Why is personal development not working for me?

I’ve been reading personal development ever since I could read. Ok, maybe a few years after that, but I always loved books and movies that would promise a possibility of a different life through inner change. I am still in love with the possibilities personal development opens us to if we are willing (or perhaps a better word would be eager) to look at the ways in which we can change ourselves, and thus change our lives.

I can’t tell you how many personal development programs I’ve purchased and done online. How many counselors/coaches/therapists I’ve shuffled through. How many books I’ve read and reread, really wanting to improve and up my game so that I could better serve the world (ambitious perhaps, but not delusional!). And throughout the whole journey, no matter where I’ve come to, there is the possibility that I arrive at a time and space where I find myself thinking:

Why is personal development not working for me?

I know in my last blogpost I shared that I really achieved a very pure clarity that allowed me to see everything in my life the way it truly was and not as the illusions that made me suffer. And I also said this:

These systems started to work when I applied them in a certain way.

This quote of “a certain way” comes from The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles. I realized that was what happened as I was writing about what I was doing, and thinking about how it hasn’t really been that way since that experience (as I share on this blogpost, I never seem to get things to work out for me). That certain way I guess could be described as “connecting with my soul,” as my previous blogpost was talking about, but that can be seen as airy fairy and really, what does that even mean if you don’t even believe we have a soul, or don’t know what that means?

Well recently I’ve been humbly inspired to another piece of this “certain way” business that really caught my attention. It came from listening to a couple of interviews and rereading the book of Anita Moorjani, Dying to be Me (which to me is a must read!).

Here’s the idea. Personal development is basically “promising” us that we will live a “happier” (or “more successful” or “more fulfilled”) life as a result of doing what they suggest. While a lot of this information is truly fantastic (and true, and very actionable and real), there is a big pitfall in such a promise. That is that we literally, actually, reality-ly, physically, metaphysically, nonphysically, cannot find ourselves in a space of happiness/success/fulfillment if we are looking for the answer outside of ourselves. And this is the state many people are in when they do come to personal development.

We realize that this whole time we’ve been doing things out of fear of something else, out of avoidance of something, rather than out of true desire. And when we approach personal development in this way, we are signing up for failure, every. single. time. without. fail.

Why?

Well if we accept the law of attraction, we know that you attract that which you fear. Thus, if you’re doing anything for the purpose of avoiding something, you will attract that something you’re avoiding. So if we’re looking at how to become financially successful out of a desperation to avoid being a financial failure, if that is what we are motivated by (this is what I mean by “outside of ourselves”), I personally don’t see how it could, metaphysically/physically/nonphysically speaking, ever work out and have us come out as a financial success. At best, it would be a quick fix or create the longterm struggle, produced purely through action.

If we get on the treadmill to avoid being fat, if we take the job out of fear of not paying the bills, if we marry the person out of fear of never being wanted, if we go to a party out of fear of being rejected, if we think positive to avoid negative manifestations, we will ultimately find ourselves unhappy, even if we are able to keep up with the exterior world. If we apply personal development to avoid being unhappy with ourselves or avoiding a certain situation or circumstance, I personally strongly believe that this is why a lot of personal development “isn’t working.”

Quick story to illustrate the point: I have a set of books called A Bug Free Mind by Andy Shaw. The lessons in this book were absolutely essential to creating my first miracle in relationships. It talks a lot about (ironically) why personal development doesn’t work, focusing mostly on the way our minds are working against us. The first time I read this, it was revelatory to me. My questions were answered through this book, and in that “round of realization and miracles,” it was exactly what I needed. Being in control of my mind was the foundation to creating a relationship I desired.

After my clarifying experience through cleaning my thoughts up, I left that space of pure clarity and I instantly recognized, due to past experience, that I was not in control of my mind – because I had figured this out the first time, and that had been the problem. I was thinking “Oh GOOD, I get to shortcut it this time without going through the worst experiences – let me just get my bum back to cleaning up my thoughts and controlling my mind!” Yet, I went through crappy experiences again. And that wasn’t because of the information (very seldom is it really about the information itself – I won’t say never though because there is some crap out there). It was because I was completely motivated by my fear of wrongthinking, messy thoughts, lack of structured thinking, being out of control of my mind, being controlled by my ego, and living a life I didn’t desire, that I kept reaching for these books and desperately tried applying the lessons! And guess what I got?

(Are you one of these people too?)

Another example is meditation. I see things like this all the time: meditation gives you more time because it relieves your stress and makes you more productive, and you get to connect with answers that you otherwise would spend days figuring out. What is this, the overfunctioning burnt-out workaholic’s special? Where we feed only more of the ego in the promise that we’ll make more things happen and gain more prestige and more money and more more more… (not saying there’s anything wrong with making things happen, prestige, money, or more, but chasing these things certainly doesn’t give us the experience of “having” them!)

IMG_6312

The opposite of this (the certain way!) is to be motivated by desire. This is the complete opposite to doing something to avoid something you don’t want. They may be the same things, for instance, getting married. But one being done out of desire to be expressing life with another vs one being done out of not wanting to feel like an old bag are completely different things!

Reading more and more personal development out of fear of the unhappy life just isn’t going to get you the happy life, as weird and meta as that sounds. Connecting with desire will. Maybe at some point I will pick up the personal development books and programs that do serve me, but it will be after I let myself come from a place of desire rather than avoidance.

Connecting with desire isn’t a difficult thing either; remembering to do so may be, just as creatures of habit, but you instinctively know the difference. A tip is just ask yourself whenever you’re aware of it: am I doing this out of the desire in my heart, or am I just trying to run away from something else?

Always let your heart decide, and get clear on what that means. Trust me, you don’t want to waste your time TRYING SO HARD to APPLY THESE DARNED PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLES and GOSH DARN IT WHY IS IT NOT WORKING ALREADY?? Yeah, it’s not pretty. I’ll take that emotional craziness for you and encourage you to connect inside starting now, so that you don’t have to do that emotional craziness I did.

And if you’re thinking of applying what I’m writing here out of avoiding not getting what you want in personal development..well just think of what that’s creating!

xxx,

Catt

The First “Thing” I Consciously But “Undeliberately” Manifested

I’m hoping at this point most people are familiar with The Law of Attraction, but on a day to day basis I actually still run into tons of people who don’t know it never heard of it “the what?”..most people, when I explain it to them, accept it. For me I was like whaaat? But even people who accept it don’t really accept it if they’re not living it. So crash course, Law of Attraction is like attracts like; that which is like itself is drawn unto itself, birds of a feather flock together, the better it gets the better it gets…”Thoughts that are vibrationally similar to one another are drawn magnetically to one another through the powerful Law of Attraction” (Hicks Loc 1793). This law was recently popularized (well…6-8 years ago recent) by the movie “The Secret” produced by Rhonda Byrne and it was sold to look like this was some magic wand we use to manipulate the universe to give us the material objects we want, which is what many people tried and “failed” and thus concluded that there is no such thing. Well, there is, it’s a matter of awareness..but that’s for another day. I wanted to share the first thing I personally manifested – it was not deliberate but it was the first thing I was very aware of and the first conscious “proof” I had of the Law of Attraction from manifesting a material object.

I had just arrived in Italy and I was roaming around Milan on the first day near Naviglio and I saw this store that was closed with mugs that had carp on them, and then a quote in Italian. I understood zero Italian so I didn’t know what the quote said. It looked very zen and pretty, and from that day I decided I wanted to have a mug that had an Italian quote on it, and I wanted to be able to understand it when I got it without using google translate.

Every day after classes I would roam around Milan nearby for at least half an hour. And during this time I would be reminded that I was looking for a mug with a special quote in Italian on it, but I was never attached to finding it right away – there were mugs I could use and I knew that I had three months to find the mug so it was never a pressing issue. But I did spend time thinking about it every day, and I had no resistance on not finding it, nor did I think any limiting thoughts about it.

Literally two weeks after my first thought about the mug when I was roaming around Naviglio that first day, my manifestation showed up as a gift from my host mother. She had done a huge grocery shopping trip and picked me up a buongiorno mug with a quote from Bob Marley on it in Italian, and she said when she saw it she immediately thought of me and bought it for me. I didn’t make the
connection until the next day where I was roaming around after lessons and realized I had received what I was looking for! I was so grateful and happy. It was just a mug but I had never consciously created something in this way before..it was also quite specific so it wasn’t something like “I want to manifest a leaf on the sidewalk,” so I knew for sure as proof that it was something I consciously created.
Catts buongiorno mug

Fantastically, things started happening and manifesting more and more after that..my gratitude and appreciation for Life soared and things were manifesting on demand. That was when I had a very “clean” mind..but really it all starts somewhere.

I encourage people who have never done this kind of stuff before to set an intention to manifest something small like I did that you won’t be attached to (don’t be attached to PROVING the Law of Attraction either). Some people are amazing with it and get it right away. Some people will take a while longer or find inspiration in another post they read or a book…but it’s great to start!

Some guidelines, though they are not necessary, that made this manifestation happen with ease:

  1. I had a very specific “thing” I wanted to manifest and intended it (let the desire out into the ethers!)
  2. I had no resistance to receiving it – I knew I would get it I did not think it would be impossible or anything like that
  3. Every day some of the air time my thoughts had were spent on it because I walked around a lot
  4. I had zero attachment to how it would show up or when it would show up
  5. I had a solid knowing it would show up – certainty of the outcome

Happy Manifesting!
– Catt xxx

References
Abraham, Esther Hicks, and Jerry Hicks. The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 2006. Print.