Do THIS instead of THAT 

Do THIS instead of THAT 

Do NOT underestimate the power of small changes. 

For example, there is a great big huge difference between:

“Can I change this?” 


“How can I change this?”

One tiny little word, but these two questions are WORLDS apart. 

Last week, I shared about the power of awareness around those areas of your life where learned helplessness may have you feeling resigned to adapt, manage, and tolerate circumstances that you don’t like, wish were different, but that you don’t feel you have power to change.

I encouraged you to make a list, short or long, of examples of such things in YOUR life.

Doing this is powerful because chances are that, based on circumstances in your life, your history, and in your family’s history, you’ve likely adopted some degree of learned helplessness. 

Said another way, you have been conditioned to tolerate a lot of unnecessary shit, big and small, maybe even to the point of believing that that’s just the way it is and just what you have to do.

This mindset creates blind spots, feeds apathy, and sustains resignation.

^ All dream killers. (Booooooo!!!)

Becoming aware enough to be able to shift or make a break in this pattern begins with awareness. So, if you didn’t yet make your list, doing so will be a powerful proactive step.

Rather than wait and hope and “maybe someday”, awareness alone disrupts the old pattern.

And, small changes add up!

This is why I recommend you start with the small things on your list. Depending on how ingrained your learned helplessness is, the smaller the better, to begin.

Look at your list of things that bother you and decide that you are unwilling to tolerate discomfort as a default. 

Decide that you do not and will not resign yourself to this being just the way it is. 

Decide that you are willing to start small and build your confidence to effect change, to minimize your discomfort or irritation.

Notice where learned helplessness has been leading your thoughts, behaviors, and your life.

There is FIRE to be found in this. 

Let this motivate and fuel the changes you desire.

But, again, start small.

Because what it takes to build big self-trust and big belief about all the things that you are wishing and hoping will change, starts with you taking charge and eliminating unnecessary discomforts on small things

Like, that drawer in your kitchen that sticks or won’t close all the way. 

Fix the damn drawer as a symbolic step and as evidence to fuel your belief and your knowing that YOU can effect change, that you can influence your circumstance, and that you are done adapting to and managing discomfort, or defaulting to it needing to stay that way.


You are empowered and your standards go up – effective immediately, because you say so.

Again, recognize the learned helplessness response. Even to small things. 

You may hear that voice in your head right now: “just deal with it, it’s no big deal.”

And in the grand scheme of things, it’s true that a drawer that sticks is not all that big a deal. 

BUT – that annoying drawer (for example) presents a valuable opportunity to rewrite learned helplessness patterns. It also presents the opportunity to reclaim some of your precious daily energy that gets used every time you can’t close the damn drawer!

By starting with the small stuff and deciding “I am powerful, and I’m going to eliminate this annoyance…” you are building the MUSCLE of empowerment, rewriting the old learned helplessness response. 

When the drawer – and every other example of unnecessary discomfort or irritation – becomes a known opportunity for you to empower your ability NOT to default to learned helplessness patterns, the sky’s the limit.  

Every small change builds your confidence, breaks old patterns, and frees up energy for you to be that much more ABLE to take on the big stuff. As you have success with small things, you’ll naturally be able to span that out to the big stuff. 

This is a very, very powerful practice and it’s just one piece of the work we do together in my Dream Acceleration Program.

You CAN rebuild your empowered sense. You CAN create your life to be what you dream it can be, and it starts by rewiring those apathy-feeding patterns. 

Applying this approach can change your whole world and open the door to a new kind of freedom. And, the right support accelerates this process exponentially.

I am a pro-active force for change. 

I am a compassionate fellow human, learning and growing with each new day.

I’m also a fierce facilitator of action. 

The Dream Acceleration Program is the culmination of all I’ve learned and developed, to support YOU to step into living your dreams and experience the true freedom that life has to offer. 

If you would like help bringing the dreams in your heart to LIFE, I‘d love to learn more about you, your dreams, and your challenges. Let’s talk. Get on my calendar today for a free Session with Tara Assessment call.

Rather than becoming more and more comfortable managing discomfort…

Rather than reinforcing the belief that you have no control… 

And rather than inaction, or a whole lot of busyness centered around tasks that maintain your current circumstances…

Let’s raise your standards and do something FAR better.

Build your self-trust, build your self-belief, build your unwillingness to tolerate unnecessary discomfort, and build your empowered proactive momentum toward what you DREAM your life can be.

I’m here for THAT. 


This is a silent hidden dream killer

This is a silent hidden dream killer

This is a silent hidden dream killer

My brain is ablaze with some psychological jargon from my educational background in Psychology and behavioral health. Hang in there with me for the next few paragraphs as I get you up to speed on a concept you may or may not be familiar with. I promise this’ll make a whole lot of sense and give you some perspective and juice for how to go about making the changes you want (especially the changes you want to make but aren’t actually doing anything about – yet). 😉

The American Psychological Association defines learned helplessness as “a phenomenon in which repeated exposure to uncomfortable stressors results in individuals failing to use any control options that may later become available.” 

Ok. Here’s my less-textbook-y version:

  • On an emotional level, learned helplessness boils down to the experience of becoming comfortable with managing discomfort. 
  • On a cognitive level, learned helplessness boils down to believing that you have no control. 
  • And, on a behavioral level, it looks like either no action, or, a whole lot of busyness centered around tasks that maintain current circumstances.

Understandably, if you believe you have no control and you’ve become quite skillful at managing discomfort (so much so that maybe it’s become a strength, something that gives you a strong sense of self-confidence and pride) it makes a whole lot of sense that things continue the way they are!

I mean, from that place, WHAT WOULD BE THE POINT of empowered new action when to do so would be intentionally deciding to trigger your own feelings of uncertainty and insecurity?!

Here’s why this matters:

It matters because it creates a closed loop. When something happens that creates discomfort for you… instead of feeling and thinking, “hmmm… how can I change these circumstances or shift something to eliminate this discomfort and make my life better?”… your brain is conditioned to assume that this discomfort is something that you are powerless over and therefore simply must manage and live with.

And this is something you’re often NOT EVEN THE SLIGHTEST BIT aware of.

Instead of determining HOW to make an empowered change, or how to eliminate the discomfort, the default mode is to manage and tolerate it, resigned to believing that there is no other option.  

This is learned helplessness. 

And left to its own devices, it’s an absolute dream killer. 

Learned helplessness creates a blind spot that MUST be seen in order for you to thrive.

It’s tricky though, because this pattern can become deeply ingrained, (hidden in what looks like logic), and is therefore very difficult – though NOT impossible – to re-pattern, to break out of this loop. 

Here’s a quick example of common things you see when people have learned helplessness. 

If, for example, as a child, you learned that you don’t get to have a say in what happens, that you don’t get to change or influence the situation, that your discomfort doesn’t matter, isn’t accommodated, or cared about … you may have learned instead to toughen up. To get thicker skin. To adapt. 

What commonly happens too is that the strength and ability to adapt that you build as a result, becomes an integral part of your identity.

“I am strong” 

“I’m a survivor.”  

“I’m tough.” 

“I can handle it.” 

No doubt, you are ALLLL of these things! (I’m all of these things too.) 

But, just check in here: Have you ever said any of those things I just mentioned?

If yes, I want to invite you in this moment to consider – even though it may not feel true — that it MIGHT be evidence of learned helplessness.

What we know is that when something really is a blind spot, it’s really really difficult to SEE that it’s there.

And here’s a friendly reminder: Just because you can handle discomfort, doesn’t mean you have to! 

To help you amp up your awareness, do this simple next step: Make a list.

Jot down at least 3 things you wish were different about your life, big or small.

To be clear, you do NOT need to see how to change them. That’s not the assignment. 

Simply write them down. Name them, for now, as a way of saying, “I see you.”

Perhaps world hunger or your lack of retirement savings tops your list, which is fine. But hear this: While nothing is off limits, do not overlook the little things. In fact, when beginning to repattern learned helplessness, the smaller the better.

Jot down a few now. Come back to it throughout your week as you notice more.


PS – I’ll be back next week with part 2: Unlearning helplessness.