Leaving the Self-Help Section Behind
I am a life coach. I survive on a healthy diet of books, tapes, webinars, and Super Soul Sunday. I have spent millions of dollars over the course of my life trying to figure out who the hell I am, and what my true purpose in life is. I have been uncovering my “authentic self. Yesterday, I had an epiphany. I just may murder the next person who says “authentic self”. I am totally over self-help.
See, here is the problem. The self-help industry, billions of dollars exchanged annually, tends to act as if you are not ok, and that the answer to your not-okayness is “out there…”. If you read the book, buy the CD series, eat the diet supplement, buy the quick fix, you will suddenly feel as though everything is better. It’s intoxicating, addicting and is like the shiny object on the end of a fishing pole that keeps being dangled in front of us with the promise of “everything could be better than it is!"
The unwritten thesis is you are broken, you are not enough, and by doing X, you will be "better."
I personally have bought into this idea hook, line, and sinker. When I get restless or unsure of myself in my life, I want SOMEONE ELSE to tell me what the hell to do. I look for the “a-ha!” moment that has to be right around the corner, just waiting to be discovered. If only I am in the right place at the right time, I will finally “get it” and find the clue that will lead me to happiness and fulfillment and allow me to live my quote unquote authentic life.
This is a lie.
It takes all the responsibility for my happiness out of my own hands and puts in squarely in Oprah's hands and her guest de jour. How empowering is that?
Are you ready for my truth?
We are not broken and needing to be "helped" or "fixed." We are already where we should be. The answers don’t lie outside of us inside the glossy pages of a magazine or between the lines of a book. In fact, the self-help industry can actually keep us farther from ourselves by distracting us from what is really happening for us in the moment.
Self-help can be an addiction that keeps us from hearing our own truth.
Yesterday, I spent some time at a large women’s expo in my home town. I left feeling sad and deflated, as there were so many vendors there that seemed to be telling women that they were not enough. If you buy product X, you’ll feel more like the women you are meant to be. My friend asked me why I didn’t have a booth at the expo, and I thought, well, they wouldn’t want me here. My message is a little bit too raw for this venue. I might say something like, ‘screw all these people telling you that you are not enough, that you need to lose weight, get longer lashes and prettier nails and underwear that sucks in your guts.’ I might lose my mind if I hear a speaker talk about being authentic. I would not be popular because I would be asking women to talk about what they already love about their bodies. What their best qualities are, and how they want to share them with the world. I wouldn’t subscribe to idea that we need someone else to fix us.
After investing more money than I would care to share in the health, diet, and self-help industry, I can tell you that true transformation comes from understanding that we already hold the answer.
No “expert” can tell us what we know deep inside…that we are already authentic. That we are already whole. We don’t need to be fixed. What we need is to come home to ourselves, to stand deeply in what is real for us, and to be honest about what is happening in our lives.
I will never stop learning, reading, and exploring. I encourage you to keep doing the same. The only thing I am suggesting is that you do so knowing that you don’t need to get the answers to your questions from outside. You only need to look deep within, because you already are divine. You already know the truth, you just need to get out of your own way. Sometimes we need some help to learn how to trust ourselves, but you don’t need an expert telling you that you are not authentic unless you buy a book, take a pill, or suck in your gut.
If you want a guide on this journey, I may be the right coach for you. I'm not going to send your outside of yourself though, I am going to show you how to look deep within to find your truth. If you’re looking for the answers to come from someone else, trust me, it may be intoxicating and fun to think there is a quick fix, but it’s all smoke and mirrors.
What is already inside is what you’re looking for.