It's time to shatter it.
Lives are enriched by the self help and motivational industry. I’m part of that industry myself as a coach and inspirational author.
But there’s one piece of it that bothers me.
The dangerous myth of the perfect life.
In my thirties, I was part of a large motivational/coaching group that catered exclusively to my former profession. I was able to meet and hear industry leading speakers like Robin Sharma, Jack Canfield, Brian Tracy, John Demartini, and Bruce Lipton.
Those were incredibly exciting years, and it laid the foundation for the mindset work I do today. But one thing was always bothersome to me.
Heavy-hitters in the industry were put on a pedestal before us and hailed as success stories. See him? If you follow all these lessons, you too can have his perfect life!
For one thing, the “success” stories were considered successful because they saw the most clients and therefore earned the most money.
The single mom balancing a business and 3 school age children? If she only changed her attitude, set better goals, and said more affirmations, her business could be just as big!
In hindsight, I think there’s tremendous pressure for people in the personal growth field to give the perception of the perfect life.
Who wants to admit anything is out of sorts when you’re reading about and mingling with people who only talk about the positive?
There’s such a heavy emphasis on creating your own success and happiness, that if something’s not going well, who else is to blame? You can be left feeling like a failure because things aren’t over the top amazing.
Back then, I’m embarrassed to admit, I actually felt down on myself and my skills because my business only grew by 24% in the year I wanted it to double. Imagine that. A business owner who wasn’t happy about 24% growth in one year. That’s how sneakily the coin of positivity can flip.
Plenty of the charades around me were nothing more than illusion, and I was trying to live up to a false standard.
In the years since leaving that group I’ve discovered:
✔Several of the men were cheating on their wives.
✔Some were committing insurance fraud.
✔Plenty were committing tax fraud.
✔A few declared bankruptcy.
And in a horrible event that I still can’t wrap my mind around, husband and wife colleagues of mine were shot and killed last week by their 11 year old son.
A lot of people were really good at creating the illusion of the perfect life. Until it all crumbled.
Creating that illusion tears at your soul.
Parading as something you’re not. Ignoring what’s not working and hoping it goes away. Cheating the system. Not being honest with yourself or the world…
Those things all catch up with you at some point. They catch up and they look like an ulcer, or back pain, a plummeting bank balance, failed relationships, and plain old stress and discontent.
Whatever isn’t working its best in your life, it’s never going to heal if you’re out of integrity in any of the areas of your life.
You’d like to think your bad back is the result of a car accident or an old mattress, but maybe it’s the result of an illusion you’re trying to keep up.
The purpose of positive psychology and the coaching programs that spring from it is to heal, not to evade.
We need to make room in the personal growth field for people to feel safe admitting their faults, for showing their weaknesses.
It’s human nature to want to do better and to aspire to be or have what other people have. No one, not even the person you admire most, has it all together.
Our quirks and foibles have an interesting trait. The more we try to hide them, the more havoc they cause. Expose them to the healing elements of truth and light, and they lose their power.
I help other people create transformation in their lives, and I’m not afraid to admit there are areas where I too struggle. You can read more about my lifelong struggle with ADD here.
Take your power back.
Tough times don’t have to define us, but we also can’t bury our heads and deny they exist. When you’re honest about your strengths and your weaknesses, you’ve taken back your power. Whatever illusion you’ve been trying to sell the world, it’s not working for you. You’re letting the illusion control you.
Take your power back by shattering the myth of the perfect life. That’s when your life will heal.