04 Apr The Life Changing Power Of Taking Action
When I decided to enter the personal development blogosphere, I joined several online groups of other personal development writers and coaches. What I’ve found in these groups is some really helpful advice and a lot of B.S.
In one of the groups a woman, let’s call her Jennifer, posted that she was attracting low vibe people and it was affecting her mentally and emotionally. Low vibe, in this case, means insecure, negative, emotionally manipulative, or co-dependent. This is an actual struggle that I’ve dealt with, so I was curious to see the responses. Unfortunately, too many of them sounded something like this:
“When near these people, visualize yourself in a rose colored bubble, protected and grounded to help you from not absorbing their energies.”
I’m sorry, what? This was an actual response to Jennifer’s problem and it wasn’t one of a kind. If that kind of stuff actually works for you, I think that’s great. However, for the majority of us, actual problems don’t disappear by the power of imagination alone. In fact, research suggests the visualization technique that self-help gurus preach is actually pretty useless without action.
Jennifer’s problem went unanswered. The other group members seemed to either misunderstand her question or presented the solution as one that should be visualized and reflected upon, rather than offering tangible advice.
The problem isn’t that the group members advised Jennifer to practice visualization. Visualization as a path toward action can be really effective. It’s healthy to have clear, practical goals and ideas about how to achieve them. I’ve even suggested visualization as one method that can help you plan and stick to your goals. Jennifer could visualize how to address the energy vampires in her life and then put that goal into action. But visualization as a way to escape our problems rather than deal with them is not going to make them magically disappear. They’ll continue to exist on the other side of the bubble until it inevitably pops.
My passions include personal growth and overanalyzing everything. I’m someone who visualizes and reflects all the time. So I can promise you that it doesn’t work on its own. Believe me, I’ve tried. Only by taking actionable steps can we overcome challenges.
If you’re like Jennifer and I and your empathetic nature attracts people who want to unload their problems on you, the first step is to learn to spot these people right away so that you can set proper boundaries from the get go. If you make it obvious that you don’t have the time and energy for their problems, they’ll move on to someone who does. This can feel selfish, but at the end of the day, we have to protect our energy.
The same goes for business. If you’re frustrated because you’re not as successful as you wish you were, but you’ve spent five years perfecting your product without putting it out on the market, the solution isn’t to create another vision board, it’s to address your perfection paralysis and figure out a way to put yourself out there. If I waited until I was a marketing or personal development guru before putting my thoughts out into the world, you wouldn’t be reading this blog post right now. Maybe you agree or disagree with me and it’s highly possible that my ideas aren’t always right and my blog posts definitely aren’t perfect but they’re published. I’m doing something and it’s not perfect all time, but it’s action.
We have to be willing to do hard things and make tough choices to deal with our problems and achieve our goals. Pretending that they don’t exist while living on a blissful island in our head may be a short-term fix but it’s not a long-term solution.
I hate to burst your rose colored bubble, but it’s the truth.