There is a misunderstanding, a myth, in personal development that might be what is causing those who try it achieve it, angst. Angst is an interesting sensation and one that I believe has quietly infected many of the students (and some leaders) in this industry. Angst might be described as a mix of being anxious and frustrated while also feeling hopeful. It’s usually fairly chronic in those who feel it and is often described by saying, “I have this feeling in my gut. It doesn’t feel very good but I don’t know quite how to describe it. I’m a positive thinker but I also have this nasty feeling of dis-ease in my stomach a lot.”
Angsters realize this feeling most profoundly in those quiet moments of pause throughout our day like while sipping coffee at breakfast or as we crawl into bed at night. Nighttime can make the angst feel more intense and some days we just want to have a beer or stare at the TV, anything to ignore it.
Imagine that you’ve been caught in an avalance. You and two other people are huddled close in a snow cave with no apparent way out. The other two people experience full fledged anxiety and panic as they claim, “We’re all going to die!!” You, on the other hand, as an expert “angster” can feel the realness of your situation but harbor a mix of anxiety, frustration, and hopefullness. You might be scared but you can focus beyond your current reality (and emotion) to think about escape and/or rescue. You’re not so intoxicated with your current reality that you don’t believe things can’t, or won’t, change. You’re oddly able to focus your mind and stay outwardly calm while looking for a solution.
However, you are aware of that sickening feeling in your gut. It’s there, the whole time, yet you can still move forward, accomplishing what needs to get done. You have long been practicing forced action. Your Dad taught you to, “Suck it up, son.” when you were seven and he turned out okay so you follow suit and hope for the best. This is a lot like what you do in your everyday, normal, not stuck in an avalance cave days, suck it up despite the knot in your belly.
I’m going to let the cat out of the bag here. I am very familiar with this feeling. I’ve had it for years and was also taught to, “Suck it up.” and “Put on a brave face.” Only recently have I found the right word to describe this weird feeling. It’s been quietly living in my gut as I slowly make progress on all the goals and projects I love. You can live with angst, yes, but there is another way. The different way is filled with more ease and less emotional writhing. But it will require you to step away from the belief that you can (and should) make huge jumps in your growth and results.
In attempting to ignore “it” (the angst) and instead concentrating on making “quantum leaps” as leaders in the industry suggest, we are shooting ourselves in the foot. I bought into the idea, personally, but I could never line up with it. Something always seemed off. I figured I could somehow defy the laws of the universe, the proven laws of success, and suddenly “jump” from where I was to where I wanted to be. “Just take more action! You must act now because if you don’t, you might never you lazy thug. Hurry, Hurry, Tick Tock, Tick Tock!!” is the most prevelent advice in my industry. (The best kept secret in life is that if you did nothing, not one action, you’d still be worthy … simply because you were born.)
Just to clarify something, I have made wonderful progress in “creating success” in the last fours years. I started a business, began public speaking, wrote a book …. blah, blah, blah. Lots of action going on in my world. If someone was looking in to my world from the outside, they might even be inclined to label me a “quantum jumper” as I have been inclined to label those I look up to in my industry who appear to take big leaps in success.
So, what should a person do and think, for example, when (s)he is hearing others who have reached the summit, the peak of their success, say, “Just trust and believe that you, too, can make a quantum leap, moving from where you are directly to the summit!”
Boy, I hate to be the bearer of sobering news but this just made my angst worse. Why? Because intuitively I know this theory is flawed. If I try to imagine myself “on the summit” but emotionally I’m at base camp, it is nearly impossible to take a step. I’m awash with angst trying to figure out why it’s not happening. Am I not worthy? Am I not taking the “right” actions? Enough action? Am I not working hard enough? Am I not one of the gifted ones?
Why am I awash with these kinds of thoughts? Because that’s all I have access to in that vibration. Like attracts like remember? Law of attraction works in the realm of thoughts as well as in the physical realm of tangible experiences.
Quantum leaps, as I’ve understood them and as they have been described by others in personal development, implies:
1) “an expotential improvement in your performance” (Price Pritchett). Dr. Pritchett even says on page 1, “You don’t have to be content with improving things incrementally or gradually.”
(Huh? Why is it then that we tell the young athletes and musicians to practice, practice, practice. Isn’t it so that they can make incremental, or gradual, improvement eventually making it big? Is there a law of quantum jumping that only applies to a special few humans in certain industries but not “regular” people such as normal artists, writers, athletes, chefs, bankers, small business owners and children in second grade? Should I tell all the streams that they can, in fact, become a river in one big swoosh if they just push hard enough?)
2) dictionary.com says, 1. (physics) an abrupt transition of an electron, atom, or molecule from one quantum state to another, with the absorption or emission of a quantum. 2. a huge, often sudden, increase or change in something.
But here’s where I get stuck. I can see how an electron can make a shift instantly from one state to another. It’s an electron, after all, and sudden shifts from being the potential of fire to being the actual flame is part of its structure. It’s designed to be a shape shifter. But electrons don’t have to abide by the emotional scale of resonsance. Humans are not designed to be shape shifters and are governed by laws of physics that state we gradually change shape (loss or gain weight or muscle, age, get sick or well, etc.) This emotional scale governs humanity’s creative abilities, not an electron’s creative abilities, as far as I can tell. Comparing the two doesn’t seem logical to me. Yes, yes, I understand that we’re really just a mass of energy vibrating at a very fast rate. But the laws of our universe states that there is a time and space distance between me and the shape that I want to take. And it is all governed, or directed, by how I feel.
I’ve never met a human who can “quantum jump”, in other words, make a huge, sudden change, from depression to joy, from angst to pure elation, from anger to trust. I’ve never met a lottery winner who doesn’t lose it all. They must walk, step-by-step, up the scale and it’s this scale that is determining the coagulation of our physical realities.
We can take action as creative humans being, massive action, in fact, and many of us personal development junkies and strivers for more love the thought of this (it excites us) but …. sudden, morph-ish, big changes are exceedingly rare. People who have near death experiences seem to be able to quantum jump into heath but the rest of us take the step-by-step, thought-by-thought, one feeling at a time approach from what I can tell.
It’s not action that causes big changes in our results anyway.
(Can you feel the awkward silense after that last sentence? The readying of millions to defend their beliefs in taking actions? Put down your swords, s’il vous plait, if only for just a moment and allow me to explain that last idea.)
There are many, many people taking action all day long yet … they’re remain a good distance from achieving their desired goals despite their massive action plans. They are putting in a tremendous amount of daily effort and action only to see small results, not quantum. This will be very frustrating if you have emotionally invested in the idea that you can, and will, have a quantum jumps in your results. So these incredible people, who want to be one of the lucky ones who quantum jump into success, buckle down and try even harder believing that tomorrow might just be the day they quantum leap into their huge success. That they will wake up to have that million dollar in their account. These are logical, hard working people, by the way. Not “crazy” ones.
Here’s a novel theory I’d like to propose: It’s not the efforting, the actions, that causes what appears to be quatum leaps for some in success. What I am proposing is that it is the small, micromovements up the emotional scale that get them from where they are to where they want to go. It is the lining up emotionally with what you want that produces the results, not all the physical movement, not all the hustle and bustle.
Let’s compare personal development to baseball, for a second. If you were coaching little league it would never occurr to you to suggest to little Johnny that he could go from little league to pro ball without daily, constant, small improvements and small tweaks in his form and effort. Yet, in personal development we freely talk about the idea that you can, in fact, go from where you are to where you want to be in big, gigantic, unexplainable leaps.
There’s a movie called “A Quantum Leap: Unleashing the Power of Your True Nature.” In this flick, the scientists talk about the nature of reality, the illusion of separation, etc. Dr. Dispenza talks about “the quantum being something we do internally that produces external changes”.
Wait … what? That’s not what everyone else is saying. Most others are implying that I can get to where I want to be in one feel swoop, in a big huge jump based on my actions. Send more emails, tweet, text and take your potty break all at the same time, talk to more people, work more hours, get out there and do, do, do!! is the most common heard battle cry.
Did Dr. Joe say internal changes produce external changes? But what are you changing internally?
How you feel.
And how you feel can not be turned on a dime. Go ahead. I dare you to try and pivot from being pissed off in one moment to happy in the next when you’re in an argument with your spouse or parent. Try to go from, “I’m so frigg’n mad.” to “I feel so happy.” in a quantum leap … meaning a huge skipped all the steps inbetween … jump.
What if most people haven’t been defining quantum correctly? What if we’ve been misunderstanding it’s true definition in order to motivate others into believing the can improve their results fast? (This idea certainly helps sell products. We love the idea of instant results. It’s very appealing to us right now.)
I looked up the definition of quantum and this is what I found: