Feature Image: Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1 Variant Cover by Steve Lieber
The Resolution Trap is the newest episode in a podcast series called On a Road to Self Acceptance. It is the brainchild of Tara Massan and Seth Singleton. Together they shape a narrative about health and the many scenarios that impact its quality.
We Start Out with a Check-in
The Butte and Camp Fires have made the air quality in Oakland very dangerous. I share a few personal examples including the joys and discomforts of wearing an air mask on a daily basis. I even reveal that I often need a cough drop when I wear mine. Alert the townsfolk!
Tara is enjoying a snowstorm that she describes as just normal for where she lives in Minnesota. She welcomes the snow because it coats the bleak winter landscape when it is dry. Neither of our environments make it easy to make or keep a resolution.
When Self-Help is Bad
Our discussion opens with two main sections that Tara wants to address In this case it’s the dangers that self-help can create and nonsense we are both tired of hearing. In short, we are just getting started.
The Dangers of Self-Help
To begin with we identify four main dangers that self-help can unleash. We’ve listed them below to make them easier to address.
- Self-help can reinforce feelings of shame and guilt and
- In particular it can enable avoidance and procrastination
- Self-help can create more analysis by paralysis
- Lastly, Self-help is a diminishing return
Self-help creates the urge to say “I want to fix this.” This is great if you want to live to your potential. Otherwise diving in can lead to saying, “I can’t fix a problem until I fix what is wrong with me.” Forward momentum is lost and we come to a halt.
Self-Help is a business that sells information
Simply put, self-help is not a tangible product. To keep you hooked you are told you have to keep fixing what is wrong with you. You don’t have to be or think a certain way to be worthy of acceptance or just being.
In summary, it gets you addicted to the idea that you are not enough. You are plagued by questions like”What’s wrong with you?” or “Why aren’t you doing this?”
Guilt is not help. Likewise being told you are not good enough or shown you will never be good enough is toxic. Accordingly, if you are told “you’ll never be good enough until you do this” or “there’s something wrong you” you will never become healthy.
Growth comes from discovery
Consequently self-help becomes a bandaid or a form of avoidance. Meaningful action involves building a door to enter a room. The first few attempts can result in an ugly entryway but in this case it allows us to talk about learning by “embracing the suck” when we make mistakes.
4 Types of Nonsense
1. You learn to be successful by listening to successful people
How many people have followed this advice and failed? How many did not follow it and succeeded? It’s easy to take credit when things work out. Furthermore it’s harder to admit that a different approach led to the same or a better result.
As a rule, asking “Do the people giving or selling this advice have a hidden variable like luck or money?” can reveal the motivations behind a message. Stumbling into good fortune does not mean that one approach is a foolproof plan for others. Starting out with a financial advantage usually ends with greater success.
2. Positive Psychology
It’s good to ask what is the positive here? Conversely, negative thinking often reveals important discovery about ourselves. Subsequently, negative attitudes can reveal unreal expectations.
In this case it’s ignoring that you are sick. Negative perception is unpleasant and undesirable. But, life grantees you will experience both joy and sadness. Sometimes its a bad mood and that doesn’t mean you don’t have to sit in it or give that feeling control over your life.
But ignoring it will make yourself sick.
Wasn’t Leonardo da Vinci a procrastinator? Thus we have historic proof that procrastination can birth a new idea. It doesn’t make you a bad person. Coupled with patience procrastination can be helpful when we recognize it as an indicator.
Take a minute to pay attention why you are procrastinating. It might be that you are still working out the way to approach your goal.
4. Follow your Passion does not mean, “Screw your job.”
Or that you are entitled to live your life only by your terms. Your passion may not be your income. It may not lead to greatness. Beware misrepresentation that ignores the fact that passion requires work.
To even come close to your goals you have to invest in your passion. Discovering a dream is the beginning. Next you have to do something about it.
This podcast is Part 3 of a series on Self Acceptance.
Tara Massan is a Yoga Teacher, Personal Trainer, and Lifestyle Coach.
Her approach helps chronically stressed out adults create healthier lifestyles by addressing their obstacles. Tara’s practice is built on her 4 Pillars of Health: Mindset-Movement-Nutrition-Rest.
In addition to coaching, Tara is the creator of the website Be Moved. Her writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, US Weekly and Huffington Post.
She has contributed to over 20 publications with one purpose: To help others live a healthier life.
About the Storyteller
Seth Singleton believes in a common thread that connects us all.
In the end, everyone has a story to tell.
He is the author of This is a Language of Fists.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org about a writing or podcast project.