I know you. You are a deep thinker. Introspective. You seek growth, healing, and self-actualization. It is important for you to live a meaningful life and to contribute something to make the world better. You have strong perfectionist tendencies. Some might say you are persnickety or, on a bad day, well, impatient, demanding, and a little annoying.
It’s tricky, then, for you to find resources that can help you through the hard times. You have particular needs and tastes. The typical self-help books are too simplistic, repetitive, or predictable. Some make ridiculous claims. Or they are poorly written. Or they are written by people who are too pretty. With trust funds. Where the biggest trauma in their lives was not making the cheerleading squad. (No offense to cheerleaders, trust funds, or to pretty people.)
Maybe you finally find a self-help book or program that is written by someone who seems to have substance, complex ideas, and true compassion. But, then, you become disillusioned when you discover they live in a mega-mansion in Beverly Hills. Near Kim Kardashian.
What do you do? How do you find guidance that is valuable? Guidance that passes your rainforest-minded complexity test?
Here’s an idea:
Design your own custom-made self-help program. Take bits and pieces from many programs and combine them into a plan that works for you. Embrace the parts that make sense, reject the parts that don’t. Allow yourself to have a nonlinear approach where you are working on a few different projects at once. Just because, for example, mindfulness practices are the latest craze, there’s nothing wrong with you if you prefer tai chi or gardening or doing tai chi in your garden.
Here are some self-help programs and books that clients of mine have explored and combined:
Kristin Neff’s self-compassion model uses meditation, mindfulness, and journal writing. Seena Frost’s Soul Collage taps your creativity and intuition to design a personalized tarot-like deck of cards for deep processing of issues. Pema Chodron teaches a meditation technique called tonglen that reaches beyond the personal to the universal. Internal Family Systems is a model that guides you to identify and accept your many sub-personalities while deepening a connection to your higher Self. Elaine Aron’s The Highly Sensitive Person is an oldie but goodie. Bibliotherapy recommends particular novels for insight into yourself. Larry Dossey’s One Mind can help you explore a view of consciousness and spirituality. The app Insight Timer has many free guided meditations from which to choose plus a network of meditators.
Of course, there is always my book! (with the spiffy new cover) But you knew that. (Reviews on Amazon are greatly appreciated, by the way. Even very short imperfect ones.)
So, my dearest super smart, persnickety perfectionists, do not despair. There is a self-help plan that is right for you.
And, it includes keeping 30 books–on your nightstand.
To my bloggEEs: What self-help tools have worked for you? How do you custom design plans to meet your complexity needs? Thank you to the clients who inspired this post.
I attended our town’s annual library used book sale today and picked up The Art of Possibility by Rosamund and Ben Zander. I’ve just started it but it’s looking like another good resource.
Want to hear me talk? I’m presenting a webinar via SENG on April 30, 2019, 4:30 PST. Join me online for: The Complex, Contradictory, Creative, Crushing World of the Gifted Adult.
I’m also speaking in Houston, Texas at the SENG conference July 19-21, 2019. I’d love to meet you there.