Several years ago I hired an experienced and highly talented woman to help me create potent marketing materials for my business. I was excited to have been referred to her by someone I greatly trust and respect. Although I had some wobbly-in-the-knees trepidation about investing the amount of money she required, I felt hopeful that, finally, I had found the marketing support I was looking for.
But much to my disappointment, I hadn’t. Working with her never felt quite right, and the writing assignments she coached me through didn’t help me generate the kind of warm, intelligent, catalytic and welcoming message I so strongly wanted to convey
I ended our working relationship one session shy of the total number of sessions I’d committed to, with a digital folder full of written material that was anything but potent.
Before I go further, let me be crystal clear that I still have tremendous respect for this woman and her work, and I know she has helped many entrepreneurs generate the kind of marketing materials that make their hearts sing and their businesses expand.
So why didn’t I have that kind of experience? Naturally I wanted to find out.
After all, I had gone into it from a very high-vibration place – which I recognized because of how good I was feeling - and knowing what I do about energy and the Law of Attraction, I had expected a high-vibration experience and result. Yet that’s not what happened.
It took me a bit of reflection – combined with a clear intention for deeper self-awareness – to understand what did happen. And what I discovered was tremendously helpful not only for me, but for my ability to help my clients.
Here’s what I learned. If you’re a regular reader of this column, you’re no doubt familiar with the word “pasteover,” a term I coined to describe the tendency many people have to paste over their negative thoughts with positive ones. It’s the reason affirmations often get a bad rap, because if they’re not used with an understanding of energy dynamics and the role our emotions play in helping us sort out where we are vibrationally, they are nothing more than hollow phrases that cover up what we’re really thinking.
And guess what? Not only can thoughts be used to paste over other thoughts, so can emotions paste over other emotions. Or more accurately, the thoughts we’re using as pasteovers can, if we have enough willpower behind them, generate emotions that muffle or hide what we’re really feeling.
When I got very quiet and allowed myself to go deeply within to recall the nuances of how I’d actually felt at the time I decided to engage that woman as a marketing mentor, I realized that my excitement was generated by a thought something like this: Thank God I’ve found someone who can save me! And any thought of needing to be saved could only have arisen from a strong sense of inadequacy, which I certainly had with respect to my marketing abilities in particular and with respect to myself in general.
My excitement had pasted over my long-standing feelings of unworthiness. I had assumed the excitement was an indicator that working with this woman was a good fit for me, but it was really an indicator of how hard I was trying to convince myself I was going to be okay.
I chose the words “long-standing” very intentionally, because I don’t want to convey a false impression that those thoughts and feelings of inadequacy were deeply buried and I had to dig for them. But nor was I consciously thinking every day, “I am not good enough.” Yet that vibration was very present and active within me.
That’s because I’d harbored thoughts of inadequacy for a long time, and so they had developed self-sustaining momentum. They were always there, even if I wasn’t always thinking about them.
Here’s a good analogy. Let’s say you’re a mother with three children and you also work outside the home. You love your job and focus completely on it while you’re there. You’re not thinking all day long at work, “I’m a mother!” But if an opportunity came to you that conflicted with your priorities as a mother, your thoughts about being a mother would be immediately activated.
In my experience with hiring the marketing expert, feelings of not-enough-ness were activated at the very prospect of marketing my work, yet I pasted over them with my fabricated excitement at working with someone I hoped could help me overcome my flaws.
And as I’ve said countless times, to myself and others, we cannot experience genuine success and fulfillment when we start from a premise of believing we are flawed. The very act of doing something to “fix” ourselves reinforces the belief that we need to be fixed, so it’s held in place rather than dissolved.
It wouldn’t have mattered if I had been working with the best-known and most successful marketing expert in the world. I could only have evoked from that person - and from myself - words, suggestions and actions that would have reinforced my beliefs in my inadequacy, as it did with the woman I’d hired. The Law of Attraction had worked flawlessly, as of course it must.
As I reflected on that particular experience and others like it, I appreciated anew how essential it is that we slow down enough, and get quiet enough, to sense everything there is to be sensed before making decisions, so that we’re not moving forward with a mixed vibration that will generate mixed results. This doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and it doesn’t even require a deep dive. Remember, false beliefs that are strong enough to impact our manifested experience are right there on the surface. We’ve just conditioned ourselves to ignore them.
That’s why ever-deepening self-awareness is crucial to the creation of an authentic, and authentically fulfilling, life. As we become aware of the more subtle nuances of how we’re feeling, we recognize the unique ways our inner guidance speaks to us through intuition and emotion.
I recognized that, for me, excitement alone is not an indicator of a good choice. If there isn’t an inner core of peacefulness, of confidence and “rightness” for me, then the excitement is probably coming from that old belief that I need to be fixed or saved, or some other equally false belief.
I also realized that slowing down before making decisions to sense all of our feelings, and the beliefs giving rise to them, is a real act of Self-Love. It reinforces the understanding that we matter and that we are worthy of our own loving attention.
And of course, only Love can dissolve the beliefs we hold about ourselves that are painful. Only Love vibrates in a way that allows the Law of Attraction to bring loving, joy-filled experiences into our lives.
So if the Law of Attraction doesn’t seem to be working for you in the way you’d like, slow down just a little. Ask, “What are the false, painful beliefs I might be holding about myself? Where do I try too hard to convince myself that something is right for me? How might I love myself more, right now?” Don’t dig for answers or force them; just let them arise into your conscious awareness as you breathe gently, heart open.
Your answers will come in perfect time. Trust that you’ll recognize them.