I know, the title is inflammatory and I am clearly going for the cheap pull for readership. You can help me out by sharing this post with a friend you think might like what I’m putting down here. I can’t promise that it will improve the titles. But, it will make me feel warm and fuzzy. So, thank you for that.
Anyway, Searching for the State of Better: Self-help is for suckers. Hear me out. The phrase self-help implies that one is broken, messed up, in need of help- nothing wrong with needing help, feeling broken or messed up. We have all been there, may be there now, and no doubt will have low moments in life come around again. And the pursuit of a State of Better is noble and human and leads to really good stuff. This is life kid. We are all on a path of progress. The key is how we frame these times when we are reaching for more or when we feel less than Awesome. I’m wondering if there is another way to talk about this seeking. Can we stop calling it self-help? What if we called it something else? Instead of thinking that a situation or person is in need of fixing or helping maybe try shifting into empowerment mode. This subtle shift in labeling from self-improvement to self-empowerment can be huge in how challenges are tackled. Imagine reframing the ‘need for improvement’ to ‘it is a good time to tap into my resources’. A shift from, ‘I am, this is, screwed up and in need of fixing’ to ‘I’d like to do better. I’d like this to be better. What is available around me to help make this happen?’ And I know the second option is kind of long and harder to say but, it is powerful. It is natural to want a State of Better, now what do I have around me to go to there?
Badass road map to the State of Better.
Author and Mega entrepreneur, Danielle LaPorte, beautifully sums up this shift in thinking in her blog post Why Self-improvement Makes You Neurotic. On the subject of striving for the State of Better, she asks “Rather than doing whatever it is that you do to ease, mitigate and transform those states of being as acts of “self improvement” and “getting fixed” or “making better,” what if you approached those rituals and remedies as ways of getting to your power?” It is not out of weakness that a person reaches out or reaches up. There is great strength in asking for help. It takes courage to seek guidance. Curiosity, hope and creativity drive people to whisper, speak, shout, ‘How can I make this better?’ It is how we think about this process that makes all the difference.
Imagine, if at the end of a difficult week, when you are feeling run down, low energy, depressed even and you put the call out to friends. Help, I need fixing. Imagine if you thought of that call not as a distress call but, as access to your tools, resources, power. Call your friends, get cozy with the latest issue of Oprah, go to yoga, whatever you do to feel well. This is your mojo. This is Wonder Twin powers activate time. This is I have all of these awesome things in place to pull from when I need support and I am going to use them time. And when these times come around, and they do for us all, know this: You are one smart, amazing, loved cookie. And you are not alone. Just ask yourself this question: What can I do in this moment to tap into My resources? And then, of course, Do it.
Peace & Love,