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?. 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 first part can be found at Interview Part 1. This interview is part of the virtual book tour she is doing with The Hardline Self Help Handbook.
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 2
SPB: Do you still get stuck? What is your favorite technique for getting unstuck?
Paula: No, no, I never ever get stuck anymore. Always have the answers. That’s a joke. BIG one! Of course I get stuck!
In fact, just the other day I was meeting with a new business associate who had just read my book. I heard the words come out of my mouth, but I couldn’t stop them and I knew where the conversation was going because that is where it always goes! The woman said, “Well, sounds like someone needs a little Hardline Self Help.” Grrr. You think?
The truth is, in the last few months I’ve gotten stuck a number of times and I wallowed and stumbled until I finally took my own advice and ran things through the basic Big 4 questions. And then the lights came one. Every time! But did I do it instantly when I hit the wall? Nope, but I’ve cut down the wallow-time down to only few hours now. I’m still working on it.
It does bring up something that needs to be said. Unless you are one of the enlightened masters walking this earth—and if you’re reading this, you’re not—you’re still working on your stuff. Just because someone—me or anyone else—wrote a self-improvement book doesn’t mean they can live it 100% of the time. We’re still human, and we’re still expanding our capacity for understanding and doing better. I share what works for me, which is constantly expanding as well, because I know it can work for others too.
And, yes, that’s really what drives me—helping people discover their own paths to happiness. Because when one person becomes happy, it affects his whole world and everyone in it. And if one person becomes happy because of then she affects others and they become happy and, well, you get the idea. So, please, share what you’ve learned. Let’s all do our parts.
SPB: How do you think your message will help the overbooked, over-driven adult?
Paula: With things as they are in the world today, it’s pretty clear that we all need to make some serious shifts in both thinking and doing, and we’re getting some serious reality checks to help us. We can’t wait for the economy to “turn around” so we can go right back to doing what we were doing, such filing bankruptcy to fix our over-indulgences or refinancing the house again to fund a lifestyle.
In fact, I think this challenging period that we’re in is fantastic! How many of us have the courage to make changes unless we’re metaphorically dangling from a cliff or very literally on our knees in intense pain? Well, how many of us are at that place now—or close enough to smell it? Right—a lot!
This time is big huge wake-up call for all of us, for re-evaluating our choices in both our inner and outer worlds, meaning we are re-discovering the joy of feeding our souls and how that looks in the physical world.
We’ve let ourselves get hooked in to a way of life that’s sucking our souls rather than feeding them. We work late to meet the deadlines, we push and shove up the success ladder, we work overtime to pay the mortgage or we live in constant fear of losing the paycheck entirely. Whatever the scenario, it isn’t a happy place.
Certainly there are times we have to make short term sacrifices for long term gains. My own “what are you willing to do to get what you really want” question is about just that. However, it is critical to be crystal clear on what it is you really want. If you say you want the best for your family, well, that’s great. But, exactly what does that mean, and by whose definition? And (here’s a big one), is it really true?
For example, are you really working 16-hour days so your family will have a better life? Or, would you simply rather be working than at home? Are you trying to get that promotion so you’ll make more money for the family or so you can prove something to yourself? Is it really in the kids’ best interests to inhale fast food for supper as they zip between soccer and piano lessons then rush home to do homework and stumble to bed? Does your family really have a better life with you not in it?
I believe more and more people are choosing to get off the hamster wheel and recreate their lives in conscious ways. The measure of what success means is changing. Whether it’s scaling back on buying things, downsizing a house or lifestyle, or reinventing yourself and your career, or a zillion other things, people are now taking a hard look at what makes them truly happy.
And while we’re at it, it’s my opinion that the people who are going to “save the world” are the entrepreneurs—the ones who maybe never saw themselves as pioneering business owners, but who out of necessity were pushed out of the rat race and into work of their hearts. Now is the time for us all to be living the life we truly want.
SPB:What is the difference between an “if only” and a legitimate vision of the future?
Paula:“If only” is a delusion. “If only I had a million dollars, I’d be happy. Everything in my life would be fixed.” No, it wouldn’t. Yes, you’d probably be able to pay off your bills and buy a house—depending on the market—and maybe a car. Then what? How did that fix how you feel about yourself? Were you “somebody” for five minutes because you had money and weren’t worrying about how to pay the bills? So what? You’ll be right back in that shape in no time. Look at the statistics on lottery winners.
Same goes with wanting a particular person or job. You get what you think you want and then there’s a letdown because in reality it was the feeling you thought that person or thing would give you, and, uh oh, come to find out you are the only one who can give that.
When you have a legitimate vision for the future, it can definitely include specific material things such as money. But it’s a different way of approaching it—it’s you giving you what you want, using the vehicles of choice. And that leads us back to those four questions again. Understanding why you want that million dollars—honestly—gives you a realistic (rather than romanticized) view of how to get what you’re really are after. Then, you make conscious decisions to use it and enjoy it for what it is rather than as a magic bullet for all your problems.
SPB: At the end of the book you spend time talking about creating vision boards to help solidify what you want. Why not just do that and skip the other stuff?
Paula: It’s pretty simple: out of sight out of mind. Most of us can’t remember what we had for lunch yesterday much less what goals we set—or how we thought they’d make us feel. By creating a vision board and a personalized vision script, you’re programming your subconscious to accept these things.
While we’re busy putting in positive programming for what we want into the subconscious, we aren’t actively de-programming the limiting beliefs that are keeping us from having what we want. Well, we might accidentally do that, but it works a whole lot better if you do it on purpose.
For example, if I want to win a beauty contest, but secretly think I’m the ugliest duckling that ever walked the planet as well as the least deserving, I can stare at a vision board all day and see myself winning, but it can only go so far. Until I actively reprogram the “don’t deserve” and “I’m ugly” beliefs they will short circuit everything else. That’s where the vision script comes in. Once you’ve identified those limiting beliefs you can structure your statements to reprogram them: “I am beautiful inside and out.”
Louise Hay’s “I deserve the best and I accept it now” and “I love and approve of myself” are good solid mental-flossing tools. Now, for some people, the word “deserve” can carry all kinds of connotations and complications. To counteract that, I like to add some additional wording with it, depending on the wiring of the listener, such as “because I exist, I deserve good things.” Even saying something that seems innocuous such as “we all deserve good” can conflict with an underlying belief of eye-for-an-eye justice that can cause the subconscious to scream “oh, no I don’t,” so wording is important.
So, in short, you need rewire your specific limiting beliefs in order for things to work effectively and efficiently, and to do that, you have to know what they are.
SPB: Why do you feel vision boards and vision scripts are so important? By applying the techniques, do you feel you have personally achieved what you were looking for? Or is it an ongoing process?
Paula: Yes and yes! I was looking for a way to get myself out of pain and confusion and stop running the old tapes that were causing it. I’ve done a lot of that! That’s not to say I’ve mastered everything, or even anything! It’s all a matter of degrees. We think we’re “over it,” and we are, right up until we’re not—when a challenge kicks us back to the old place.
As long as we aren’t faced with the old stuff, we can do pretty well at not being reactive. But when we get handed a challenge—such as I was recently with speaking my truth—we can fall back into old patterns. The good news is that we recognize it and we get ourselves out quickly. And, eventually, like Portia Nelson in her classic “autobiography” The Sidewalk, we not only see the hole and avoid it, we go down a completely different street.
I would like to thank Paula Renaye for her time and this wonderful interview! If you are interested in seeing more of the book tour, please go to The Hardline Self Help Handbook Virtual Book Tour.