Stuck in a Story?

If you’ve experienced Genius Bootcamp, then you know what it means to be stuck in a story. You also know what happens when you let your mind spin. And you discover that what you really want, can be created from absolutely NOTHING.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter what your story is. It doesn’t matter what’s happened in your past, or what’s currently going on around you. You get to CREATE from a totally blank slate, right now. Today. Watch this video to find out how.

Following is a message I received from a reader over fifteen years ago. What I want you to notice is how much her STORY seems to matter to her. Yes, she had a few questions for me (eventually), but notice how long it takes for her to finally make those requests.

TLDR: If you need to share a ton of background before making a request, you’re probably stuck in a story.

What’s wrong with being stuck in a story? Well, the way we think about what’s happening in our lives can keep us stuck in unwanted circumstances, and in fact, it usually does.

If you really want to begin experiencing a better way of life, you need to start thinking differently about how things are now. People are always either thinking about what IS, or they are creating new possibilities. Thinking too much about what IS, keeps you from creating wonderful, new experiences. You can’t effectively do both (thinking about what IS, vs creating a better future) at the same time.

I couldn’t bring myself to do it:

I’ve had this woman’s message flagged since 2007, to someday create a blog post about it, but each time I’ve sat down to get it done, it has overwhelmed me. She was very complimentary in her praise, and genuine in her desire for help, and I know her heart was in the right place and she meant well. But she didn’t realize how stuck she was, not because of her circumstances, but because of what seems to be a compelling need to keep thinking about them.

(Notice she is very cheerful and positive about her circumstances – and that is to be congratulated! But the focus is still super heavy on the side of what IS.)

If you make it to the end, I’ll show you a more lawful approach for requesting help (not just for getting answers from me or other mentors, but for getting LIFE HELP from God)!

She wrote:

Hi Leslie,

Your own personal story and Felicity’s sound A LOT like mine, and your husband’s and Richard’s (including the rich brother’s), A LOT like my husband! I’m a 37 year old, lifetime LDS woman; wife and mother of five, ages 9-16. I love teaching (any subject; especially gospel/self improvement/light & joy increase), learning and playing, especially out on cool days in the warm sunshine (preferably mountains or ocean).

We have almost broken through! I can feel that we are right there! There are just a few more steps!! We have been all over the place too; for seminars, energy work, book groups, mastermind groups, home study courses and daily emails and I LOVE YOUR STYLE!

I feel like, if there’s anyone I could learn from most effectively and efficiently, covering all areas I want to cover, along with my personal beliefs; it’s got to be you! As far as I am aware, you are not doing any public speaking right away and I am at the point of desperation now, and am coming to you for suggestion, I hope your heart will be softened and everything is aligned so that you can read. Once we do break through, we plan to lift others and put all of this positive energy you share, right back into the “system”, building Heavenly Father’s kingdom…

For several years now, thank goodness, my husband and I (married 1990 in St. George temple) have been attracting teachings on abundance, healing, change/shift, etc. Your own story is almost word for word the same as ours, minus a child or two due to miscarriages and 1 stillborn.

My husband read your book, The Jackrabbit Factor over a year ago when some associates at a conference/seminar we were at recommended it, to help him figure out what he wanted. He LOVED it! We’ve been on your email list ever since.

I finished it and your “Hidden Treasures” book when invited to be in the book group I’m in currently with an active radio/tv guest speaker from here in Utah county. These books are FABULOUS!

It all started out years ago after getting completely out of debt besides our house, then losing our position. We were real excited about Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover” and “The Millionaire Next Door” (it was a start!), then realized that a more inward change was needed.

On to Carol Tuttle and her book / seminars. We’ve done Mastermind groups with Bob Proctor’s books, several of Robert Kiyosaki’s books and Anthony Robbin’s. We’ve done “The Passion Test”, “Now Discover Your Strengths”, and “How Full is Your Bucket?”, and Jack Canfield’s, “The Success Principles”. We even did James Ray’s “Harmonic Wealth” weekend in San Diego, CA.

Eventually we signed up for another training program, which alone was $7,500 that we didn’t have in savings (probably still paying on that); but wanted to BE SERIOUS/DEDICATED! Because, we KNOW that things can change for us! My husband signed up, but hasn’t completed this other program. I even signed up for a Million Dollar Woman Professional Speaking course to promote the value and ability of a woman.

All of these programs have been very helpful and I know we have changed energetically / intellectually, quite a bit. We are a VERY rich family in all other areas. We really do feel blessed, and like our R.S. President said to me recently, “If anyone knew your family was struggling, I’m sure they’d be on your doorstep pleading to help!” And they already have been!

We once had a 4,200 sq. ft. dream house (1998-2000) and a savings of 9 months living expenses, but couldn’t hold it. I think it was because of guilt. But, we recognize that now. We have had on-going miracles of things showing up for over 10 years off and on when the need arises. I won’t even tell anyone, but, it still shows up! Amazing. (I would just cry as I recognized the hand of Christ in our lives.)

We’ve had piano lessons DONATED by a young woman saving for college when we told her that all three of our children she taught would no longer be able to attend lessons. She somehow got it out of me that we just couldn’t afford it with our financial situation, and pleaded with me to continue on…without charge for at least 9 months before she left for college!

We’ve even been given a “free of rent” 3,700 sq. ft.home to live in within the exclusive Alpine Country Club, for seven whole months at one point, utilities was all that was expected to be covered!

We have never missed out on Christmas. Santa is real, did you know that? We’ve had the biggest Christmases EVER delivered to our doorstep via Santa’s helpers; just after I had finally broke down and told our 5 kids, ages 3-10 at the time, that they were NOT naughty, but Santa just wasn’t coming because he is just an idea, that *we* would be Santa’s to our neighbors instead, and experience just as much joy through the little secret actions we would do that would cost us nothing.

And they were fine with it! (I cried again!) We have such amazing children! And THESE things are HUGE! I’m beginning to sort of feel like a con-artist! YIKES!


We have served faithfully in several leadership callings in the church, and our testimonies have not wavered. We have donated time to our community and children’s schools. We have attended the temple regularly, and like you said, “babysat for others who really needed it” and similar acts.

We’ve even donated our money when we have received large tax returns, etc. Our children have worked hard, earned money and bought their own clothes, vision contacts, violin lessons, trampoline, and inflatable pool for summer. (We bought the inflatable pool because our bank card declined when we went to purchase our pool pass. This was very sad, not to mention embarrassing).

SO… while so many things are going well for us, we have wondered how we could ALSO be creating so many difficulties for ourselves:

  • Miscarriages
  • A stillborn
  • Loss of job- lay off in that AT&T crash in 2000,
  • Loss of car, which (after all the blood, sweat and tears to finally pay it off), was landed on by a very large deer and totaled during a time when we could NOT afford to purchase another and make a payment
  • Child with loss of hearing
  • Moving 13 times in 17 years
  • Husband on and off with jobs for the last 7 years and STILL trying to figure out what he really wants and what skills and gifts he has to share that are worth FINANCIAL income (not to mention the “normal” little things that happen in married/family life).

Thank goodness our credit has ALWAYS been VERY good! I have always managed to do “extra” work on the side of raising and sometimes homeschooling our children. I, from the time we married (like you), worked outside the home until the 1st child. Back to work syndrome hit after just a week or so back. From then on, when we still lived in So. Cal, I ran a very successful, small child care/ preschool business out of our rented home, taught swim lessons in my parents back yard pool, and for the past 12 years now in Utah have done little things here and there.

Years ago (after my husband’s 2-year layoff of regular income, working 3 jobs at a time after having gone from a high paid executive with AT&T) I started my Reading Specialist certification, and have been tutoring out of our home for 4 years now. It has been very successful and I have seen the need, and feel very blessed to have something to give that has a fairly big “reward” as Bob Proctor puts it ($25 +/ 45min. session), for my “at home” service.

Every once in a while, with my own children having so many needs while I’ve been tutoring, I have felt like screaming.

But, for the most part, they have been very considerate and understand the need; therefore, I believe, are willing to work with me! I have been able to, just this summer, train a very capable young gal to tutor with me and she takes over when it is necessary that I travel for a 2nd business I am working with; Healthy Chocolate.

Thank goodness we were making SOME through my businesses, because for the past year, my husband has been without good income, and then the opportunity he was investing in fell through, and we have been without work again.

After our credit card debt began to pile up, and we were then struggling to make the payments of those too, we decided that to keep good with all finances, we needed to ask for help…. uuuuggghhhhh! As you can tell, this is NOT something we are okay with and are not in the practice of doing!

So, like the church suggests, we went to family first, with no luck (still working a little bit on the no bitter feelings, no judgment thing- some of them LOOK to be literal multi-millionaires, who knows? They either refused or suggested telling the Bishop…interesting when some of them serve on the High Council and you’d think they’d KNOW).

So, a very close friend of mine and her family (family friends), bless her heart, is donating $800/month to our family, and the Bishop is helping us in making up the shortage after what I am making. My husband’s inner shift is happening, and I am continuously learning and changing generational beliefs and patterns that I didn’t even recognize (of course). Those about being provided for, and that money represents another tangible evidence of God’s love for me to which I do NOT need to feel guilty about, but just find good to do with.

My family is good; therefore, start there! Because of the success and joy we feel in our family, our dream is to start a family business that builds stronger families. I know you have similar interest. We have a great business plan and title we plan to change our LLC name to. We really feel that this could be successful and fulfilling AND allow my husband the opportunity to use skills that he has which previously have not been used for financial reward.

We feel like we need to get a stronger financial base before we plunge in to it. We’ve got 3 boys and one girl that all plan on serving missions for sure. Because we had them all very close together (within 3 1/2 years), they could all be serving VERY close and over lapping time periods. Who knows, they may all go out and have no problem coming up with the remainder of the money they need to pay for themselves, but, we want to be financially free to choose by then, now only starting in less than 5 years! (our last may choose to go also; but she’s a girl, 9 years old and not chosen yet).

All of these wonderful programs, CD’s, learning sets like yours and Bob Proctor’s are available for a price. We love them, and want them all, of course. I have already downloaded and am working through the free ones. It all sounds familiar, but, I’ll DO IT AGAIN! I am NOT asking for free stuff!

Didn’t you say it took you 7 years? Maybe I’ll skip a few years and go straight to bed and start creating better! 😉 Do you have any suggestions for stubborn people like me?

I’ve never really considered myself stubborn, really; but why else would I be “stuck”! Thank goodness we are a happy, healthy family! But, money has been known to bring people down. It is quite heavy if you aren’t doing it right. After all, here we are, coming upon Christmas again! When will WE get to be the ones to GIVE!???

I know it’s up to me. Do I just picture our family going out and buying all of the gifts and food for a needy family? Picture the excitement, being grateful for plenty of $100 dollar bills in my hand, then going from my hands to the check out girl like, “my pleasure, got that covered!…”?

The fun of wrapping and dropping the gifts off to an non-expectant family? I am not trying to be silly or sarcastic, I am totally serious! You may see a pattern already, I have a feeling I am not alone! In our last Stake Leadership meeting, after breaking off to our auxiliaries, it was brought to our attention that one of the biggest problem issues for our Relief Society sisters is finances. A lot of the sisters have not attracted or been willing listen to this information. SAD! Maybe soon.

If you do see a pattern, or have felt inspired with the knowledge you have, if you would kindly lead me in the right direction, it would be greatly appreciated. You are wonderful. Thank you for your time; for all you have been willing to learn, share and sacrifice. You have touched many lives for good!

I responded:

Hi Michelle, …yes, we do have a lot in common.  As I’ve talked with others who have been down the same path as you and I, I’ve been told that two things in particular have been of the most benefit. One doesn’t cost anything and the other does, so you’ll just have to follow your heart on this one.

Maybe you’ve already seen it, but if you haven’t, I’d suggest setting aside 1 1/2 hours to watch a free video we have on our site.  It was taped while we were on vacation in Idaho, so it’s kind of goofy and my hair isn’t done and I squirted some foundation on my shirt in the bathroom RIGHT before we started, but I think you’ll enjoy it and discover something new. Let me know if it helps and then we can go from there in terms of additional recommendations if you still need some. Warmest regards, Leslie

She replied:


Oh my word!  I can hardly believe this!  My prayers were answered again!  Thank you sooooo much for your response!  I know you didn’t need to do that and that your time is just as valuable (but more) as mine…THANK YOU!!!!  I am so grateful. Do you mean the stickman video?  If so, I LOVE IT!  I did watch it, and that’s where I discovered my love for YOUR style over others.  I had already read all of your stuff and loved it, but I hadn’t heard you or seen you teach.  I love how you just teach it as a simple truth!!

I now have my husband, girlfriends, neighbors and their dogs watching it all around the states! I DID learn a lot. I must be shifting because even though I have “heard it all”, it’s kind of like the scriptures, and like Bob Proctor talks about, there’s just something that happens with repetition and a different style/approach each time you hear it!

I’m like you; now that I know I love your style (it just sinks in easier, you know), I’d drive any distance, pay any amount (even if it is on credit) to spend time in/with your energy! For now, I will stick to a new Bob Proctor set, “The Art of Thinking” that I manifested just yesterday!  I bought it from a wonderful friend who went to his big Coaching Conference in Florida and came home with several sets to sell. I wouldn’t have asked her about it though, had I not seen it on yours and his “Insight of the Day” emails. Just having this in my possession is “the law of attraction in action!” in itself!! 😉

I’ll keep working on this until I hear more from you.  I am sooo excited!  You have made my day, week, month… Smiles!

Okay reader, so now here is my commentary:

BTW, congratulations if you made it this far!

Again, I appreciate her praise and feel for her in her dilemma. I’m actually grateful she wrote all of this because it’s such a common challenge for so many people! So, let’s analyze her approach a little bit.

  • Does she have a firm handle on what’s going on in her life now? YES
  • Is she pretty clear about what’s happened in her past? YES

Looooots of details were shared about both.

But did you also get a sense that her mind was in a spin? She could hardly explain one piece without going down a rabbit hole about another piece. Lots of side-notes. Lots of parenthetical comments. She doesn’t want to accidentally miss sharing a piece that might be too important to leave out.

Dizzying. For me, and I’m sure for her, probably on a daily basis!

When I first opened the email, I anticipated that she had a request, for which I might offer some assistance. But once I realized how much she had to say before getting to her questions, I found myself scanning the message to see if I could find them more quickly. Not because I wasn’t interested in understanding what she was dealing with, but because I was simply much MORE interested in seeing how I could help.

To know how I could help, I first needed to know what she wanted.

Finally, at the end I learned that she had three basic requests. In her words:

  1. Do you have any suggestions for stubborn people like me?
  2. Do I just picture our family going out and buying all of the gifts and food for a needy family? Picture the excitement, being grateful for plenty of $100 dollar bills in my hand, then going from my hands to the check out girl like, “my pleasure, got that covered!…”? The fun of wrapping and dropping the gifts off to an non-expectant family?
  3. If you do see a pattern, or have felt inspired with the knowledge you have, if you would kindly lead me in the right direction, it would be greatly appreciated.

So, basically, she wants to know if she should picture those things, and then she wants me to lead her in the right direction. That was a lot of writing just to lead up to a few vague, and frankly, weak, requests. My books already advise her in great detail about these matters.

Based on the number of words in her story compared to the number of words in her request, it’s my conclusion that she doesn’t really want those things at all, she just wants to be heard and understood. And that’s fine, if that’s what she really wants. But to me, it just sounds like she really doesn’t know what she wants at all.

The dream of “giving back” from where she is right now seems to be a grasping at straws to find something – anything –  that inspires her. I get that! I’ve been there (and wrote about it). But that particular dream doesn’t seem to hold enough passion for her yet, or she wouldn’t be asking ME to lead her in the right direction.

She said she has read Jackrabbit Factor and Hidden Treasures, but it seems that she has not yet applied the instructions outlined in either. It’s way too easy to fall into the trap of “ever learning but never [being] able to come to the knowledge of the truth”. So I would encourage her to stop investing in more programs if she isn’t yet doing the things she’s already been instructed to do.

The Jackrabbit Factor story helps the reader understand why, when the dream is vivid enough, and a passion for seeing it realized has been developed enough, the person will always instinctively know what is needed to be done next. Those divinely inspired ideas only show up when the person is ready, truly committed, and connected to the vision of the desired outcome.

A better approach:

Following is not just good advice for when you’re asking someone else for help, it’s even better advice when you’re asking God for help.

God doesn’t need to know where we’ve been, or even how things are right now. Of course, “He lives, to hear [our] soul’s complaint,” but let’s not park there. Let’s move to step two, where Jesus asks, “What do you want me to do for you?”

In this woman’s case above, rather than sharing her life story, I would have loved to see her spend just as much time describing the vision of what she WANTS her life to look like. What if she had written all about her dream life as if it was already happening, instead of chronicling all that she’s been through? Do you think that if she had invested that same amount of time and energy into creating a vision for her life, I could have given her more useful advice, or that she might have even experienced an inspired spark that would have helped her know instinctively what to do next without seeking outside help?

Don’t ask anyone to lead you if you haven’t helped them fully comprehend where you’re trying to GO, not where you’ve BEEN. If you don’t fully comprehend where you’re trying to go yourself, how could you possibly feel assured that someone else’s advice is going to get you there?

In conclusion:

Pay attention to how much time you spend thinking or talking about your STORY, and start putting more of your energy into getting clear about your desired outcomes. Take the time to design you future! Add some passion and excitement to the mix, and you’ll discover that you will be able to trust your OWN divinely-directed instincts to lead you there.

Create a vision, present it to the Lord, tell Him this is what you would love, and then ask Him to help you identify your next right step. You don’t even have to be totally confident that He is guiding you. If you do this exercise, then I assure you, AS you give it your best shot to move forward with a next right step, He is.

Leslie Householder
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