I’m a big fan of personal development. I love to learn, to digest, to grow and expand my mindset.
My bookshelves are full of wisdom from the likes of Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Chandler and Hal Elrod. For me, there’s nothing like curling up on the sofa with a good book, phone off, cuppa close by. I listen to audio books in the car, too.
But… there’s a massive difference between learning on my own terms, in my own space, and having self-proclaimed gurus yelling at me 24/7.
What am I talking about? Emails!
Newsletters and e-blasts full of ‘transformational spin’ we’ve all heard a gazillion times before.
It took a while, but I have learned that subscribing to other people’s ‘genius’ can be damaging to my own.
I used to sign up to all those email blasts from the personal development ‘gurus’. I used to watch all their videos, join all their groups, hang on their every word.
But then, I realised something.
Being surrounded by a constant stream of noise, with everyone shouting louder to get me to buy their blueprint or go to their high ticket event was exhausting!
And anyway… the majority were all saying the same thing, just in a slightly different way. They weren’t the geniuses I’d thought they were – they were just recycling the same old messages to tap up my credit card. I began to wonder who *they* first heard – and borrowed – those messages from.
In fact, sometimes I’d find my own ideas being quashed. I’d have what I thought was an awesome idea and, before I could action it, some ‘guru’ with a bigger team and budget had started to shout about something similar.
The result? I’d kick myself for not acting sooner. Feel bad. Tell myself I couldn’t possibly do ‘my’ thing because it would look like I’d copied. It didn’t matter that it was just me and I was already spinning too many plates – it was just another sign of ‘failure’.
For a short while, I considered quitting. My self esteem was plummeting and I was feeling overloaded.
And then, one day, I left one of the groups. As my finger hovered over the unsubscribe button, I felt a sense of panic, but… as soon as I hit that key, I felt lighter.
I turned on my email and started to unsubscribe, one by one. I did the same with Facebook groups – they’d all become crowded selling grounds with naff, clichéd ‘choose to be happy’ messages anyway.
I got rid of pretty much everything that wasn’t serving me.
The result? Clean air and clean ideas. The pressure all lifted.
I launched ‘Taz Thornton’s InspirationTribe’ on Facebook as a result – a free group for inspirers and people who want to be inspired, where nobody’s allowed to sell, mindlessly share positive quote memes or post and run.
I also allowed my own ideas and projects to grow and flourish in their own time. So what if something similar’s already been out there? It won’t have my energy and my methodology, and if I don’t know about everyone else’s ‘new’ coaching programmes and empowerment workshops, I can’t be influenced or worried about other people’s projections onto MY work.
It was like instantly moving from a polluted, smog-filled city to the top of a mountain with the clearest air.
Nowadays, I am back in a few groups and I do subscribe to a handful of emails – but they’re from the coaches I either use myself or really respect. Those I can learn and grow from. I’ve cut out all those middle ground shouters.
It’s been a big lesson in keeping my own emails useful and relevant too. The feedback I receive for my weekly Awesome Sauce and monthly Tazvocate mailers tells me I’m doing a good job and being of service – and I’m determined to keep it that way.
One of my greatest teachers and mentors, Chris Luttichau, talked about keeping the energy clean and bright. That’s what I did when I started to unsubscribe. It’s what I do when I’m writing my own content too. We need to hold an awareness of the energy we’re putting out into the world AND the energy we’re absorbing.
It’s no wonder so many of us feel the need for a social media detox every now and again. But here’s a shortcut… your social feeds and email inboxes are largely what YOU make them. So, clean up your act. Get rid of the content that weighs you down and invite in more that lifts you.
It’s simple, really, isn’t it?
Until next time,