I am thrilled today to publish an interview I had with Paula Renaye, author of The Hardline Self Help Handbook: What Are You Willing to Do to Get What You Really Want?. She is currently on a virtual book tour to promote the book. I found her book insightful, and there were parts that shook my foundations. This interview has been split into two posts, both published today, to make the reading a bit easier. (The second part of the interview can be found at Part 2.
The Hardline Self Help Handbook: What Are You Willing to Do to Get What You Really Want? is a course in self-discovery that cuts through the fluff and gets to the bottom of things that are keeping you stuck. Each chapter has examples that are very applicable, and a section at the end to let you explore how these issues manifest in your life.
Paula Renaye is a certified professional coach, motivational speaker, regression hypnosis practitioner, award winning author and consultant. Her passion is helping people face their own reality in order to reclaim their own power and get what they really want.
Interview with Paula Renaye, Part 1
Simple Productivity Blog: This book is a journey from the past to the future, moving from cleaning out the mental closets of the past to moving into your vision. Why do you feel it is so important to take care of the past? Wouldn’t it be simpler to shut the door and move forward?
Paula Renaye: It’s all well and good to say “just let it go,” but that’s easier said than done for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that we may not even know what it is we actually need to let go of. We can say “I’ve let that go” and pretend it doesn’t matter, but if it still hurts inside, nothing’s really changed. Only when you are at peace with “why” it doesn’t bother you anymore can you really be “over it.”
SPB: In the beginning of the book, you challenge the statement, “I’ll do anything to…” How did you come to the realization that this is not true and there are things people are not willing to let go of?
Paula: Through my own mistakes, of course! I remember repeatedly saying that I would do “anything” to get out of pain. But what I really meant was, I’ll do anything to get out of pain as long as it doesn’t involving doing these particular things.
In my case, I wanted a happy and peaceful relationship, but I was in one that was causing me intense pain. Now, for that situation to resolve to my liking, one of two things had to happen: either the existing relationship dynamic had to change or I had to move on to a different relationship. Since moving on was not an option in my mind, that left change. And unless two people are on the same willing page with that, it isn’t going to happen and option two will go into effect whether you like it or not.
So, while I said what I wanted was to have a happy relationship, I wasn’t willing to do the one thing that would put me on the path to getting it, which was to leave my current partner. Only when I truly became willing to do “anything,” did my life change.
SPB:Why did you decide to write this book?
Paula:I wrote Hardline for those who are struggling, just as I did—and sometimes still do—with making the life they dream about materialize. I love the movie The Secret. It’s inspiring to me and the concepts are solid. But I have to tell you it didn’t work quite so magically for me as it apparently did for a lot of other folks.
In fact, after working with the principles of The Law of Attraction for a while and not getting the amazing results promised, I started feeling even worse about myself! Was I doing it wrong? Was my “manifestor” broken? Was the good stuff just not meant for me, or what?
Eventually, what I realized was that visualization and feeling and acting “as if” was all well and good, but if I still had subconscious beliefs that were in conflict with my conscious desires, nothing was going to happen. Well, it might, eventually, but it was going to take a long, long time.
For example, you can imagine how wonderful it would be to live in a mansion on the beach, but if you have an underlying belief that being rich is bad—that all rich people are dishonest, greedy or got their money by using and abusing others—then why in the world would your inner self let you be one?
One way that I’ve found to help ferret out some of those beliefs is with four simple questions. I call these “The Big 4.” They’re a basic insight tool and also serve as the foundation for developing your true life goals roadmap.
So, for any desire you might have—anything—use these simple questions to get insight on what’s really going on with you. There are no wrong answers and it doesn’t mean you won’t go ahead and get, do or be whatever your desire is. It does mean that you’ll have a better understanding of why so you can make conscious choices that give you what you’re really after. Here they are:
- What do you want?
- Why do you want it?
- How will you feel if you get it?
- How will you feel if you don’t?
Try it out with anything, keep digging and see what you come up with.
SPB: How do you feel the statement “I don’t have time!” affects people’s productivity?
Paula:Well, I can talk about this topic without quoting Henry Ford, “Whether you say you can or you can’t, either way you’re right.” And let’s not forget the wonderful line from Richard Bach’s Illusions, “Argue for your limitations and sure enough they’re yours.” Our words matter and we are what we say.
Now, all that said, you probably don’t have time. Most of us feel like our lives are racing along without us and the best we can do is scramble along behind, trying to keep up. If you truly don’t have time, you have to ask yourself a couple of questions:
- Is it really true?
- Do you really not have time for anything else?
- Or, just not time for that?
- Ask why or why not for each.
For me, having a particular level of “things to do” keeps me functioning at the highest level of productivity. Drop below that level and I’ll procrastinate because it feels like I have “nothing to do.” Go over that level and I’ll stare at the wall and do nothing because I’m overwhelmed and don’t know what to do first. But if I can keep myself balanced in that zone, I can effectively accomplish a great many things in a short amount of time. And let’s not forget another old saying, if you want something done, ask a busy person. There’s truth to all of these!
It’s also true that if we push ourselves too hard, if we “don’t have time” even for a good night’s sleep, our body will step in and take care of it for us. Have you ever been overworked and stressed and “come down” with a cold? Sure, stress affects the immune system and getting sick is one way to get you what you need—the hard way.
Now, one more question, if you or someone you love had a catastrophic event occur, what would you have time for then?
Like it or not, life is about choice. We choose where we spend our time. And, if we’ll be honest, we’ll find time for things that are really important to us. The key is being honest with ourselves about our choices and then having the courage to own them—and make different ones if we want to.
SPB: You have a list of Bullets You Need To Bite. What is your favorite and why?
Paula: Suck it up and grow a spine: It’s my favorite because it’s one that I still have to really work with. As un-Hardline as this may sound, I really hate hurting anyone’s feelings. Saying it like it is can turn a lot of people off and I still catch myself agreeing to something I really don’t want to because speaking my truth seems “mean.”
However, when I don’t, it always—and I do mean always—comes back to bite me. The fallout down the road after I’ve reached my limit of “going along” is usually not pretty. And it is no one’s fault but my own. No one took advantage of me—I allowed it. I did not honor my own needs and allowed another person’s desires to override my own.
I did this recently and I immediately regretted it, which set off a whole host of other feelings, including resentment, guilt, shame, disgust and anger. And what would have been a mildly unpleasant initial situation of turning away a potential “friend,” became a horribly unpleasant task that required me to be honest in a much more brutal way than had I handled it appropriately initially. It was quite a lesson—one I sincerely hope I don’t have to repeat!
More of this wonderful interview is continued at Part 2 of the Paula Renaye interview