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Unhelpful quotes #3



In our online cosmological (Identity-based) group coaching program, The Whole Person Project, we have an inspiration channel in our online forum, in which a member recently shared a quote: "Five things to quit right now...

  1. Overthinking

  2. Worrying

  3. Trying to make everyone happy

  4. Living in the past

  5. Doubting yourself"


It's a wonderful list; really, it just isn't very helpful.


As a reminder, an unhelpful quote is one that doesn't help its viewers recognize their wholeness.


Here's what makes this quote unhelpful:

  • It assumes people are consciously behaving in these ways, and can, therefore, change these self-expressions deliberately.

  • Quitting things now promotes change as an event that happens on a dime rather than a process that unfolds over time.

  • It takes common symptoms and pulls them entirely out of the context in which they're occurring, leaving them void of any real meaning.

  • It doesn't speak to or attempt to understand what's driving those protective behaviors to begin with.

  • It's an intellectual statement that doesn't reach the emotional part of the brain from which these manifestations emanate.


My sense is the author is very generous, most likely struggles with these ways of being, tends to read reality through a black-or-white lens, probably becomes very defensive in "gray" matters, and was rewarded for making the "right" decisions (no-pain-no-gain) throughout their formative years.


I'd replace the statement with a question, list all the symptoms, and end with five questions for consideration. Here's a reframe that may better serve everyone who consumes this quote: "Five things to question WHY you do WHAT you do (insert symptoms). Ask yourself: What emotions do I feel when I'm behaving in these ways? How do these behaviors serve me? What do my actions suggest I believe about myself? What experiences caused me to believe those things? Who am I apart from those experiences?"


This reframe effectively leads the quote consumer down a path of self-discovery, expanding both their understanding and awareness, which always leads to participation in new ways of being.



"Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from making bad decisions." Mark Twain



P.S. Tomorrow is the last day to register for our two-week free trial for The Whole Person Project. If you'd like to outgrow any challenge, from anxiousness to weight gain to procrastination to fatigue to insecurities, then we'd love to show you how! Register here.

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