How to Find Compassion for People Who Don’t Seem to Need It

Everyone is fighting a battle“Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” ~ Plato

“Really, everyone?”

15 years ago, that would have been my response to Plato.

Can you relate?

There are lots of people in the world who show their battles clearly. If you’re like me, you can find compassion for those types of people pretty easily.

But what about the people who have it all together?

Who look perfect, who have the perfect relationship, who seem to have everything they want easily?

Or, the people who boss everyone around?

Or, the people whose personality turns others off the moment they meet?

Is it possible to follow Plato’s direction with those folks, too?

The Silent, Herculean Effort

One type of person who I’ve had a hard time having compassion for is the one who is continually saying, “Everything’s great!”

My knee-jerk response in the past was, “Must be nice!”

But my view has changed after working with many people like this as clients.

They are actually working incredibly hard to maintain their ideal-looking life.

They show up at my door when that effort has become overwhelming.

When I say to them, “You accomplish everything you set your mind to, but it’s very hard work, and it’s getting harder all the time,” they usually sigh heavily and agree.

Often, I’m the first person who has ever recognized their struggle to keep what doesn’t feel good under control and work like crazy to keep everything together.

And, they usually tell me that they didn’t even see how hard they were working until it started to feel impossible.

From that, I have found compassion for those who don’t yet realize that they are fighting some kind of battle, as well as those who feel the struggle but just don’t show it to the rest of us.

When Panic Turns Ugly

Another kind of person who hasn’t seemed to need my compassion is the know-it-all, win-at-all-costs type.

A friend who fits that bill gave me great insight into his internal battle one day.

I had seen him completely take over a situation in a way that wasn’t appropriate.

When I asked why he did it, his answer really surprised me.

He said he felt unsure of himself and he panicked, and that his response to panic is to take over.

When I panic, I get quiet and try to take care of everyone around me, so the idea that someone would do exactly the opposite was a revelation.

As a result, I view people who are dictatorial or super-competitive in a much more compassionate way now.

The Compassion Lens

To understand other people’s battles, I have found it helpful to look through the lens of Learned Distress®.

It’s the fear that there’s something wrong with us being just the way we are.

We all absorbed this feeling early in life and it becomes the source of moments that don’t feel good to us.

Everyone…really, everyone…is walking around with the fear that there something wrong with them.

That has given me entirely new perspective on everyone I meet.

The Compassion Question

When I see people behaving negatively these days, I stop and wonder to myself, “What fear is driving them in this moment?”

Is it that someone might see they aren’t perfect?

That their current situation is straying beyond the boundaries of what feels safe to them (even if it seems completely innocuous to me)?

That if this particular situation doesn’t fit their ideal, that the world might fall apart?

Even if I can’t figure out the specifics, I find it incredibly helpful to say to myself, “Oh! They’re just scared!”

What sorts of people do you have a hard time understanding or having compassion for?

I hope this lens will give you a little insight into their struggles, so that even if you don’t know what it’s like to be them, you can find a bit more kindness in your heart for them.

The world can use all the kindness it can get right now.

You have my permission to use and share this lens as often as you like!

Sara Avery helps people get unstuck in their relationships, health, career, and self-expression. Learn how she can help you tackle your biggest challenges.

Why Change Is So Darned Hard

Why change is so hardAre you working really hard to create good change for yourself, but not seeing much change?

Do you still wake up day after day feeling the same?

Are you stuck in the same situations?

The same kinds of relationship dynamics?

Do you do all the right things, but never see the promised results?

I hear this all the time.

Why is the change we want so hard to achieve?

To answer that, we have to look at what is being threatened by change.

Is it that you just don’t like change, as people like to say?

Is it that you are so stubborn or just plain dumb that you can’t see how much better life would be?


The Inner Force That Resists Change

Your survival mechanism puts up an almost impenetrable wall to change.

In a very real and primal way, part of you feels that you will die if you change.

But how can this be true?

Rationally, you know that the change you’re working for is beneficial. Critical, even.

But, the rational, thinking part of your brain is not what stores this survival mechanism.

So, you can’t reason with it about change (or anything, for that matter).

Your Survival Storage Bank

Your survival mechanism resides within your sense of self.

It stores how you feel about being yourself (as opposed to what you think).

This part of your brain is 2½ years old.

That’s when it stopped developing and started to build around itself a wall of resistance to change—to make sure that your mechanism for staying alive stays intact.

Your Survival Mechanism Is Literally Unreasonable

Think of it this way. . .you’ve seen those news stories about an abused baby who is taken from her abusive parent and placed in a loving and nurturing home.

You know that she will be much better off in her new home, right?

But she clings for dear life to the person who has abused her. Why?

Because she has no rational, thinking capacity yet, there is no way to reason with her about this change.

The only survival she’s ever known is that abusive parent.

The same is true with your sensory brain.

It will hold onto the pattern of survival you absorbed early in life, even though you see rationally that this survival mechanism has meant that things only got harder for you.

Life has either gotten worse, or it has become harder and harder to make good things happen.


There’s Good News

Through 20 years of research, Quanta Change founder Mimi Herrmann figured out a way to break through the wall of resistance to change.

Quanta Change gives you a way to tell your sense of self that the change you want really is safe and good for you.

Even better, this process uncovers the natural well-being that has hid beneath your survival mechanism all this time

That’s right.

The source of the change you want is actually within you and just waiting to be uncovered.

Your Leap of Faith

I know.

You’re thinking, “Yeah, right. Just something else that will fail me.”

That’s what I thought when I talked with Mimi the first time, too.

But, I took a deep breath and gave it a shot.

And, that has made all the difference.

That’s what my clients say, too.

“I never believed I could feel good just being myself.”

“I never thought a relationship could work this well for me.”

“For the first time in my life, I feel a great sense of hope for the future.”

None of them believed these things were possible when they started Quanta Change, either.

Is it time for your leap of faith?

Sara Avery helps people get unstuck in their relationships, health, career, and self-expression. Learn how she can help you tackle your biggest challenges.

Why You Just Can’t Stop Working

Why you can't stop working“Why do I feel guilty when I’m not working?”

Sound familiar?

Or, are you too busy to even think about it?

Do you have fond memories of relaxing and having fun years ago?

Or, are you lifelong workaholic?

Have you struggled to create balance in your life?

“Just separate work and home,” people tell you. You can’t seem to do that, so you blame it on smart phones and 24-hour work culture.

But even on days off, do you keep yourself crazy busy?

Have you struggled more over the years to take time off?

Why is it so difficult to have a life?

The 2 Main Issues Here

Issue 1: “Why can’t I stop. . .working, doing, going?”

This is about the inner drive that demands you to conduct your life in a certain way.

Issue 2: “Why does it keep getting harder to take a break?”

This is about the mechanism that causes your inner taskmaster to grow into a bigger and bigger monster over time.

The Source of Issue 1

You’re not alone in this.

In fact, you couldn’t have more company.

Everyone. . .I mean every last person in the world. . .has it.

The reason you can’t stop working is that you feel there is something wrong with you being just the way you are.

You absorbed this Learned Distress® early in life, and it became trapped in your sense of self, which stores how you feel about being you.

Then, your sense of self became the automatic, generating force behind every moment in your life.

Before you had any choice in the matter, you absorbed the feeling that there is something wrong with you, and now it’s generating all your negative moments, without your conscious input or control.

Your Demanding Inner Master

Learned Distress is a horrible feeling, so your brain also developed ways to survive with it.

One survival mechanism is to work hard to overcome or avoid Learned Distress.

If you can only work a little more, be a little more perfect, keep things under control one more day. . .then, you’ll be OK.

Or, if you keep going 24/7, you won’t even have time to feel that there’s something wrong with you.


Do you see why it’s so hard to “achieve balance”?

Your rational brain says, “Rest and fun are good!”

But, your survival mechanism says, “You can’t stop now! There’s still something wrong with you!!”

So, you make like the Energizer Bunny and keep going. And going.

How Time Piles on the Misery

Issue 2 is the fact that over time, the intensity of your need to work all the time has increased. Right?

Years ago, you could take breaks. Take vacations. Evenings and weekends were for relaxing.

Now, there’s just a never ending stream of projects, and you keep putting more things on the list.

Here and there, maybe you take time off. But, it takes more effort to make yourself do it.

Deep down, you’re scared of having free time.

Here’s why. The amount of Learned Distress your brain stores isn’t a constant.

It keeps growing in intensity through your life.

In fact, it intensifies every night.

The Peril That Sleep Holds

Your sense of self gets renewed while you sleep.

Think of it as a rechargeable battery that stores how you feel about being yourself—good or bad.

During the day, your brain uses the contents of your sense of self to generate moments that feel the same as those stored feelings.

At night, your sense of self gets recharged with the energy of the most intense feelings you experienced that day.

Most of the time, are your most intense feelings the good ones or the bad ones?

Like most people, you probably answered, “The bad ones.”

So, you go to sleep, your brain recharges with your Learned Distress, and you wake up feeling that there’s something wrong with you a bit more intensely. Time has gradually turned up the volume on your Learned Distress dial.

Then, to try and overcome or avoid that intensified feeling, you work a little harder. A little longer. You put off vacation another 6 months.


The Promise That Sleep Holds

There’s another kind of feeling stored in your sense of self.

I call it your natural well-being. It’s the feeling that you are completely good being yourself exactly as you are.

This wonderful feeling is the core of who you are. It’s the little kernel of energy you began life with, before you started to absorb Learned Distress.

Well-being has been at work in your life, just as Learned Distress has.

Any moment that feels good effortlessly is the automatic output of your well-being.

So, I bet you’re thinking, “I want to recharge with well-being at night, instead of Learned Distress!”

That’s exactly what a researcher named Mimi Herrmann figured out how to help you do.

She spent 20+ years discovering how we absorb Learned Distress, how it becomes the source of our negative moments and situations, and then how we can unlearn it by telling our sleeping brain to recharge with the good feeling at our core, instead of the bad stuff.

Then, I helped her refine the process. We distilled it down to three integral elements that allow you understand what you want to change, how to communicate that to your sleeping brain, and how to understand and navigate the repeating cycle of change that results.

Engaging in those three elements permanently removes layers of Learned Distress.

As layers peel away, natural well-being takes over as the automatic, generating force behind more and more moments and situations.

The Output of Well-Being

You’re well acquainted with the output of Learned Distress.

You feel that there’s something wrong with you and you struggle to overcome it or avoid it.

Even when you’re successful coping with or avoiding the Learned Distress, and therefore achieving a positive result, you’re still largely experiencing the outcome of your negative feelings.

Have you noticed that it has become harder to for good things to happen in your life? That’s because you’re having to leap over, struggle through, or wiggle under your Learned Distress and then make those good moments happen.

What’s much less familiar is the effortless experience of feeling good and having good things happen easily, as a result. That’s well-being working for you.

Clients often don’t even notice this shift until someone else points it out to them. “Wow, you’re so much more relaxed!” “You came out with us for girls’ night! You’ve never said yes, before!”

Then, once they realize something is different, they tell me that their demanding, inner taskmaster has quieted. It might still talk, but in more of a whisper than a scream.

Others have told me that for the first time ever, they leave free time open for themselves. People who have avoided feeling their Learned Distress will notice those negative feelings coming up to be released. But, they’re first shocked to discover that it doesn’t kill them to feel that stuff, and then they’re delighted to find that they can enjoy some real down time.

My friends and colleagues will tell you that I have a long history of working a lot. What I’ve noticed is that now, I can take breaks and enjoy them, rather than feeling anxious about getting back to work. And, much to the surprise of people close to me, I actually initiate fun things, rather than what I used to—reluctantly go along with them, at best.

What Do You Really Want?

You’ve read about the people on their deathbeds who say, “I wish I had enjoyed my life more. I wish I hadn’t worked so much.”

Now, you understand why so many people experience that regret.

Why so many people, despite their best intentions at achieving balance, find that they’ve lived at the mercy of their inner taskmaster.

Do you want to keep overcoming or avoiding your Learned Distress, or would you like to discover what it’s like when life flows from your core well-being?

There’s a really important reason to choose the latter.

It’s not because you’ll feel better and enjoy your life more—that’s just a side benefit.

It’s because your natural well-being is the source of the uniqueness that you have to offer to the world.

The more you tap into it, the more good you can contribute in ways you’ve never imagined.

Your friends and family, your community, and your world will benefit tremendously when you openly share that deepest part of yourself.

They’re waiting.

Are you ready to say yes?

Sara Avery helps people get unstuck in their relationships, health, career, and self-expression. Learn how she can help you tackle your biggest challenges.

10 Inner Challenges Aging Parents Trigger

The challenge of caring for aging parentsNothing has prepared you for this.

Your parents are getting closer to the end of their lives, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

Soon, you might have to reverse roles and become the authority in their lives.

You may have to make tough decisions. . .ones they don’t like.

You will watch their health. . .physical or mental. . .decline.

Does this worry you a bit?

Or, are you downright panicked?

Feeling overwhelmed?

Wish you could turn back the clock and keep things the way they used to be?

Your Biggest Trigger

Good, bad, or ugly. . .no matter what your relationship with your family is, they can trigger you more than anyone else.

While they aren’t to blame, your negative stuff developed early in life in relation to them.

Specifically, before age 2 1/2, you absorbed the feeling that there is something wrong with you, which I call Learned Distress®.

To handle this icky feeling, your brain developed survival mechanisms to cope with, control, or completely bury your Learned Distress.

No matter how hard you’ve worked to deal with it, that negative stuff keeps building in intensity through your life.

And then, the difficult situations you face as your parents age can shove it right up in your face!

This inner negativity probably won’t be a complete surprise.

But, you might feel it more intensely than ever before.

Here are a few of the most common inner challenges people face when their parents age and near the end of life.

1. I Don’t Know How to Handle This

Does this thought cause you to panic?

When parents age, you’ll deal not only with the unknowns inherent to anyone’s life, but with many new conditions and decisions you’ve never encountered.

Fear of the unknown is a huge piece of Learned Distress for many.

When you face the unknown, do you feel like you have to already know everything?

Or, do you feel like you have to work really hard to figure it all out. . .read a lot, talk to experts, rack your brain for solutions?

Or, do you despair at the fear that you can’t possibly even figure it out?

These are common survival mechanisms for the Learned Distress that tells us we have to know exactly how the pathway and its outcome will look.

2. I Can’t Handle This

Ever had the thought, “I’m just too weak”?

You might notice the feeling that you just can’t do this coming up a lot.

You may have to watch your parents decline physically and/or mentally.

You may have to visit hospitals or nursing facilities where you’ll see many elderly and sick people suffering.

You may have to stand up to your parents when they aren’t acting in their own best interest, anymore.

You may feel that you can’t survive the death of your parents.

Learned Distress can make you feel that you just don’t have the inner strength to handle these big challenges.

3. I Need to Fix It All

Do you only feel comfortable if things are under control?

Or, do you need people to do things your way, in order to feel comfortable?

Or, do you need everything to end up in a pretty picture?

Your aging parents will challenge all of these survival mechanisms.

Moments. . .or days or years. . .will feel completely out of your control as your parents age.

4. I Need Things to Be a Certain Way

So, maybe you’ve reconciled yourself to watching your parents age and pass away.

You’re realistic. You know it won’t be all rainbows and roses.

But, you have an idea of how it should go.

As long as things go according to plan, you’ll be OK.

This survival mechanism will not stand up as your parents go through their own, unique aging process.

You’ll be surprised many times along the way, and things may feel out of control, as a result.

5. I Need Things to Stay the Way They’ve Always Been

Change, itself, is a huge challenge to your survival mechanisms.

In fact, your survival mechanism desperately needs things to stay the same.

Aging parents may need more help from you, instead of the other way around.

They might downsize and move.

At some point, they may not remember who you are.

Many more changes than those might happen.

As they do, you may find yourself clutching to the way things were, just to feel like you’re still on solid ground.

6. For Me to Be OK, I Need Them to Be OK

“It’s not about me. I just want you to be happy.”

If that’s something you say a lot, you may find it very difficult to see your parents suffer the effects of aging.

You may find it difficult or impossible to separate how you feel from how they feel.

You may feel like your life is declining with theirs.

As a result, you may try harder and harder to “fix them” at times when you ultimately need to accept their unique pathway to the end of their lives.

7. I Should. . .

“It’s never enough.”

Your parents’ need for greater support may trigger this feeling in one or many ways.

Maybe you visit or help them, but feel you should offer them full-time support.

Maybe you live far away and feel guilty that you can’t be there in person.

Maybe you feel like you need to be loving and supportive in every moment, even when they push all your buttons.

Maybe your relationship with them hasn’t been emotionally healthy, and although “good” kids “should” take care of their parents, you just can’t bring yourself to do it.

“Should” is a word that can alert you that your survival mechanisms are in high gear.

8. I Don’t Matter

This core Learned Distress can be triggered many ways.

Maybe your parents aren’t able to express gratitude for your support in ways that feel good to you.

Maybe you become the sole caregiver and feel that you have to do everything, yourself, without any acknowledgment.

Maybe you feel taken advantage of by your parents, siblings, or other family members.

Maybe you are so focused on taking care of your parents that you forget to take care of yourself. You might wake up one day, realizing you lost your own life in the process of trying to take care of theirs.

9. It’s Not Safe to Take Charge

Unless you’ve always stood up to your parents, this can be very difficult.

You may need to take away the car keys, take over the bill paying, make medical decisions, and fulfill a host of other functions that parents can no longer do themselves.

If your survival mechanisms include needing to defer to others, your parents probably trigger that need more than anyone else.

So, you might struggle with swapping roles with them and becoming the decision-maker in the relationship.

10. But, Who Can I Depend on Now?

If you’ve depended on your parents in some way as an adult, you might feel a looming black hole as they begin to age.

If they can’t be there for you, anymore, who can you lean on in difficult times?

What if they start to need the kind of support from you that they have always provided?

Learned Distress can make you feel very dependent on others, and even the fear of losing that support can be overwhelming.

The Good News

Feeling a big discouraged? Don’t be!

At your core, you have the opposite of Learned Distress.

It’s the feeling that you are all good, exactly as you are. I call it your natural well-being.

Well-being is the kernel of energy that you began life with.

It is the very core of who you are.

Your well-being can provide so much. . .peace, inner strength, patience, flexibility. The opposite of all that bad stuff I listed above.

Learned Distress and your ways of surviving with it intensify over your lifetime and come to overwhelm your core well-being.

But, whether or not you feel connected to it, your well-being is there, waiting to be uncovered and support you through your challenges.

Tapping into Your Core Well-Being

You have more access to well-being earlier in life, but as Learned Distress takes over, well-being feels increasingly distant.

Your survival mechanisms give you a way to cope with, control, or bury your Learned Distress for a good part of your life, but at some point, those survival mechanisms become overwhelmed and stop working.

Any big stress, like your parents shifting into their final stage of life, can blow up your survival mechanism for good.

Although it will feel horrible to you, this breakdown has a magnificent silver lining.

It’s the point at which your brain will allow you to peel away Learned Distress permanently.

Until that point, your Learned Distress and its survival mechanisms hold on for dear life. . .they’ve been keeping you going, and your brain can’t even imagine there could be another way.

But, when the brain allows layers of Learned Distress to be removed permanently, well-being shows you a new way that is characterized by ease and an inner knowing that you matter and that you have everything you need within you to face challenges.

“Better than I ever imagined” is the way people describe tapping into their core well-being..

They take on what would have felt impossible and terrifying before with more strength than they knew they had in them.

When they’re in situations they know would have pushed them over the edge in the past, they sometimes don’t even notice that it was a “trigger” situation until we talk about it later.

They have a new sense of flexibility in situations that used to make them panic and try to control everything.

They discover and are able to share their own unique contribution, instead of trying to fulfill a role they’ve always felt they “should.”

They meet the unknown with more grace and peace than they knew they had available to them.

It’s up to You

As your parents approach the end of their lives, how do you want to be?

It will be a time of many challenges and unknowns.

Do you want to cling desperately to your old ways, or would you like to breathe more easily and walk alongside them patiently in their journey?

Would you like to tap into the well-being at your core that allows you to give your parents, yourself, and everyone involved more peace and joy in the entire process?

If you’re not on good terms with them, would you like this to be a time full of regret or peace?

What I wish for you is the ability to look back on your parents’ last stage of life with a sense that you contributed the best of yourself and experienced the best of them, as a result.

Sara Avery helps people get unstuck in their relationships, health, career, and self-expression. Learn how she can help you tackle your biggest challenges.

Why “The Secret” Doesn’t Work (and What Does)

Woman with arms crossedHas the Universe failed you?

You watched “The Secret,”and their promises sounded so good.

So, you’ve labored to change your thinking, to raise your vibration.

You’ve done more affirmations than you can count.

You’ve visualized. You’ve made vision boards.

You’ve put what you really want out to the Universe.

You’ve felt it. You’ve acted as if you already have it.

You’ve tried and tried and tried to manifest what you want.

Maybe it worked for a while. For little things.

Or maybe it never worked, at all.

Is There Something Wrong With You?

The Law of Attraction gurus claim that changing your thinking will change your life.

They say if it’s not working, you just need to work harder at it.

You follow their advice, but nothing.

Why isn’t it working for you?

The Actual Source of the Problem

Changing one’s thinking only works for some people for a certain amount of time.


The Law of Attraction is based on consciously deciding what you want and then trying to “manifest” it.

You’re trying to make something happen.

This is just another form of what I call Learned Distress®.

The Real Secret

Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

Learned Distress is the problem, in the first place.

It’s the feeling you absorbed early in life that there’s something wrong with you PLUS the survival mechanism your brain developed to handle that awful feeling.

It’s the reason you feel dissatisfied with your life.

So, you can’t use Learned Distress to dig out of this hole.

To climb out of it for good, you have to get rid of your Learned Distress.

Why “The Secret” Works for Some People

Some Learned Distress survival mechanisms allow people to make things happen.

If this is you, once you have a strategy for accomplishing a goal, you work at it, and you succeed.

You may have to make a Herculean effort.

It may only work in one part of your life, like relationships or career.

And, it probably feels harder and harder over time to make it work.

But, you do succeed.

Why “The Secret” Never Works for Some People

Some Learned Distress survival mechanisms defeat strategies for accomplishing goals.

If this is your mechanism, you make the same Herculean effort as other people, but it never pays off.

You can even be smarter and more dedicated than anyone else, and your efforts never give you the result you want.

So, when you try to use Law of Attraction methods, your survival mechanism takes over and your attempts at manifesting fail.

The Real Goal

In your heart of hearts, what do you really want?

A big house? A million dollars?

The perfect body?

The perfect job?

A mate that has every last characteristic on the list you’ve made?

I think deep down, what you really want is to feel good being yourself, exactly as you are.

Did you just roll your eyes?

“Yeah, right, Sara. Like that’s going to happen!”

The Source of Feeling Good

At your very core, you already do feel good being you, exactly as you are.

This good feeling is the little kernel of energy that you began life with.

You might think of it as the part of you that is from God, or Source, or part of the All.

I call it your “natural well-being.”

How It Was Meant to Be

As you grew in your mother’s womb and for the first couple years of your life, your core well-being was meant to grow into your unique way of being human and fitting with your surroundings.

The fuel for that well-being expansion was the way people around you felt about being themselves.

Just as a growing plant absorbs water and sunlight, your developing brain was a sponge.

It absorbed how your parents and early caregivers felt about being human.

Your sponge-brain turned all that feeling into how you feel about being yourself.

If we lived in a perfect world, you would have absorbed their well-being and turned it into lots more well-being for you.


Your parents and early caregivers didn’t always feel wonderful, did they?

I bet they felt downright lousy sometimes. Maybe a lot of the time.

From those moments, you absorbed the feeling that there is something wrong being human.

Not from what they said or did.

Just from how they felt.

Your brain turned that awful feeling into the sense that there is something wrong being you, just the way you are.

Learned Distress embeds itself into your sense of self.

Your sense of self becomes the automatic, generating force behind every moment of your life. Without your conscious input or control.

Your moments that feel bad now are a recall and repetition of the way negative moments felt early in your life.

An Alternative to the Grind Stone

Learned Distress is greedy.

It intensifies over time, and it overwhelms your natural well-being.

More and more moments are generated from the feeling that something is wrong with you.

To have good things and situations, you have to bury, deny, or leap over the Learned Distress and make those good things happen.

If your survival mechanism will even let you.

It’s exhausting, isn’t it?

But, you still have natural well-being at your core.

What would moments be like that are generated from the feeling that you are all good, just as you are?

They would feel great, right?

Without you having to work so darned hard for it.

Putting Well-Being in the Driver’s Seat

Quanta Change throws Learned Distress off its greedy perch and allows well-being to become the generating force behind more and more moments.

This process works with your brain during sleep, when it is most open to change, to permanently remove layers of Learned Distress.

As clients start to experience moments that are generated from well-being, they are shocked.

They can’t believe good things could happen so easily for them.

People who have done lots of work on themselves are especially surprised at how different their results are. They aren’t used to feeling good without controlling or working around their Learned Distress.

Sometimes, they find that what they always thought they wanted is no longer their goal. One client is transitioning out of the career she has worked for since she was young, having found that it was based much more on her need to be perfect and get others’ approval than it was on what really makes her happy.

Others find finally are able to achieve what they’ve strived for, perhaps for decades, but have felt held back from. One client said, “It’s been the most creative and productive year of my life professionally, and we have more money in the bank than we have in our entire marriage.”

All of my clients find a greater sense of peace and ease in being themselves in some way, and that’s often a great surprise to them. One said, “For the first time in my life, I actually like myself! No, wait, I love myself! I’m a good person, and I deserve to feel good about my life!”

Well-Being vs. Magical Thinking

Your core well-being can provide everything you need to achieve what really matters to you.

However, that does not mean that you will sit on the sofa eating bon-bons the rest of your life.

Getting rid of Learned Distress does give you more ease in having the life you want.

But, tapping into your core well-being is not like rubbing the bottle and having a genie pop out to grant your wishes.

It gives you access to your life’s purpose, along with the resources to fulfill it.

When Learned Distress is in the driver’s seat, what we want—be it material goods, a job, a relationship, etc.—is often just a way to try and fix the feeling that there’s something wrong with us. When we come from that place, the “fix” never works for long, nor does the satisfaction it brings last.

What’s truly satisfying in life is fulfilling your purpose for being on the planet.

Why Are You Really Here?

You have a unique contribution to make.

Maybe to your family, your community, or to a much larger audience.

Does that sound daunting? Scary? Exhausting?

That’s your Learned Distress talking.

But, when you get it out of the way, your well-being can provide the inspiration, energy, and resources to discover and offer your unique contribution

You will feel more energized and joyous than you’ve even imagined was possible.

So, what will it be?

Do you want to keep trying to manifest the things that will just keep your Learned Distress at bay (for a while)?

Or, are you ready to step into your soul’s purpose in the world?

Your call.

Sara Avery helps people get unstuck in their relationships, health, career, and self-expression. Learn how she can help you tackle your biggest challenges.

The Truth about Unconditional Love

The truth of unconditional lovePeople say that love is a choice.

That it’s something you do.

Does this frustrate you as much as it does me? Are you exhausted from doing and choosing over and over and over?

Are there people that you just can’t love, no matter how hard you try?

Are there people who you would love only if they would change that one infuriating thing?

If they get their act together? If they stop being so ____________?

Are there people who you struggle to love? Are there people you have heaped love upon, only to be invisible to them?

If the truth about love is that it’s something you do and it’s a choice, shouldn’t it work better than this?

Does love have to be this grueling?Continue reading