Quitting and Frustration

Hey Brooke! Very quick share. For YEARS, I was all hopped up on a fire walking NLP coach. Bought his cassette program from an infomercial, then the “new and improved” CD program. Walked on fire at his live event – and then went “all in” with his high ticket series of events. Loved every minute, learned a lot, and don’t regret one penny or one second spent. But while I felt my “life was changing” AT the events, life seemed very much the same once I got home. So I kind of “quit” self-help and personal development for a period of years. After lots of REALLY painful times, I finally found my way back. And what I found with older, clearer eyes – was the reality I’d missed before. You see… previously, I’d mistakenly thought a switch would flip at one of these live events – and “I’d be fixed”. And after walking on fire or spending a week at my date with destiny – coming back home to the “same old me” was incredibly frustrating. Which is why I quit.

But what I discovered when I came back was that there is no “switch”. It’s all just a daily practice. This thought first began to dawn on me last year – when I heard on a podcast that Tony Robbins has a daily morning ritual (he calls “priming”) to get himself into a great state. “But hey… if there’s a switch, why would Tony Robbins need to repeat a ritual each morning? Hmmm…” I saw an article about the Dalai Lama teaching meditation to a reporter. The reporter said “It’s hard” and the Dalai Lama said “It’s still hard for me, too”. He’s approaching 82, has practiced meditation for almost his entire life, and it’s still “hard” for him (and he still does it for hours a day). And then I read a great article by Byron Katie about how there is no enlightenment – about how the concept of being “enlightened” assumes a future state of being enlightened – and the reality is that in moment to moment, we are either enlightened or not – but there’s no “one and done”. It’s all an ongoing practice.

So when I (rarely) see people on “Ask Brooke” mention anything about “quitting” or “getting frustrated”, I just want to say “Welcome to the Practice”. I now see personal development like I see learning to play the violin. At the beginning, everyone is kind wonky and pretty bad. But you don’t get great at the violin by quitting when you’re bad and hitting all the wrong notes. You just re-dedicate yourself to putting in the time, practicing daily, and … over time (not over night)… you see small improvements. You go from very bad to only kind of bad. But the more you practice, the better you get. And pretty soon, you surprise yourself that you’re doing so well. And pretty soon you’re really good. But, like even the world’s best violinists, the practice never stops. Which is the lesson I got from Tony, the Dalai Lama, Byron Katie, and you, too, Brooke. It’s all a practice – and there’s no perfect point when you’re “done”.

I just wanted to write the thing I wish I’d known all of those years ago when I quit. I didn’t realize that doing this work imperfectly is exactly how you get good at it. I didn’t realize that even the best in the biz all have to practice – and it’s still hard at times. And even though I’ve heard the quote so many times it’s become a bit trite, I realize now just how true it is – “The only way you can fail is if you quit”.

So I just wanted to spare someone from thinking quitting or giving up was the answer. It isn’t. The answer is just re-dedicating yourself to the practice … being kind to yourself as you go … and understanding that the more you do, the easier it gets – but there’s no done. Just more practice. 🙂

Just my 2 cents! 😀