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Removing the ‘no’ and doing the ‘do’

Dear Lucy: I read your article every week... But I seem to be in a rut and no matter how much I read or do I’m not getting anywhere. How can I get back in the groove?

Dear Lucy: I read your article every week, along with a lot of other self-help material. I love this stuff and it helps me a lot. But I seem to be in a rut and no matter how much I read or do I’m not getting anywhere. How can I get back in the groove?

– AG

Dear AG: I certainly know what it feels like to put in the time reading or whatever to keep your attitude on “go” only to find yourself in a rut with no ladder to climb out! Your letter is a little vague on detail, so I will just share a little of my own strategies with you.

For me, my first step is to know what my goal is...what am I looking for when I read self-help materials. Sometimes all I want is that just-right quote to help start my day with the right mindset.

Then again, when I am really struggling with something in particular, I get really specific. If it’s a money goal that I need to meet, I look for inspirational work on how to think about money in a positive way. I look for articles and books written by people who are successful and had to make it happen.

If it’s relationships, I look for articles or books that are more about going forward than about the drama of having failed. In fact, there are a lot of things that we can read that masquerade as self-help that instead just help reinforce feelings of inadequacy or fear. If it’s not truly positive or if it bashes anybody, I don’t read it.

Also, if I find myself in a rut, I ask if I am giving myself enough value and respect. We are our own worst critics! So sit down and make a list of the ten things you appreciate about yourself, then the ten things that you feel good about having done in this lifetime. Now you have twenty steps up the ladder and out of that hole. If twenty steps are not enough, make a list of the ten things that you are grateful for that have nothing to do with you!

Now when you are emotionally out of that hole of fear, disappointment and despair, ask yourself, “If I didn’t think that what I want is impossible, what is the one thing that I would do right now?”

Then, without hesitation, do that one thing.

Imagine what you would do if you didn’t think the answer to your dream is “no.” Just take that one step, do that one thing. I use this strategy over and over to break the spell of fear.

Climbing up with you,


(Check out Lucy Shaw’s website at http://www.heartworks4u.com. Send your questions to her by U.S. mail to: Heartworks4U, LLC; 4646 Poplar Ave. Ste 201, Memphis, TN 38117 or by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . You may also contact her for a free 20-minute consultation.)

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