Why I Don’t Believe in Self-Help

selfhelp-notexist400x400When I started typing this blog title, I got a little uneasy, because I know that there will be some of you who are reading that are thinking, “What? What do you mean you don’t believe in self-help? You’re a success coach and consultant. That doesn’t make sense.”

Self-help is a principle that on the surface leads us to believe that if we will it into being, set our mind to it, or just do it, we can help ourselves out of simple or even the most complex problems. It makes complete sense to me why it might appear that it is possible to do this.

First, there are so many toolkits out there that invite us to be self-aware, learn more about ourselves, and if we muster up the courage and confidence, we can do it. I’ve even written about this before. I do believe that we can change our will, our intentions, and we have an innate ability to change ourselves.

Let me be clear though (as it seems I have washed right over this in the past).

We are not doing it alone.

We are incapable of doing it alone.

On the surface, we all need encouragement. Having a circle of friends or encouragers is certainly helpful when we need to have that additional level of support, but it’s so much more than that.

Let me share a story with you. There was a time in my life where I just couldn’t get it right. I wasn’t making the right career choices (or so I thought), I didn’t always choose the right friends or guys to date (don’t we all), and I had some years in there where I was just plain lost and actually depressed. I was unsettled, I was struggling, and I didn’t know who I was. Does this sound familiar to you?

Fast forward. In 2007, everything changed when I made a significant decision to let go and trust – totally surrender – rather than force things to happen in my life. Over the past few months, I have had the great privilege to retrace many of these steps from my past so that I could share my story with some women on a recent retreat. It was raw, and it was real. It was both vulnerable and cathartic.

The result: I was able to see my past as perfectly architected, muck and all, and that even in the darkest moments and painful experiences, that every single step along that roller coaster ride (perhaps a fantastic messy voyage) not only had a purpose as a part of my unique story and all I am to become, but most importantly: I was never alone.

I’m not talking about family and friends. Yes, they were there at times throughout the ride. The one who was consistent, forgiving me, and always calling me no matter what:

God.

Yes, God.

Now, I know some of you may want to stop reading right now. It’s okay. I understand. At the same time, if I just made you a little uncomfortable, I unapologetically say, “Good.” With a loving and warm smile, I am glad you’re still reading.

As humans, our emotional and imperfect nature makes us doubt ourselves, question ad nauseam, and believe that we are often all alone when things aren’t going great. We also do the same in our triumphs. We can shift toward believing it’s luck or coincidence. We did it through the will of self-help, manifestation and discovery.

I get it. There is great progress in overcoming our obstacles and increasing our real self-knowledge so we can put ourselves into action, but is it really us – all alone?

I don’t know any other way to say it than to just be blunt: that’s impossible. No way.

I don’t think we are capable of doing anything on our own. That’s exactly why I’m admitting here that I don’t believe self-help really exists as a stand-alone practice.

“Will” comes from our spirit within that was so beautifully given to us by God the creator. That’s why it’s Holy. That’s why the Holy Spirit has the beautiful ability to help us be in right relationship with ourselves through discernment: aka: self-help.

How do I know?

As I retraced my steps over my darkest moments and brightest life changing experiences, God was there.
Again, how did I know?

That may be the best question of all.

I felt it as my life shifted forward. I still feel it. In my experience, the Holy Spirit has had this really cool way of working into how I feel physically and gives me what I believe we often call the “gut reaction” or “voice” telling us whether something is right or not. Intuition is another good word.

Identified, recognized or named something else – it’s the Holy Spirit. I truly believe it’s the awesome and loving Divine power of God guiding me…and guiding you. It’s your spiritual center driving your every shift. It’s you in concert with your Divine spirituality that only God can give us. What a gift.

Seriously. What a relief that we don’t have to really do this self-help thing all alone! I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel like I can do even more, because I have this ability to check in to make sure that I’m on-form to how I was created to be and then make my decisions based on Divine guidance. I am also infinitely grateful for the gift of Jesus Christ as the human example of God’s true love, compassion, and friendship with us, because without His example, I might not have a good compass on how to improve myself every time I falter in so many areas of my life.

Now that is awesome.

Let me add one important thought: We all have different pathways to get to God, based on our spiritual and religious tracks. I will leave that alone for today, because I didn’t write this to be a religious manifesto, but to be totally honest.

I want to invite you into a deeper level of living. I want to invite you to trust that God not only loves you on an incomprehensible level, but he is with you during the joys and sorrows, celebration and pain. God wants you to be your best, heck, I want you to be your best or I wouldn’t be in this business! He is wanting you to fully Step Into Your Yes, and I want to help you get there.

The reason why personal branding and success matters is because it’s your story: your story God created for you to tell and your gifts that you’re to activate in the world.

When my clients come to me, they are usually looking to make a significant change, shift something about their life, or rediscover their strengths. I am so passionate about helping guide them into seeing and understanding what they already know about themselves at a deep level and activate those strengths in a way that serves them and their community.

I’m mentioning this, because I want to clarify something. Oftentimes, people see coaching as guided self-help. To some degree it is. At the same time, I always ask my clients to check in with their bodies to see how they feel. What’s their soul telling them? Does it feel right? Is there a lightness in their spirit? What would it feel like if they didn’t do ‘x’?

By asking these questions, this is one gentle way that I have been subliminally authentic and true to them, but it’s also been my way of quietly integrating faith into my business.

So far, I have been careful not to say God out loud, because I have wanted to meet my clients and this community right where you are. Yet, the whole time, I felt a significant tug. In many ways, I have been operating in God-light mode, because it was the comfy place: the place where anyone and everyone could feel great about Betsy Harvey Inc. without feeling uncomfortable. I’m sure that’s the Connectivity and Positivity in me (aka two of my Strengthsfinder 2.0 Top Five Strengths).

At the same time, it’s time. It’s time for me to be totally honest with you.

It’s time for me to Step Into My Yes.

I am excited about continuing to share ways to be more clear about your branding and story, how to raise your bar so you can reach your goals – and – I will be integrating spirituality and faith. I can no longer authentically run this business or move forward into what I believe I’m being called to do and make concessions for my faith anymore.

I hope you’ll stay, but I realize that this may turn off some of you. If that’s the case, I hope you’ll reconsider and stick around so we can strike up a deeper conversation about it – why not? I also honor and recognize that it will make my job more challenging at times, and possibly call me into topics I have never been really comfortable broaching.

God is at the center of everything that I do: my marriage, my relationship with my two boys, my relationships with family and friends, and how I make decisions. Yes, I do mess up…a lot. More than I’d like. I’m all too human. At the same time though, I believe that for me to be in best service to God, my family, and my community, I need to make this shift – a real shift.

So going forward, Betsy Harvey Inc. (meaning me, myself and I) will not make concessions or apologies for the inclusion of faith. I am actually energized and excited to have this business be 100% integrated. In a loving way, I feel called to invite you to be filled up, inspired, and yes, question. I want to help you raise your vibration and level of living to the top floor of life. I believe that all things really are possible through faith and friendship with God. The Holy Trinity will change your game. Just watch.

So without further ado, I am writing this and publishing it today to give this business over to God to guide me as He sees fit. I pledge to deliver the same success principles and practices as I always have, continue meeting my clients where they are, and serving them how they need to be served.

What will change? Nothing. I just won’t be keeping this essential part of success a secret.