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

Use These Daily To Feel The Love

I thought I would create a slightly different blog post. It’s not about a holiday, it’s about a year-round commitment to loving yourself.

  • Surrender the struggle. We stay in a state of resistance to what is in our lives and wonder why we feel bad, instead just surrendering can open us to a deeper wider space to connect and be creative with seeing opportunity where there once was none.

Surrender the struggle.

  • Take time to connect with what you really want to feel inside of yourself before you respond, react or take inspired action. Often we’re in autopilot and this leads to the same results over and over again. Getting clear will help you make decisions, which feel good (once you get past the fear), but also move you out of your comfort zone and into a deeper connection with love and life.

Take a step back to choose differently it creates better results.

  • Boundaries are not rules for others, they’re affirmations of how we treat ourselves. When we take care of our needs, we respect ourselves, we’re kind loving, giving, forgiving and our own best friend, we exude this to the outside world and they respond in kind. If not, then we make a choice for ourselves, not for or about the other person. To maintain our boundaries is to choose to feel good not because or in spite of another.

Boundaries are not rules for others, they're affirmations of how we treat ourselves.

Anger is a great indicator that all is not well and that these three things aren’t being practiced. Start today and do all three daily this week and see if it makes a difference by the end of the week in how you feel……and in how others treat you too.

Please post in the comments below to let me know how it went for you!

 

blog-signature1

The Impact Of Being Honest

231892-fantasy

Most of us live in stories.

Heck, as human beings, we love a good story! One we relate to in some fashion, whether it’s our own experiences or something fantastical making the impossible appear real.

The issue with the stories we tell ourselves is their limitations. We may not dare to stretch beyond the confines of it, because it’s scary, or we feel unworthy or somehow undeserving.

And we stay stuck.

I had a multi-nuanced stuck story around dating, just like most of the b.s. we feed ourselves.

I always thought I was different, a bit odd–hard to love. In contrast, even though I was weird, I was special and unique. For years I thought I was perfect (measured in what I gave to others–not because I believed I was amazing), and on the other hand, I felt I was easily discarded and so on.

All the contradiction represents how I had a great deal of it in my self-evaluation. My story stemmed from a place of unworthiness, judging myself harshly (as I used to do); holding everyone and everything to a crazy-ass expectation!

Can you relate?

So… this story around dating.

A deep epiphany: People meet you exactly where you are with yourself.

I saw myself on a past first date. I was engaging, nice, interacting  (Hell! I was in sales for years, I know what to ask.) and usually asked out on a second-date. It was my goal. Make it so they liked me…and then I’d hook em’!

Hahahaaaaaa…I laugh at this image now (I sure wasn’t honest back then)!

The b.s. here: I could show up as emotionally unavailable (It’s exactly where I was, ahem!) and lo’ and behold after the guy was done chasing me….it turned out he was emotionally unavailable too! What a surprise! Not.

That epiphany hit home on a very deep level, people meet you exactly where you are, so the next time you want to finger point, put your finger back in your pocket.

My story was based in fear.

The fear of engulfment, rejection, losing independence, not believing I was lovable (prove it!) and so on. Lying kept me stuck in this vicious circle for years.

I didn’t realize I was lying, it was just the story I always told myself. Until I came to realize how lonely, disappointing and draining it was to live and date this way.

Man, I was so scared!

It’s no wonder I talked myself into half-relationships, or soulmate situations with high drama! Staying in this heightened state of pain with few euphoric moments kept me in the biggest lie! The biggest story I could tell myself, so I was the victim and the heroine at the same time…

And the biggest lie was this is all I deserved.

It was unlike a movie with its romantic drama, it didn’t get tied up in a neat little happy ending!

It was an unraveling leading to an amazing awareness!

Until, I started to accept my b.s. stories around “I’m meant to be alone,” or as a friend said to me years ago,”I think you’re here on a spiritual journey and aren’t meant for a relationship.” (Um, our greatest spiritual lessons come from relationships–staying alone actually keeps us stunted in our comfort zone)

Do you get what I’m throwing down? Do you get our lives are based on our choices, our perspective of ourselves and what we deserve?

As I started working with my dating coach last week, I found I’d already moved into deeper awareness. Just the act of hiring her, committing to me, lead to this epiphany, (it was before my first appointment) something I heard a million times, but never really got emotionally.

The impact of being honest about my past way of dating, lead me to the discovery of choice, empowerment and re-weaving of what I thought was possible for me.

As I took more responsibility for my part and how I acted in fear, I could see the contrast of what is now feasible by trusting myself. Trusting the Universe with my conspiring feelings, lead to my visual: anything is truly possible!

Want to be released from the prison of limitation? Commit to changing your story! Find a way. Allow yourself to question everything.

Perhaps, like me, you’re ready to really do it honestly? Deconstructing the story? Scheduling a discovery session with me can give you insight into whether you’re really available to change or you want to stay stuck in your story a little longer.

Click to book a complimentary discovery session.

Being Real Or Being Numb? Why It Matters.

316170_191948630881476_145519288857744_437212_1813833428_n

Do you ever act or speak in ways to be accepted or looked to as someone who has your shit together?

I mean, having the appearance of being ‘real’? Down to Earth?

For years, people said that of me.

I said that of me too.

It wasn’t true.

Being numb can seem like real or calm to the world, it gives the impression that all is well, until, well, it isn’t.

If a crisis happens, or even better, if someone criticizes you….how do you feel?

Do you feel shame? Are you cringing, as though you’ve finally been found out? Do you do a ‘mental’ scramble to get back in auto-pilot, appear in control?

It’s really a sign of being numb. Numb, numb, numb…until a sharpshooter pierces your veil. Unraveling the ‘real’ disconnection to yourself.

Insulated, in control of all circumstances (it gives the impression of peace/calm), builds a small world. Even if you travel, move residence, buy or sell a company, a car, get in a relationship….or go to yoga, in other words the appearance looks like action….but you still feel bad.

Appearances aren’t the true story.

Being numb means repetition: buy more, sell more, travel more, work more and so on.

Taking you back and forth between calm and anxiety. Calm when all is under control, and anxious when it appears you can’t trust what is happening.

Yup……..

I know this so well. SO WELL.

I journaled this morning, thinking about my recently hiring two different coaches, for two different areas of my life. And how in the past, when I hired someone, I looked to outsmart them! As though, the issue was to prove I was okay, successful, etc, so I could believe help was useless. To appear evolved was more important than my happiness and well-being.

I went to therapy only to be told I was too evolved.

Really?

No way.

I knew I could intelligently explain what was going on with me, speak psychology, but really…I wouldn’t have been sitting in their offices, had I not been suffering from a shit-ton of anxiety.

Being real was NOT happening, there was NO vulnerability.

I intellectually leveled the playing field, so the therapist had no more knowledge or power than me. Crazy right? If I was feeling inferior and wanted to show I was superior, how the fuck could I get help?

It took me a long time (this scenario was over a decade ago) to get it emotionally. The defensive way I stood ground, proving no one could help me. Oh brother!

I looked calm, in charge and connected. I WAS NUMB. Until something out of my control happened. In the form of a relationship or monetary loss, or some security. Anxiety would pull me a long day after day, while I intellectually tried to solve the problem.

Intellectually trying to resolve feelings or emotions makes you numb…there’s a wall inside of you keeping REAL out. It locks out fulfillment, while protecting your stale belief system.

Your world gets smaller. Being real requires emotional risk. Not actions that just look like risk, like quitting your job and moving to a third world country to help people. It requires emotionally being connected to your WHY, to challenging yourself to break open, to breathe, relax, allow, trust, YOURSELF and life.

By smaller, being unaware that your life is HUGE repetition of last year. It’s familiar, you don’t go deep and act from there. Numbness is preferred. REAL possibility doesn’t exist, because you repeat the past.

How is it real? Being numb matters, because YOU never experience life at the level of inner fulfillment.

Being real means non-attachment to outcomes, being emotionally present and stepping into UNLIMITED possibilities! A numb control freak cannot do it.

For me it’s having help, allowing it. So, if I start disregarding advice… I ask: will this help me if I disprove it? Or will I be more fulfilled, successful, happy and so on, allowing a helping hand….by being real and vulnerable?

It matters to live this way. It sparkles! Being real is a flow, it’s a free ride, because the cost of being numb and rigid to old ways is gone. Every time I say YES to help, to emotional risk and listening to my heart–my external circumstances bring more fulfillment–connection.

Want to break out of the numbness? Want an opportunity to really grab onto a shooting star and FEEL amazing? Schedule a discovery session, we can dive into together!

 

It’s Complicated.

Confused-HuffPo

Why do we human beings complicate the crap out of everything?

  1. We’re bored.
  2. It’s what we know.
  3. We like drama.
  4. We’re not good enough or worthy.
  5. We’re afraid of abandonment.

And so on.

It’s a circle of hell.

I moved this week and even though I’m self-proclaimed as the queen of disorganization, I’m also pretty anal about having things completed and my ducks in a row. It’s how I get to the end result, which was the complicated part.

I decided that I would just ‘let go’ starting with the internet/cable company having their computer call back 8 times in three days, and threatening not to show up on Tuesday, if we didn’t answer the same questions. I would not call the president of Charter Communication (I already had a conversation with him a couple months ago) and just breathe, remaining in a state of ease through the move.

I did call their customer service who didn’t understand why we wouldn’t answer the questions from the phone robot, instead get on board and take care of the issue. The deal is folks, I lived in a world of uptight for years! Years.

I was anal and full of expectations, so do you know what most of my thoughts used to be around? Failure. Other people letting me down, me letting me down and expectations of perfection, which were enough to stress someone out and give them health issues.

I assumed constantly; I looked for problems, always strategizing to solve them before they happened. It’s what can appear to make most of us Type A’s successful, but it also makes us crazy!

I thrived on people handing me a flaming inferno, so I could figure out how to put it out and change the circumstances (in jobs, clients who hated on the company ended up becoming my new best friends), because I over-cared. I took it personally, if shit was not working and this translated to my personal life.

I spent sooooooo much time trying to prove something, fix everything and everyone; my life was complicated with minutia, and it served a purpose (I didn’t know it at the time), so I could do one thing…..avoid myself!

I remained free of criticism or disdain (in my own mind), as long as I was handling everyone else’s shit. I couldn’t be abandoned, I was needed and it was complicated. EVERYTHING was an ordeal; it kept me busy.

Know what I mean?

What’s your biggest problem right now? If it is anything outside of you, then I have news for you…you’re WAITING on someone or something else to change. And that situation or person has your power, as you WAIT for what you want.

Notice how much time you spend assuming, strategizing and looking at the rest of the world as the issue and if he or she or it would only get their shit together!

If you spend any time imagining a variety of scenarios to whatever it is keeping your life complicated, then I have news for you, nothing will change, until you decide YOU are going to change.

My move was significant in terms of other issues showing up and my decision to keep breathing, staying in a place of ease. Where I would normally be uptight, I let it go. I asked myself what good would it do to fight? I no longer had the drive for it!

Life is not so complicated anymore. Relationships which were complicated are gone–my thinking around them gone. In fact, the realization on a deeper level of what real connection is and is not has floored me. Even clearer is the old way of moving at lightening speed created from the complicated scenarios in my head have fallen away too.

All the years of impossible to-do lists and the feeling of emptiness around their fulfillment is gone. In fact, if I find myself starting to go down the OLD road, I immediately stop. No thank you.

To desire ease in your life is one thing, to actually live into it and the simplicity it brings is another thing.

Being in a state of ease means allowing, connecting, and trusting. 

Allowing yourself time, space and the peace to receive help, opportunity and clarity. Slowing down and having awareness when you start to automatically speed up, why are you doing it? What complicated crap is rolling around in your brain? (Remember 90% of our thoughts are repeated daily)

What problems were resolved and you now feel a state of limbo or stress, as though you don’t know what to focus on, is it complicating your thinking?

Allowing yourself the internal space to breathe and just focus on creation from your heart (not your head) is hard to do, if you’re not used to it. You may talk about letting your heart lead, but what are all the excuses you have as to why you cannot?

To maintain a state of allowing is not to sit back and eat bon bons, it is to participate, place effort daily and allow others to show up. It also means letting go of perceived control and never feeling bored again.

Connecting to yourself means you know what you want, how you really feel and not hiding from your own truth. I guarantee once you start living this way, your whole life simplifies, you’re no longer trying to please or outthink anyone else. You do things deliberately without holding onto the outcome.

The connection to yourself takes courage, because fear has a loud voice–so any time you notice all sorts of voices in your head telling you WHY you cannot do something, tell them to shut up and focus in your heart, your gut…listen for the answers from your inner wisdom, and get uncomfortable. Real uncomfortable.

You are leaving what you knew for the promised land.

Once you see yourself from a place of truth, all the complicated thoughts cease. You stop over-caring about their existence and the meaning you gave to them about your self-worth. You connect to your true value. Drama becomes boring.

Trusting from the inside out is an act of compassion, vulnerability and love. If you allow yourself to relax, to say okay to the unfamiliar and trust yourself when you make decisions from your inner wisdom, miracles happen.

Second guessing, and strategizing are no longer appropriate. You roll with the waves, you don’t play victim or have crazy-ass expectations. You trust in yourself, a higher power and life… that it really will all be okay. It’s understanding your control is really inside of you not on the outside and trusting ease.

Ease only comes when we’re willing to participate in the flow of life, instead of standing on the outside of it, complicating every situation, so we have stuff to roll around in our heads and believing it’s entertainment or our life wouldn’t have meaning without it.

Need some help moving into ease, please schedule a complimentary discovery session with me and find out how you’re blocking your own good time.

 

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

 

Falling In Love With…

Falling…as in doing a face plant into love. Sounds sorta painful doesn’t it?

Often for those of us with a penchant for perfectionism, we may find ourselves with a lack of awareness falling into something, and at some later point waking up wondering how we got there!

Our fantasies had originally taken off with our now ‘real’ mate as the central focal point in the perfect play. And we wonder over and over, how did we get here? In the beginning we believed it was perfect, now it has become a fractured fairy tale.

Some of us find this position, not just in relationships, but searching for salvation in some part of our lives. Looking for that scenario–always perfect in mind, and we hope its what saves us…and the one we PERFECTLY imagine to be our dream come true, until it’s not.

What goes wrong?

Acceptance…or lack thereof.

I’d be remiss in not mentioning other items of equal importance, which add to the dissatisfying smorgasbord associated with ‘falling anywhere’.

An inability to shift your perception. Ignoring your own intuition and basically letting your subconscious run rampant with its ol’ rule book! The one about remaining within the guidelines of your belief and it’s supporting cast of patterns to keep on doing things the same ol’ way!

Acceptance leads to falling deeper in love with yourself.

It’s kinda boring isn’t it, to keep thinking and doing in the same ol’ way? I find it rather exhausting when I start to wonder why circumstances don’t change when I find myself in the same ol’ bullshit.

I’m keeping this short.

If you fall in love and wake up wondering what the mystery meat is, it is you. It is your lack.

Lack of awareness, acceptance, understanding, ability to shift or change, desire, and love for what you choose and who you are!

Lack

Lack

Lack

lack in attitude

Wanna skip the face plants? Aren’t you over being in a state of attachment to an ideal and ready to really feel the true abundance of fulfillment and love?

Then do it now.

Fall in love with yourself and everyone else in your life (with or without a mate)….and pay attention. Look for where you see lack and recognize it is not true (only in your mind). Look at your desire for perfectionism and ask yourself what has it ever got you, which made you happy?

Find yourself….and let go of the impostor who has been masquerading as you all these years and falling, instead of grounding and then rising into acceptance of every little nose hair, wrinkle, and imperfection both inside and out.

Even if you make millions of dollars a year, YOU will never be happy deep inside until you really do love yourself for just being YOU.