It's all the craze but does it work? Here's what you need to know for self-help to be effective.
Everyone wants balance but sometimes it can seem like we're walking a tight rope. Whether it's in our personal life or professional, lives would prosper if we could simply feel safe from falling through the cracks.
In the article Balance Or Bust on CNN, the author sets out on a mission to find balance in her busy life, and in the process learns some strategies that work really well for her. Way to go, Marjorie Ingall! I liked her article although I noticed the desperation and need in finding balance. Since those two things are polar opposites, I'd like to offer a more energetically balanced perspective.
Balance is a verb, not a noun. It's something you do continuously, not something you are. Just like when you're in love, you're actually loving because love is a verb as well; it's an action we choose to take.
Self-help is perfectly named, in my opinion. It speaks of freedom, empowerment and individuality. How awesome would it be if we all reserved 30 minutes each day to become a better version of ourselves, whether that be visualizing the organs of our body functioning perfectly, what kind of day we plan to have or the peoples' lives we intend to positively impact?
What if we took thirty minutes to watch our favorite sitcom at night while engaging in a fun, powerful workout at home in our comfy clothes we don't leave the house in? (Here's the 15-minute workout I've been using for over 14 years.) We would be laughing and feeling better physically, mentally and emotionally from the workout. What if we invested thirty minutes reading a powerful book that teaches us how to use parts of our brain we didn't know existed or how to use the Law of Vibration to create a life we look forward to each day or how to prioritize so we stop wasting time on things that don't matter?
The world would be a different place if we took just a few minutes per day for personal development. We would: feel better inside and out; be happier; have more self-confidence, self-respect and peace of mind. This would, in turn, attract more positive people and situations into our lives because they would be a vibrational match.
Self-help is a buzz-word these days and the fad that many stick with only long enough to realize that taking responsibility for their lives isn't comfortable.
We only grow when we're out of our comfort zone and most people are unwilling to step across that line intentionally, ignoring the fact that the discomfort of their current situation would likely be eliminated. Their self-help becomes shelf-help as the programs that were supposed to transform their life are left on the shelf or in a file on their computer never to be opened.
Is self-help actually helpful? It's like exercises. The only ones that work are the ones you do.
As a Certified Life Coach, I hear a lot of people say they want to transform their lives but fear the discomfort to accomplish it. So many programs are bought and sold on huge promises but the only ones that work for self-help are the good quality ones that are actually used. It's important to choose one program that is a good fit for what you want to accomplish; something you're willing to stick with. Following too many leaders, coaches or gurus will lead you to confusion and frustration rather than personal development.
Use your gut feelings to determine if the self-help program, book, coach is the right fit. Notice how the discomfort feels when you begin the book or program. Remember that if you are in resistance constantly, meaning you're forcing yourself to do something you don't want to do, the outcome will be more stress and disappointment. What you're looking for is some discomfort that feels like you're on the right path and shows noticeable transformation in your life as you move along.
As an example, my clients and I create a game plan to get them from where they are now to where they prefer to be. I coach them through learning skills they will have for the rest of their life to find clarity, purpose, focus, personal boundaries, effectively communicate with all types of people based on personality styles, self-confidence and how to feel good being out of balance. That previously mentioned tight rope is part of life but the rope in my client's lives is much closer to the ground and no longer scary. We also release trapped emotions and beliefs from their past that keep them stuck today. This is transformational because until you realize how much your past runs your present and future and learn some release techniques, you're going to remain stuck to a large degree.
When you find the right self-help for you, you'll feel an eagerness about the discomfort you know it includes. That's your gut feeling telling you you're on the right path. And no need for approval from anyone else as this is self-help, not get-approval-from-all-my-friends-help. And speaking of friends, be prepared for your friend groups to shift and change as you grow personally because you will begin to draw to you those who are on the same page. (This was tough for me before I understood it, so fair warning.)
So, here's your choice as I see it. You can choose to go along with the crowd and jump into self-help while it's the current fad or you can be grateful that personal development is a good fit for you and take control of your life.
Kelly Rudolph is a Certified Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and Founder of www.PositiveWomenRock.com. Are you tired of stress, lack of confidence and fear about your future? Kelly can help. Begin getting her free Life Strategies now.
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