Here’s an excerpt from my new book…
UnLocked: How To Stop Being Negative and Restore Your Authentic Self.
Love Locks are complicated, emotional, and life changing beliefs that have a toxic impact. There’s a lot of emotional turbulence that goes into creating Love Locks (more on creating Love Locks in the next chapter) and they alter the way that you behave after you’ve created them. Finding and releasing Love Locks is often life changing in a healthy, transformative manner.
I’m sure you know what a common cold is. You’ve probably even had a few colds in your life, right?
When you get a cold you perform poorly, feel tired and sluggish, rely on cold meds to get you through the day, hope for TLC from someone, and wish that you could curl up on the couch with chicken noodle soup and The Price is Right. If you don’t slow down and help your body heal, the common cold can turn into something more serious, like bronchitis or a sinus infection.
Love Locks do almost the exact same thing except instead of attacking your body, Love Locks attack your mind. When you’re “infected” by Love Locks your mind tells you not to feel good about yourself, convinces you that you can’t achieve your goals, makes you believe that you don’t deserve a good partner, and that you really are all of those horrible things that you say about yourself.
The more your Love Locks are triggered and used, the bigger they get and the more harm they cause. Eventually Love Locks make you uncomfortable enough that you look for the reason you are the way that you are and you search for a solution.
That’s when most women discover the concepts of self-love, mindset, and even blocks. That’s a mouthful of self-help concepts! Let’s look at each of these and I’ll explain why they have failed you and why they haven’t helped you out as much as you had hoped.
First up, self-love!
I’m not a fan of the term “self-love” because I think it sounds clinical. Truthfully, I think it belongs in a clinical setting not a self-help setting and it feels like yet another thing that women aren’t doing right.
While I value the meaning and the concept of self-love, a decade of coaching has taught me that most women will resist the term (rightfully so) because they do love themselves overall. It also confuses them because if they didn’t love themselves they wouldn’t be looking for a way to feel better, right?
Yet, self-love is a concept that is used by almost every coach, counselor, or self-help guru. Right now, on Instagram there are almost thirty-two million (yep million) posts about self-love. That doesn’t include other hashtags that relate to self-love. That’s a lot of self-love!
The problem that I find with the concept of self-love and how it’s used by most people is that they tell you to love yourself, value yourself, and put yourself first. Ummm…okay. Sounds great in theory but how do you put that advice into practice when your life feels like it’s been turned upside down or you’ve had a really rotten day. When life is fine and it’s going your way, you can easily say “I love myself.” But when trouble hits and life gets really bumpy, I guarantee that’s when Love Locks strike and they strike HARD. When you’re in that place of despair or feeling like a failure, there is no way you’re going to stop and say, “I love myself. I’m not what has happened to me.”
Here’s how most of us are going to react when bad things happen or we hit a bump in the road. First the horrible thing is going to overwhelm us and take away reason. Then Love Locks attack ferociously and before we know it we’re going to start saying the Love Lock that hits hardest and hurts the most. Then we’re going to repeat it over and over ( “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not smart enough” or “I’m not pretty enough”) like a mantra until we’re exhausted. Right?
I know you know the phrase that you use. Go ahead think about it. In fact, write that phrase down because that’s one of your Love Locks. (Don’t fret! We’re going to fix it later in the book.) You’re going to replay the event that triggered your Love Lock and then resolve not to put yourself in the same position again (the event, situation, conversation, or opportunity that set off your Love Lock).
As a result, your Love Lock is going to strengthen and get bigger because you’re giving it more power to protect you. However, it’s also going to negatively impact your reality and relationships even more going forward in life now. Your Love Lock is a double edge sword. On one side you think it’s shielding and protecting you. However, on the other side, it’s making you give up or shy away from your dreams, goals, love, happiness, and opportunities.
All the self-love in the world isn’t going to fix that Love Lock because you do love yourself for the most part already.
I’m saying that for most women, it’s not a self-love problem, it’s a Love Lock problem. The concept of self-love is popular but it’s not accurate.
In fact, let’s look at the collective definition of self-love: “regard for one’s own well-being and happiness” (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic). Google it…that’s the definition.
Okay, that’s vague but if we take that definition to heart, you already have self-love because you’re seeking ways to create a better existence and solve a problem. Self-love is a valid concept but it doesn’t apply to most people because most people love themselves. They just have a few false beliefs about themselves that are getting in their way.
Now you can see why if self-love is truly lacking in an individual that is a true issue which should be a handled in clinical situation. A person that doesn’t have regard for their own well-being or happiness is usually not actively seeking solutions and may have other issues that also need to be addressed along with self-love.
Let’s talk about mindset. Mindset is generally regarded as either positive or negative, the glass is half full vs. half empty concept. It’s another word that coaches, counselors, or self-help gurus like to throw around. Instagram is also bursting with over eighteen million mindset posts, not including all the subsets of the word mindset. Clearly mindset is another self-help concept that possess some kind of magic or mystical powers. Let’s also look at the definition of mindset: “the established set of attitudes held by someone.”
That’s another vague definition. This means that pretty much anyone can add the word “mindset” to another word and sound impressive. Let me give you some examples, money mindset, growth mindset, love mindset, success mindset, boss mindset, or mindset coach. All of that sounds impressive. However, it’s not telling you anything.
Basically all someone is telling us when they use the word “mindset” is that they either have or want to have a mindset that revolves around another word. They’re making a simple concept sound fancier and more impressive than it is.
Most of us probably already have a money, growth, healthy, love, business, family, success, animal, flower…you get my point… mindset. If you think about (pick a word) and have an opinion or attitude about that word, you have that mindset.
Now maybe you want to learn more about that word or improve your skills around that word. So you seek out someone (expert, teacher, coach, counselor, courses, etc.) that knows how to improve your skills around the concept of that word. The professional that assists you is going to help you work on your beliefs around that word or they are going to help you learn new skills so that you can improve the way that you handle that word.
As you can see there isn’t anything magical or transformative in the word “mindset.” What is magically transformative is your ability to learn, change, and believe.
So if you want to sound fancy and impressive too, you can start telling people that you have a self-transformative mindset. See how that sounds more impressive than I’m working to improve myself.
Let’s move on to another buzzword that many self-improvement professionals love, the word “blocks.”
I remember when I first heard that term from another coach. I know I looked at her sideways. I was so confused. Now, I’m a smart woman and have read hundreds of books on self-help and improvement. When this woman said that I had blocks, I just had to know more.
What the heck were blocks and how did she know that I had them if I didn’t know that I had them?
She had to be phenomenally intuitive or magical or something.
I quizzed her about what a block was. She told me that I had something that wasn’t allowing me to move forward, like a pipe that is blocked.
That’s when she brought out the word energy.
Finally, she said I had an energetic block that was holding me back and she could clear it. I still didn’t get a clear sense of what this block was or how I could work on this situation on my own. This energetic block clearing wasn’t empowering. I didn’t feel like anything happened when she clear this so-called block.
I’m not going to make you read another definition because there isn’t one that is relevant in this situation. There are seven different ways to define the word block and none of them apply to the field of self-help. There are a few that you could very loosely adapt and that’s what others have done.
Needless to say, you don’t have blocks.
Love Locks are different because you created them, Love Locks are beliefs, and you use them all of the time. There isn’t anything mystical or magical about them. You don’t need to love yourself more, you don’t need to have a mindset about them, and they certainly aren’t a three-dimensional child’s toy or a clogged pipe. You simply need to unlock the toxic core beliefs that are holding you back. Love Locks impact how you act, the choices you make, and most of all how you see yourself. That means they are corrupting your reality and relationships.
- You don’t have a self-love problem.
- You don’t have a mindset problem.
- You aren’t a pipe and you aren’t blocked up.
- You have some false toxic beliefs about yourself that are messing up your reality and relationships.
- You created these beliefs. That means that you’re capable of changing your beliefs to something that is positive and will help you create a better reality and better relationships.
Ms. Locksmith Action Step
Your action step in this chapter is to start noticing your beliefs and to start thinking about them. You’re going to start questioning your beliefs and start finding beliefs that aren’t really working for you.
To help you do this start asking yourself these questions.
Is this a belief or a fact?
Does this belief make me stronger or more capable?
Does this belief help me create the life I want live or is this belief holding me back?
The purpose of this action step is to help you build a habit of noticing your beliefs so that you can start changing beliefs that aren’t working for you. This is a warm-up exercise so that when we start unlocking your Love Locks, you’re ready to go.