When a potential client who is interested in my services approaches me and they immediately start listing all the self-help books they have read; I become very curious. Why? It reminds me of the phenomena I notice frequently that I have coined the “boob job effect”.
The “boob job effect” is when I hear a woman saying that she has low self-esteem and increasing her breast size will give her better self-esteem. I haven’t been able to pinpoint the logic on that one.
I have nothing against self-help books or boob jobs. I think self-help books are a great resource in gaining clarity about your patterns and creating a new game plan. What fascinates me is when people look to self help books or anything else for the quick fix to what they feel has been alluding them most of their lives.
When a potential client tells me that they’ve read everything self-help related or that they can’t get enough of a particular self-help guru, it gives me an indication of where they may be stuck.
Because constantly looking to books for the answers means they aren’t doing the real work. They are looking to a book for answers, but not looking within. Books can aid you in the inward search, but they can’t do it for you.
We often look to an expert to tell us what is wrong and to help us fix it. The problem with that kind of thinking is that when you look outside of yourself for the answer, it isn’t completely effective. We have all seen people who have changed their job or lost weight, but they still feel incomplete.
Fixing what is “wrong” about the circumstance can’t give you what you want; since what you are seeking is a feeling.
Reading all the books in the world cannot give you that: only you can.
You are the expert on you.
You have all the answers.
It’s just a matter of going within and listening.
How do you do that?
Here’s a couple of ways to get started:
1) Get quiet
2) Tap into your feelings
3) Notice what you react to
4) Be a scientist: observe, explore, and write
5) Make connections
6) Start making small changes and see what it feels like
7) Don’t look to others or “experts”. Trust yourself.
Trusting yourself does not always come naturally. It takes practice and you may need some help along the way. Instead of going it alone with a book, ask for help in the form of a mentor or coach. A coach doesn’t give you the answers; they show you how to become the expert on you.
Pick one of the seven things and get started today… I’d love to hear how it goes!
I have been thinking about this very concept for the past week or two. As a coach and former self-help virgin, I have often thought I should be reading more, learning more from the experts. I have stacks of self-help books that I’ve never opened or have read very little of.
It suddenly dawned on me that I have sold myself short. Honestly, the most important learning that I’ve done has come as a result of doing my own work. The real answers truly come from within. That doesn’t mean the experts don’t have something to offer, but it doesn’t mean that you’ll find all your answers from a book either.
The best coaches don’t tell you who to be, they help you uncover the amazing you that you already are. That’s why you are such a great coach!
Exactly Theresa! I am so glad you see how much YOU have to offer, love it! Thanks for your insight and kind words:)
Laura, lovely post. So true that you can’t transform just by reading a self-help book, the inner work must be done and having a life coach guide you is one of the most effective ways to do that.
Thanks! And you summed it up perfectly!