We have shiny object syndrome.
We’re attracted to—and blinded by—people making promises and offering answers to our questions about success.
Any entrepreneur, and anyone with a dream to go it alone, will have noticed how money-making, manifesting, and business development courses there are out there.
They’re not the answer.
Take it from me. Like many entrepreneurs and dreamers out there, I’ve bought a few, or all of them, hoping, praying and really believing they’re the answer to making my dream come true. The reason they’re not isn’t because they don’t give valuable, inspiring, actionable information; it’s because we missed an important step—letting ourselves feel first.
I know. They look so promising. The smiling, successful people behind them seem to know us so well.
They hit all our pain points (a technique taught to them by other marketing courses) and we feel they’ve created the thing meant just for us.
The problem is, by catering to our pain and getting us to buy their thing, they help us to ignore the more powerful thing inside of us.
We grab for the next shiny thing that fills the black hole of unworthiness, doubt or fear creating the urge to be more, do more or be better. Even if their plan works, it’s not going to shift the crap we’ve shoveled on top of our soul. And that’s the first step to making any plan work out.
Many of us are so unaware of our own crap, we don’t see the pile staring us in the face. The advertisement for the course says all the right things. We find ourselves nodding our heads to the point of whiplash. Yes, I feel unworthy! Yes, I desperately want to be successful—to help others, to live my purpose, to connect with my soul! We click, “Buy Now,” thinking we’ll get all the answers to creating the thing that’ll take us there. We forget to feel and shift our own crap first.
What happens is eventually we can’t do anything more to numb ourselves out. That course we dropped $700 we didn’t have on…well, it starts to make us feel worse. The elation we felt about their promise dies, and we’re left with the stuff that was sitting underneath it: fear, doubt, unworthiness, shame, and now more shame because we’ve failed. Again.
Unworthiness as a foundation to success never works, because it’s what everything else is sitting on top of. We need to transform it and create a foundation of worth, power, confidence and love so our course or anything we do is successful, aligned and effective. But none of us want to do the sometimes impossible work of healing that stuff. We want the quick fix-it pill to cure it all. And we want it now.
The courses and programs end up being those pills. We know what happens, right? They’re temporary. We might learn a thing or two—how to run a webinar, understand WordPress, get a fancy website up or clear out our money blocks—but in the end we’re left with the crap we ignored on our way to success.
The ability to feel this stuff is the way to build a solid foundation. This’s the kind of healing work we have to do first. If we decide to ignore it, it’ll still be there and it’ll probably get louder. If we decide to try four more courses before we realize those pills are creating the need for more pills, we can do that. But what tends to happen is the pain gets more intense—forcing us back to feeling. Sooner or later we’re caught up in an overwhelming spiral.
Rather than buying the next business course, how about sitting the hell down to feel and connect with our own intuition for once? How about understanding what it is we really want out of life and deeply feeling into our desires? How about, instead of trying to help everyone else, help ourselves for once? How about learning to love the whole of ourselves and not judging our own emotions, thoughts and actions?
“But, I just want to make a living doing what I love to do,” we say. “And this course seems like it has all those answers for me,” we plead. “I know this is it,” we pray. “This will be the information that helps me create what I’m born to do in the world,” we try to convince ourselves.
Instead of feeling the pain, guilt, shame, fear, insecurity, doubt, despair, grief or unworthiness that’s the source of that desperate voice, we just believe the voice. Instead of listening to our bodies, our intuition and our souls, we listen to someone else’s sales pitch about our pain. And we click, “Buy Now.”
I know this because I did it, over and over again. Until one day I realized there were a lot of smart entrepreneurs getting rich off of my pain, and I was pissed. Because they all promised their thing would do it for me, as long as I was an action taker. Since my middle name is “Get Sh*t Done!” I was excited. I’ll do this better than anyone, I thought. And I clicked, “Buy Now.”
Sure, I learned a thing or two on the way. The money was not a total waste, but what it came back to every single time, is that I felt the same way: not good enough. That was a feeling I was all too familiar with, having sorted it out for decades with every possible healing modality you can fathom. And I woke up to the fact that I was using these courses as a drug. I was addicted to the hope.
So, how about deciding the next thing we buy is some time to be and breathe? How about getting so still that we are forced to feel? And how about giving ourselves permission to feel it all—all the crap—and accepting whatever comes as a gift of healing? How about breathing through those sensations as a way to release, and loving what’s there, thanking it even?
I’m a little tired of being sold to, especially when I know the secret to their marketing is my pain. I’m a little tired of hearing that it’s what I need to do to get other people to buy my stuff. I want us all to engage in our own healing processes, not because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s how to discover the most important things about ourselves and our lives. It’s how we’ll create the magic we wanted to create when we were distracted by that shiny course.
How do we monetize our passions, our purpose and our soul-driven ideas, then? By understanding ourselves enough, feeling worthy enough, and creating a solid foundation of peace, love and joy for our lives that doesn’t crumble over time, but instead grows stronger.
We don’t need another money-making course. We could use a courage-making, soul-freeing, worth-giving, power-enhancing, badass, mother-of-all-healing-and-becoming course. There’d be one lesson: to listen, feel and love it all, no matter what it is, and to go do the thing that turns us on.
Author: Laura Probert
Image: edkohler/ Flickr
Editors: Khara-Jade Warren; Toby Israel