decision you make comes from a state of lack. Some of us think we’ve gotta do it alone, be punished, sacrifice or repent for how horrible we are and therefore we don’t deserve ease, good or anything else. This means we don’t trust ourselves and life. Leading to…
  • Learn to trust yourself and let your inner wisdom–your gut–make your decision. All that mind chatter does is freak you out. It’s a waste of time. It’s annoying and it is NOT your truth.
  • Can’t say it? Write it and share it. I do all of the above.

I have shit just like everyone else; things that get me pinned to the mat, But even so, to disconnect and hide from my own feelings would make it worse. Trying to fix things on the outside before getting real about the inside will never bring HAPPY, FULFILLING results.

I’ve lived a white picket existence, and inside of it I was miserable, So yeah, appearances are just that… appearances.

And I couldn’t give two shits about my appearance at this point. Authenticity is my home.

When will it be your turn to embrace your own REAL, AUTHENTIC, .less-than-perfect self?

And if you want some help, or don’t know if you’re READY for help, schedule one of my complimentary Discovery Sessions… one flawed human being to another.

xoxo

Tracy

 

Read Enough Self-help Books to Fill A Library?

self-help-book-shelf

Me too. 🙂

In the past two decades, I have searched, sought and let it all be…..trying to find the magic ingredients to living this life in a way that reflected success in all areas! And thinking somehow, some way there was a secret to it all!

What have I learned?

  • There is no magic formula.

There are some great quotes, great ideas and thoughts leading to whole new perceptions of life. There is sound advice and it can create some change if we EMOTIONALLY allow them. Does any of it actually provide a QUANTUM LEAP into the life we desire….to the success, which for some of us feels damn elusive!? No.

  • Paying others to help us does not guarantee success.

Experience or taking different action is what will create success. Period.

Sometimes the road is winding and we can’t see it clearly, so having someone who can point out the blind spots–the things we cannot see in ourselves is useful….BUT, we still have to overhaul our own perception on the areas we feel limited. I used to get caught up in this thinking alot.

I didn’t realize I was on a search for perfection. My thoughts focused on “if only I could,” or “why can’t I get there, so I can be happy, successful etc,” and so on.

I DAILY have to accept myself. I DAILY try to do this….sometimes I am successful other times I fail and am stuck. If I don’t hurry to get out of being stuck and instead accept it, I find that is where the miracle actually exists. ACCEPTING ALL THAT IS NOW.

  • George has a formula for his success and it doesn’t mean it works for us.

I believe that someone else’s path to success may give us some useful tools, but it is not guaranteed to be our path to success.

When we give all of our power to someone else’s ROAD TO SUCCESS, we don’t necessarily end up any clearer, or happier or more successful!!! We may follow their formula, but life has a way of not allowing us to control it’s circumstances. What worked for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. And really, I don’t know about everyone else, but I find it very tiring to see one-dimensional people selling their way of success as the only way!

It’s that idea that perfect exists and we must become it to have what we want and it’s utter bullshit.

  • We have our own answers.

We just have to trust them, and be able to CLEARLY hear them within us.

Success is a perception and it’s not always consistent in our lives. Our definition of failure isn’t actually failure…it’s what we perceive it, categorize it as and use as a measuring stick against ourselves. We DON’T KNOW the answers outside of us. We only know what is within us. This is what we control: going with what is in our gut, “our intuition” and being afraid at the same time.

  • Fear does not go away with our most favorable decisions.

Whoever said to be fearless is a goal was smoking a crack pipe. The key is to EMBRACE the fear know it is there and all it wants to do is keep us safe in the OLD. The old thinking, the old ways and strategies, because it is what is known. FEAR comes with the unknown….and that is the only way we actually know we’re doing something different.

  • Doing more of what fulfills us

Even if it is the most back-ass-wards thing in the world by someone else’s standards. DO IT if it feels in alignment with who we are and being kind to ourselves as we’re doing it is THE KEY. The nicer we are to ourselves the happier and more at peace we are…no magic formula…and not about following success rules written by a stranger….it’s about living in our own fulfillment–daily.

  • Something’s bothering us, dig deep 

If there’s a recurring theme, once again it helps to understand ourselves and why we keep playing it out.

Take time to sit back and allow the truth to surface.

When we understand our motivation for our actions, IT DOESN’T MEAN WE ARE IRREVOCABLY SCREWED! It just gives us awareness to understanding and then deciding if we want to take different action. JUST ACCEPT those insecurities…everyone has them and right there, is another key to success. Love those insecurities to death and guaranteed, others will too. Want more-comment, call or email me!