Last week I was at a conference where I did a presentation and also had a booth. The talk went great, and while the screaming Belief Monkey flying across the room was a big hit with the crowd, my memorable moments came after the talk.
I love it when something I say sparks an insight or new awareness, and when that also triggers a personal shift within, well, it is just magical—and it’s why I do what I do.
On the other hand, there were some who stopped by to chat who hadn’t heard me speak. If they had, they would have known to steer clear. But my book’s bright yellow-tangerine color and mesmerizing title called to them like a moth to a flame. Of course, it was actually that they knew they needed it.
Living the Life You Love. “Oh, yes, I want that!” Even after picking it up and reading the subtitle—The No-Nonsense Guide to Total Transformation—things were still going okay. But then, as most of us do, it came time to read the back cover.
After reading it and flipping through a few pages of the text, one woman simply said, “I know I need to make changes, but I don’t want to.” As she laid the book back down, she added, “I’m just not ready.”
Okay. I didn’t try to talk her into or out of anything, just told her it was really great that she was being honest with herself. The internal struggle was evident in her eyes, but she said, quite wisely, “You can’t do it until you want to,” then turned and walked away.
Another woman nodded along as she read the top three paragraphs. The bullet points put a stop to the nodding, but she kept reading until she got to, “New ways to look at food, exercise and money that make healthy choices easy.” I know that’s the point she got to because she read it out loud and dropped the book back on the table. “No, no I can’t do that! I don’t want to do that!” she said, then literally ran from the booth. The “And you can’t make me!” was implied if not actually spoken.
I have great compassion for the runners. I know what it feels like to be in that place of knowing you need to make changes and terrified of what it will mean if you do. I also know that the only way to get out of that pain is to stop running and face it down. You’ve got to make a stand and do something about it.
The glimmer of light is that whether they realized it or not, just by picking up that book and reading a few words they pushed themselves closer to wanting to. They may have said some version of, “I don’t want to and you can’t make me,” but what I heard was, “I know I need to do this and I will—I will!—I’m almost ready.”