The “Let Go” Guru
This post is inspired by lots of personal development posts I’ve been reading lately.
I almost want to apologize up front if any of my other friends from personal development blogs are reading. (But not really) This isn’t personal, it’s just time to step up our game.
There’s a shit ton of personal development information on the net. Much of that information is around philosophy, and rightfully so.
- Your philosophy is what drives your attitude
- Your attitude is what drives your activity
- Your activity is what drives your results
- Your results is what drives your lifestyle
If you’re lifestyle sucks then you’ll probably want to take an in depth look at your philosophies around different area’s of your life. Your philosophies around money, family, your faith, love, relationships, friendships. You know, take stock in all of the important stuff.
Philosophies are a funny thing though because they can be floaty, sound like woo woo and come across as impossible intangible things to wrap your head around.
Much of the time until I’m really ready to hear something, the message just goes right in one ear and out the other. I imagine it’s the same for lots of other people too.
So whether you’re a reader or a blogger you may or may not be ready for this.
Ambiguous Self Help Language
My beef is ambiguous terms of self help talk like:
- Let go of limiting beliefs
- Change your thinking
- Stop thinking a thought
- Come to the realization
- Just let go
I understand much of personal development is read by people who are looking to improve the quality of their lives. Otherwise they wouldn’t be reading it.
But there’s only so much information that can be articulated through a blog post. Much of that language can tell you a lot about the person writing it. Or at least where they were at the moment they wrote it.
A good example of this is a quote from a fellow PD blogger:
“First accept that you are for example stuck in focusing on something trivial. Then let it go. Don’t try to just reject what you are thinking or feeling because that will only make it harder to let it go.”
Don’t get me wrong, It’s a decent philosophy and it’s better than no philosophy at all or a bad one. However, I put myself in the shoes of a person who was stuck and here are a few questions that popped up for me:
- “What does let it go mean?
- “What’s that look like?
- How would it feel to let go?
- I know I should let it go but how?
- or most importantly How will I know when I have let it go?“
It’s almost like saying, “think positive and your life will be better.” Um bullshit.
I don’t see a lot of clear examples defining the terms I outlined above. There are lots of ambiguous terms that still leave the reader wondering wtf and asking themselves all the questions I stated.
So let’s take the phrase from above as an example.
In the quote it mentions letting go and I think it’s important to state what letting it go looks like. In my humble opinion it is when you accept your stuckness. You find the gift in the quality that is creating your resistance. There is a wisdom or a lesson in your what’s creating your pain, always.
So what’s the opposite of Stuck? It may depend on your definition of stuck. Myself personally, if something is stuck, the opposite would be loose. If I was coaching someone one on one I would clarify this before moving forward. For the sake of this writing let’s go with loose.
The gift of being stuck could be the gift of loosening up. Maybe you’ve been going too fast for too long and you’re just wound up too tight? You’ve lost sight of what’s most important. Identify the fun things you are missing in your life. Identify the projects, people or actions that you are currently experiencing and are sucking the energy from your life like an $1800 vacuum cleaner. (Yes i have one, don’t ask)
That could be a gift of feeling stuck. Lubricate the lining of your life with some enjoyment for gods sake. You may be stuck because you’ve stopped doing the things that you really love or enjoy that bring contentment & fulfillment into your life.
So in stuckness a few gifts that could be found are time to define, enjoyment, what you like to do that you realize is fun all while gaining clarity.
- Identify the quality you’re resisting
- What’s the opposite of the quality
- What’s the gift(s) in the quality
- Thank the quality for the gift(s)
- Plan support of your insight
When you can acknowledge the gift in being “stuck,” you dissolve your negative attachment around “stuckness.” You change your framing in which you see stuckness and/or feel it.
The other key is when you can come to the realization on your own rather than someone just telling you to come to it, you own the decision. It’s yours. You not only know this new information, you’ve internalized it. This is the first step in internalizing transformation.
Now this is where you may think everything’s fixed. Poof, handled right? Nope, now you would need to put in place a ritual, habit or routine that supports this transformation over the next few weeks until it’s part of your new self.
This is one way you don’t react and resist when crazy shit comes up again. That’s when usually the same old stuff continues to persist. Instead because you’ve put in place support routines, habits and rituals you respond, with love and accept the gift.
Transformation can/could occur through reading, listening and watching personal development information like say via this blog or many other blogs. Again though it’s self help and it’s just that. Self help.
Self help is like changing the oil in your car, you can do it but lots of people don’t like to. That’s why there’s jiffy lube.
Maybe some of these blogs are Ok with being just that. Maintenance for the brain.
I look at growing myself almost like working on a car. I could probably take the engine apart trying to find what’s wrong but I wouldn’t know the first fucking thing about identifying the problem or about putting it back together even if I did. I’d have to hire a mechanic to do it for me.
Now I could be grasping at straws here but I think you and I are a hell of a lot more complex than a car engine. (that’s me being a smart ass)
There are lots of times peeling away the parts of our lives that don’t work for us requires a facilitator to help identify what’s there. Someone who isn’t a guru but someone who just facilitates in helping us find the answers on our own.
No one wants a boss or a guru but everyone would, can and does benefit from a coach.
Personally I’m just as guilty as any one of the blogs I’ve seen recently, of doing exactly what I’ve identified above. It’s why I’m able to project it out as clearly as I am. The difference Is I want to do something about it.
In the mean time feel free to share your thoughts on the “let go guru” idea or in fact the lesson I shared within the guru rant. (Identifying Your Qualities)
Very well said.
I grew up in the protestant Christian church. This tends to focus around words – and during church services the sermon. A critique I heard of sermons many years ago is that they are 'short on exhortation and long on instruction'.
I think most self-development blogs (and books for that matter) are like that – long on exhortation short on instruction. The last resort of those who aren't clear enough to provide descriptions or processes is to blame the reader by saying they just aren't motivated enough. (On this I could wax very eloquent but shall spare you.) (I think there is a good deal of protestantism/revivalism in PD – on which I could also wax eloquent and won't.)
For those of us who are PD bloggers I think we need to provide how-to's – otherwise it's just lecturing or sermonising. Do I always live up to this? Sometimes I do opinion pieces on topics or just provide perspective(s); but I do try to give how-to's as well.
Tony Teegarden says
Good feedback Evan.
I notice not many (If any one) else commented on this so I do wonder what
they think of this. (Maybe they're too busy blogging? Lol)
Here nor there I know the Philosophy is absolutely key and critical to
whether a person implements the “how to's” but shady ambiguous language and
just telling someone they need to do it is silly shit.
You should “wax” eloquently any time brother.
Trece Wyman says
I tend to think of what you are talking about as 're-framing”. For example, I just found out that I need bi-lateral knee replacement; not the news I was expecting. I admit, I got a trifle hysterical at first, but then I asked myself, “What is the blessing in this? What is the gift?”
I try to turn situations over and look at different facets when unexpected things happen. I ask myself, “How can I look at this differently?” I don't always succeed, but it has been a useful technique for getting unstuck.
Tony Teegarden says
Excellent point Trece! Reframing it is!
The idea behind modeling success is called NLP. Reframing is a part of that
toolbox. Tony Robbins uses the hell out of it however it can be a very
complex subject to master. I know just enough to be able to start making
change palatable for myself and others that I work with.
Sounds like you're consciously deciding how you see things and that's
amazing my friend.
Kudos, Thank you for sharing 🙂