Have you noticed that your email and social media feeds are flooded with promises and some you want desperately to believe?

“Follow this 3-step strategy and arrive at this magical place.”
“Complete this 30-day plan and forever be freed of your worst nightmare.”
“Avoid these 6 foods then watch your weight struggles disappear.”

On and on it goes.

INITIAL RESPONSE

While rolling your eyes, your rational self shouts, “move on!” Yet something in you lingers, nudging you to uncover the mysterious solution. After all, if the promise could be fulfilled, your life might be transformed or at least made significantly better.

POSSIBLY TRUE?

Are authentic solutions ever wrapped in clearly defined numbered-step strategies or well-packaged 30-day plans? If so, how do you identify them? If not, how can you avoid falling into marketing traps or foolish hoping such solutions exist?

HANG ON

I promise to satisfy your rational mind with an answer and reassure your critical mind that you’re wise to have a healthy dose of skepticism when you come across these seemly too-good-to-be-true claims.

BUT FIRST, PLEASE

Allow me to speak to that part of you that lingered over, or maybe even took, the bait to learn how you could experience the promised solution!

Briefly, quiet that hyper-rational voice that’s ridiculing you or hurling nasty names at you.

For just a moment, allow me to encourage that hope within you that desperately wants the promised solution to be a viable possibility.

LISTEN!

I applaud you for seeking solutions to your stubborn challenges.

I admire you for wanting and hoping the promise can be realized if you follow the prescribed steps.

I encourage you to trust that a solution to your particular problem is available—because it is!

WHY THEY SUCCEED

Many 3-step strategies and 30-day plans, and endless variations on the trope, genuinely yield the promised results because those who follow them believe and trust and act upon that faith. Yes, their actions create the results, but believing and trusting in the strategies made the actions possible!

FIRST STEP: BELIEVE!

Until you allow yourself to believe something is possible, it won’t be. As you nurture that belief it will grow and with it action follows. The first step might just be to follow your curiosity when a promised solution crosses your path.

ANSWER for your RATIONAL MIND

Yes, genuine solutions to life’s stubborn problems really exist! And, not every promise wrapped in a 3-step strategy or 30-day plan will be realized. But don’t let the lack of certainty deter you from considering, hoping, and believing in the possibility. Demanding certainty, after all, isn’t a rational-friendly approach. You already know all the sensible approaches for considering hyper-optimistic promises. Explore your curiosity with eyes wide open. Look for trusted sources, read reviews, ask people you already know and trust, consult experts, etc. Of course, by all means do these rational things!

TRAP TO AVOID

If you’ve tried and failed at solving your stubborn challenge, these discouragements diminish your optimism. A common defense against further disappointment is cynicism, which doubles as a protection against looking or feeling foolish. Moreover, cynicism can connect you with others who too want to avoid a similar disappointment and who might likely be the first to label your hope “naive foolishness.”

But like many defensive strategies, it can become a strategy that defeats first and foremost the user. In an effort to avoid the disappointment of a failed 3-step strategy or 30-day plan, you guarantee disappointment because the cynicism (defensive strategy) promotes inaction. While you victoriously resist the allure of the promise, your “successful” cynical approach leaves the original problem unaddressed.

SHARE YOUR FIRST STEP

If you’ve experienced the power of believing in a possibility, offer your success to others. Consider sharing the step you took that led you to overcome your challenge—large or small. Your encouragement to others could be what makes the difference in someone else’s journey. Simply sharing your encouragement will spark joy in your day regardless of who notices or acknowledges your encouragement. After all, the value of your encouragement isn’t measured by others’ response to it.

Amy Reed