Manifesting: When Techniques Don’t Translate

Have you noticed the number of books out there that deal with manifesting and achieving goals?  I’ve read more than my share and I’ve gotten something of value from each one.  I enjoy those from the early 20th century for their apparent simplicity but also their antiquated language which harks back to earlier and theoretically simpler times.  But where they?

Those familiar with late 19th and early 20th century history know a number of wars, a global pandemic, and other conflicts made those years a time of transition that was anything but smooth.

Conversations with my grandparents were enlightening.

They did not sugar coat things even as they put their experiences through the filters of hindsight.

Some books have been updated to reflect a modern era whereas others are out and out new – written from the perspective of someone who has overcome adversity and struggle using techniques common across majority of books on the subject.

i.e. writing goals, visualizing goals as already achieved.

Though I’ve gained tremendous value and made progress from utilizing techniques shared in the various books, I’ve come to see where I’ve done myself an injustice.  

It has to do with one of my favorite themes. 

Perspective is Everything

It was this morning as I was going through my closet that I came to see what an injustice I’d done to myself by not understanding that though someone may have been through a similar challenge and may have words of advice and wisdom to offer – they didn’t go through my challenge.

They weren’t playing the same hand I was.  Their cards were different.

What came from this brief introspection is a tidbit I haven’t seen in books; one I will share.

It’s a big piece of the puzzle.

How did I get to this insight?  

The Tale of Two Memories

I thought briefly of the long multi-year journey of my struggle to build a wardrobe I felt reflected who I was after leaving Corporate.

I struggled to find the Goldilocks balance of career casual.

My efforts usually ended up revealing what didn’t work though they were not for naught.

I eventually got myself here where I’m comfortable with what I have; about as Goldilocks as it gets when it comes to that balance.

One of the better exercises I did – years ago – was have people I trusted [to be honest], who understood the career transition I was going through, give their opinion on various pieces in my closet.  I listened to comments like “Too formal, wrong color, makes you look like an old lady.”

Usually their expressions told the tale before anything came out of their mouths.

At the end of the exercise I had a rather large pile including accessories to donate but what remained felt too patchwork.  It was a defining moment on the path to attaining my career goals.

Having the right self-image meant I wouldn’t feel like an imposter in my new career.

The other example – one that may be read by the individual – is meant to illustrate.

Not criticize the individual who was being sincere in their efforts to help me.

I love having house plants in my environment.  

However

In spite of their resiliency it’s been more of a challenge than I’ve liked with challenges tied to various locations I’ve lived.  

A lot of the places lacked adequate sun and were too arid because of a need to run heat.

House plants , including those marked as low-light plants generally need more sun and moisture – though not more watering – than is conveyed.

At one point we were living in an area that from outside appearances implied it would be easy to grow plants. And yet I was facing one of my bigger challenges.

Damn if my plants kept dying!

We had plenty of sun – but not too much – and water didn’t seem to be a problem.

Frustrated I consulted a friend who is pretty savvy growing plants in challenging environments.  Unfortunately, all that came from those conversations was my feeling worse.  

I think that came from the fact I was picking up the vibe of “You have to be doing something wrong since the environment is ideal.”

Unfortunately, I gave a lot of power to this individual because they had overcome environmental challenges.

Challenges I decided were more significant than the ones I was facing since I didn’t have snow and there was more sun.  

What I didn’t consider was that though the individual may have had significant environmental challenges, they weren’t my environmental challenges.  Worse, the lack of certain extremes – low light and snow/freezing temps – obscured the impact of the environmental challenges I was facing.

Wind

To start with, these plants were on an outdoor patio and though they were shielded from direct wind, they were not shielded from the constant buffeting our location was subject to.

Arid

The air was more arid than I realized.

Like a desert in terms of lacking moisture.

Salt

We were not far from the Pacific Ocean.  It honestly didn’t occur to me the salt in the air would take a toll on my plants.

I didn’t consider this until a friend living on a sailing yacht told me she can’t keep plants alive because the salt air finishes them off.

For years I felt frustrated because though I’d tried to explain my environmental challenges, my friend didn’t come across as appreciating them.

I felt I was on the receiving end of “You think you have problems…they aren’t nearly what I have to face so you must be doing something wrong.”

This was on me.

I truly appreciate my friend’s efforts and all these years later they are still helping because they made me realize I was taking on energy that wasn’t helpful.  One might suggest it was just one of those lost in translation moments.  

It was.

What I learned from these examples is that a very important step when working to manifest goals is to offload anything that isn’t part of that goal achieved.

Physically and psychologically.

To the best of your ability, it’s important to remove what might be blocking the path.

What isn’t representative of the end result – achieved.

This is an adjunct to focusing on the outcome.  

Which is only part of the equation.

Letting go of that which isn’t part of that outcome is crucial.

It can be an arduous process.

It can be traumatic and disruptive.

Techniques to deal with the twists and turns in the path are important and this is where authors sharing their experiences can really help.

As this is meant to do.

Note: Some of the best indoor plant advice I’ve come across has come from bloggers living in the UK.

MANIFESTING: MAKING ROOM

This is generally the time of year when I contemplate career goals. 

Though one year it was all done before the end of summer.

This year the theme that came up was letting go of that which no longer serves.  My first exposure to this concept was back in 96 when I came across Terah Kathryn Collins’ book The Western Guide to Feng Shui Room by Room.  Of all the statements that resonated [at the time] the idea that every item we see chatters at us, reminding us of who gave it to us and/or where we got it, and whether that item makes us feel good or bad was the most powerful.  Once I had that philosophy as a filter it was easy to decide what action I needed to take.

One Man’s Junk

I went through the house room by room and gathered everything I no longer used or needed, as well as items that didn’t leave me feeling good. As a reward for all that work, I was able to pass along every single item to someone whose son was moving into his first apartment and needed everything.

When it comes to getting rid of that which no longer serves it can be done for general purposes which is a great way to keep up on/prevent clutter but also works for a specific goal or area in your life in which you wish to see improvement.  The reason is simple.  If you are constantly looking at something that reminds you of who you used to be or who you are now it will be hard to become the you that you believe you can be.

Or to feel it because you are surrounded by items that may be telling a different story.

Career Part One

As part of my path in tech I switched Fortune 500 companies, bringing with me experience and expertise to do my job but leaving the loyalty for my former company behind.

I had to prove that last part but it worked out and I had a very successful career at the second company as well.

There came a point where we went through a merger and I was told I – along with my peers – needed to give a presentation to the members of my new team, many of whom were from the company we merged with.

Which had been a competitor.

This was so new colleagues could learn a bit about my background and professional experience.  As I was putting it together I came to see some of the certifications I had were no longer relevant outside that I’d earned them and they came in handy when I ran into legacy systems and/or customers.  How I handled it on the slide was to poke fun at them even while making sure it was understood I was proud of them and the work it took to earn them, and that they were steps along the professional path to get me where I was at that point.

A Senior Technical Consultant.

As I write in my bio, I learned the benefit of flexibility working in an industry where change was constant.

It’s why I was drawn to the industry to begin with.  I love learning.

Though the principles still apply, it hasn’t always been as easy in my writing career.

Career Part Two

I’ve written about a bit of a wardrobe challenge in the letting go department, mostly because I had no idea of what would be next.

Having a vision of where you want to go is extremely helpful when setting goals.

As I layered this knowledge over the particular goals I have and the path I’ve traveled this far, I came to see letting go felt a little different.  It required not only seeing myself as that person who achieved the goal, but required feeling like that accomplished individual.  That was a little harder to fake.

I understood the concept of fake it til you make it but wasn’t clear on the execution.

In spite of that missing piece I took physical actions I knew supported the concept.  

  • Got rid of items that sent the wrong message about my career goals. 
  • Reminded myself doing the basics on visualization and getitng rid of what didn’t represent the me that achieved the goal had worked previously.
  • Reminded myself of other challenging goals I’ve achieved to boost my morale and confidence.
  • Acknowledged every mini victory of change – no matter how slight – in how I felt after taking action.
  • Remained open to following whatever my instincts told me I might need to do even if it didn’t make sense. 

So long as it was in line with achieving my goal.

Along the way books were put in my path that deepened my understanding and provided new techniques to try. 

As I come to a point where I’ve just about cleared out that which no longer serves I remind myself of another important piece of the puzzle, albeit one that isn’t always comfortable.  To illustrate I will give a metaphor.

New Dishes

Let’s say you want a new set of dishes.  Let’s also say that you already have some in the cupboard but maybe they are hand-me-downs from when you got your first apartment or maybe your taste has changed.  You can go about this a few different ways.  

  • You could go buy what you want but then you have to figure out what to do with what’s in there.

This assumes you know exactly what you want and you have the means to get that other set.

  • You could take whatever is in there and pass it along.

In this case you may or may not know what you want but decide to get rid of the old because you don’t like how looking at the old makes you feel.

For this scenario you have options but if you’re the kind of person that freaks out at the sight of an empty cupboard you may find yourself making a rash decision.  

One you may regret.

You need to get comfortable with the real big empty.

In the meantime you could use paper plates or find other work-arounds.  Remember, this is just a metaphor.

When we let go of that which no longer serves – items that may be sending a message that becomes an emotional block to attaining the goal – we need to live with a between part until the goal finds its way into that space. There is no set timeframe on how long this between part may last.

One may have more inner work to do to align with the goal.

I’m not saying this is easy but it’s in this space we are able to grow into the person we need to be to receive the goal.

For a technique to help get through this between time, see Manifesting Blah: Feeling Can Help.

MANIFESTING GOALS: WHAT YOU DON’T IS IMPORTANT TOO

This is my third attempt at writing about an aspect of manifesting goals that came to mind while I was in the liquid think tank this morning.

The shower.

I was thinking of an email exchange with a friend who has recently attained a major goal.  

One he’d been working toward for years!

During that time in which we traveled parallel lanes as we went for goals we did what we could to support each other’s efforts.

Sometimes acting as a cheering coach, other times a sympathetic ear.

I recently suggested he read Neville Goddard’s Be What You Wish and while it may seem an odd suggestion if he’s achieved his goal, it’s actually a critical piece of the puzzle if he doesn’t want to lose what he’s achived.

Most people, myself included, think of the action items they need to do to achieve the goals.  What about what you need to avoid?

Whether you are on the path toward the goal, you have recently achieved it, or you’ve had it for awhile what you don’t do is as important as what you do if you want to attain and/or maintain it.  

Fortunately, you can use Neville’s approach for either.

Let’s say your goal is to be a successful consultant.  Depending on the industry some of the tasks you’d need to do would be take specialized training, subscribe to an industry publication.

Perhaps join a professional association.  

But what shouldn’t you do?

In a nutshell, you’d need to avoid actions, situations, and individuals that would negatively impact your efforts.

You’d do well to avoid activities that would distract you from what you should be doing as well as avoiding people who aren’t supportive of your efforts.

The last one can be trickier than you might imagine because it may not be obvious at certain points along the path to your goal.

As I thought about strategies that might help my friend in determining next steps I considered the importance – now that he’s achieved his goal – of finding people who can help him sustain it.  Not just people like me who are happy for him, but peers with whom he can share ideas and embrace this new place in his life.

People who would understand the enormous effort that went into it.

Since it may not be obvious where and how to find these people – outside professional organizations – it makes sense to go back to Neville’s strategy.

What would a person who achieved this do?  How would they spend their time and with who?

I’m not suggesting turning your back on friends but it is critical to be around people who can support who you are and where you want to go next.  

Who can help you maintain this new phase of your life.

If it’s related to a specific goal, it’s likely you’d want to narrow your search.

You recently passed the bar. What is the next most important thing to do?

If it’s related to a lifestyle goal, you would also want to narrow your search.

You moved to a new state.  What unique activities do the locals do that would help you feel the place home and feel like a local?

Perhaps most importantly, what do you need to let go of?

  • Unless there’s a valid reason you may not want to hang around college after you’ve graduated and passed the bar.
  • It wouldn’t make sense to tell everyone in your new state how much you miss your old state or why a certain store or brand or activity in your old state is superior to anything available in your new state.

While taking this step can happen at any point along the journey to your goal, starting early would be helpful.  

  • If you are studying to be a lawyer, subscribe to legal journals, join a professional organization, find and hang out with other attorneys
  • Visit the new state before moving if possible so that by the time you move it already feels like home.  If you can’t?  Read up as much as you can about it and/or subscribe to a magazine dedicated to a major city there.

No Time Like the Present

Sooner is better.

We go through a number of transitions along the path to our goal.  We grow and become.  If we embrace these changes up front by realizing ahead of time who we need to be, we bring the goal to life that much sooner.

Be sure to include what you won’t do or who you won’t be in your planning.

Letting go of that which no longer serves.

Don’t forget to celebrate your victory, but equally as important, hold on to what you’ve achieved.

Honor yourself.