I am excited to have the opportunity to interview one of the most influential figures in the field of personal development and life coaching, Barbara Sher. With over four decades of experience, Barbara has empowered countless individuals to step out of their comfort zones, embrace their unique talents, and achieve their dreams. Her innovative and compassionate approach to helping people navigate through life’s challenges has made her work highly sought after worldwide.
Barbara Sher is renowned for her ability to inspire individuals to reignite their passions, find their true calling, and overcome the roadblocks that have been holding them back. Through her bestselling books, such as “Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want” and “Refuse to Choose!: A Revolutionary Program for Doing Everything That You Love,” she has provided practical tools and strategies for individuals to discover and pursue their life’s purpose.
What sets Barbara apart from other life coaches is her belief in the power of connection and community. She has created a strong support network, known as the “Success Teams,” where individuals can come together to share their goals, dreams, and challenges in a safe and supportive environment. This unique approach has proven to be instrumental in helping individuals stay accountable and motivated on their personal journeys.
As we delve into the interview, we will explore Barbara’s insights on finding clarity amidst chaos, embracing multiple passions, and overcoming the fear of failure. Her wealth of knowledge and experience will undoubtedly inspire readers to take charge of their lives and pursue the path that truly aligns with their authentic selves.
Join me on this enlightening journey as we uncover the wisdom and guidance of Barbara Sher, and discover how we too can create a life filled with purpose, joy, and fulfillment.
Barbara Sher (1935-Present) is a renowned American author, speaker, and career counselor known for her expertise in helping individuals discover their passions and overcome obstacles to achieve their goals. With her unique approach and compassionate style, Sher has helped thousands of people worldwide to lead more fulfilling lives.
Born and raised in New York City, Sher developed a passion for understanding human behavior and motivation from a young age. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in English literature, she began her career as a teacher and later transitioned into writing. Drawing inspiration from her own experiences and struggles, Sher published her first book, “Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want” in 1979, which instantly gained widespread acclaim and became a bestseller.
Since then, Barbara Sher has authored several more critically acclaimed books, including “I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was,” “It’s Only Too Late If You Don’t Start Now,” and “Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams.” Her writings have helped individuals across different age groups and backgrounds clarify their goals, discover their strengths, and develop practical strategies to turn their dreams into reality.
In addition to her writing career, Sher has become a sought-after public speaker and career counselor, conducting workshops and seminars around the world. Her warm and empathetic approach, combined with her practical advice, has made her a guiding light for those seeking guidance in various areas of life, from career transitions to creative pursuits.
Barbara Sher’s unique blend of wisdom, encouragement, and practicality has made her a respected figure in the field of personal development. Through her work, she has inspired countless individuals to break free from self-doubt, fear, and societal expectations, and instead embrace their passions and live life to the fullest. Whether through her books, workshops, or counseling sessions, Sher’s goal remains the same: to empower individuals to create a life they love and fulfill their true potential.
10 Thought-Provoking Questions with Barbara Sher
1. Can you provide ten Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher quotes to our readers?
Refuse to Choose quotes as follows:
a) “When we value the freedom to follow our curiosity, our individual talents will naturally shine through.”
b) “The most creative thing you will ever do is the work of your own life.”
c) “A Scanner is like an artist exploring paint or a scientist seeking a cure for a disease – we take up new interests because they fascinate us.”
d) “When all else fails, and the urge for the new gets too strong, take a vacation.”
e) “Scanners are curious and interested in too many things and easily get bored with one thing for too long.”
f) “Don’t try to do it all. Do what you love.”
g) “The way to focus your energy and do what you love is to find a common thread among all your passions.”
h) “Don’t fret because you can’t find one job you love. You have a stack of talents, so make yourself a menu.”
i) “Scanners don’t turn into specialists by forcing themselves to stick to one field – they turn into specialists by developing serious expertise in two or more fields.”
j) “If you’re a Scanner, you’ve got to have a lot more than one job or you’re going to be in serious trouble.”
2.In “Refuse to Choose,” you introduce the concept of the “Scanner” and discuss how individuals with multiple interests can thrive in a world that often values specialization. Can you share your insights on what it means to be a Scanner and how individuals can embrace and leverage their diverse interests?
Being a Scanner means having a wide range of interests and a constant curiosity that drives you towards exploring multiple fields. Scanners often struggle in a world that promotes specialization, as they are often misunderstood or labeled as unfocused. However, embracing and leveraging their diverse interests can lead to a fulfilling and satisfying life.
To embrace their diverse interests, Scanners should first understand that their curiosity is a strength, not a weakness. They should accept that they will never be satisfied with just one thing and that it is perfectly okay to pursue multiple interests simultaneously.
Scanners thrive when they create a lifestyle that allows them to explore and delve into different fields regularly. They can do this by managing their time effectively, setting realistic goals, and organizing their activities. Quick-start projects that allow for exploration without long-term commitment could also be beneficial.
Furthermore, Scanners should focus on combining their interests whenever possible, finding common themes or connections between different fields. This can create unique opportunities for them to be creative and innovative.
Overall, Scanners can lead a rewarding life by acknowledging their diverse interests, organizing their time efficiently, and embracing the connections between their varied pursuits. By doing so, they can navigate the world’s specialization bias, find their own path, and thrive.
3.The book emphasizes the importance of self-acceptance for Scanners. Can you discuss the relationship between self-acceptance and fulfillment for individuals with multiple passions, and provide guidance on how Scanners can overcome societal pressure to specialize and pursue their varied interests without guilt or self-doubt?
Self-acceptance is paramount for Scanners, individuals with multiple passions, as it allows them to embrace their diverse interests and find fulfillment. By accepting oneself, Scanners can recognize that having multiple passions is not a flaw but a unique characteristic. This acknowledgement empowers Scanners to explore their varied interests without guilt or self-doubt. Understanding that their eclectic nature is natural, Scanners can overcome societal pressure to specialize, which often results in feelings of inadequacy or restlessness.
To guide Scanners on their fulfilling journey, it is crucial to foster self-acceptance. They should focus on celebrating their curiosity, passion for learning, and ability to adapt. Acceptance comes from recognizing that Scanners bring a multitude of perspectives and skills to any endeavor. Rather than pursuing just one interest, Scanners can blend their passions, creating unique combinations that can lead to innovative and fulfilling paths.
Overcoming societal pressure necessitates developing a strong support network that appreciates and encourages their diverse interests. Surrounding themselves with like-minded individuals or finding mentors who have successfully integrated multiple passions can validate their choices and provide guidance. Additionally, Scanners can practice self-compassion and remind themselves that pursuing multiple passions is a valid and worthy endeavor.
Ultimately, self-acceptance allows Scanners to embrace their varied interests and pursue a life of fulfillment, breaking free from society’s expectations.
4.”Refuse to Choose” also touches on the significance of organization and time management for Scanners. Can you elaborate on the role of organization in the life of a Scanner, and provide practical strategies for individuals to manage their time and commitments effectively while pursuing multiple interests?
The concept of “Refuse to Choose” is that some individuals, known as Scanners, have multiple interests and struggle with choosing just one path to pursue. Organization plays a crucial role in the life of a Scanner as it allows them to effectively manage their various interests and commitments.
Practical strategies for time management include creating a schedule that allocates specific time blocks for each interest. This ensures that time is dedicated to each pursuit without neglecting others. Prioritizing tasks is vital; breaking them into smaller, manageable steps helps prevent overwhelm. Utilizing reminder systems, such as calendars or apps, can keep commitments from slipping through the cracks.
Efficient organization is also important in managing physical spaces. Creating designated areas for different interests or projects allows for easy access to materials and reduces time wasted searching for items. Adopting digital tools like project management apps or note-taking software can facilitate organization and collaboration.
Additionally, setting boundaries and learning to say no are key strategies. Scanners often face the temptation to take on every opportunity, but limiting commitments ensures adequate time for personal growth.
Overall, establishing a system that promotes order, aids in prioritization, and creates a balanced approach to pursuing multiple interests is vital for Scanners.
5.The book addresses the challenges of decision-making and commitment for Scanners. Can you discuss how Scanners can navigate the process of making choices and committing to projects, while also honoring their ever-evolving interests and avoiding the fear of missing out?
Scanners, as individuals with multiple interests and a natural curiosity for the world, often face unique challenges in decision-making and commitment. In my book, I address these challenges by providing practical strategies to help Scanners navigate this process while still honoring their ever-evolving interests and avoiding the fear of missing out.
Firstly, Scanners can embrace their diverse passions by adopting a multipotentialite mindset. They should recognize that their different interests complement one another and can lead to innovative combinations. By reframing their perspective, Scanners can view their multifaceted nature as a strength rather than a weakness.
Furthermore, Scanners can approach decision-making by setting clear criteria for their projects and interests. They should identify their core values, priorities, and long-term goals. This way, they can make choices that align with their values and have a deeper sense of meaning and fulfillment.
To maintain commitment, Scanners can develop accountability systems, such as finding an accountability partner or joining a supportive community. These mechanisms can help keep them focused and motivated. It’s also important for Scanners to practice self-compassion and acknowledge that it’s okay to change direction if new interests arise.
By incorporating these strategies, Scanners can navigate the process of making choices and committing to projects while remaining true to their ever-evolving interests. They can embrace their curiosity, pursue diverse passions, and build a fulfilling life that celebrates their unique traits.
6.”Refuse to Choose” suggests that Scanners thrive in a collaborative and supportive environment. Can you discuss the importance of community and connection for Scanners, and provide advice on how individuals can find or create communities that embrace and celebrate their diverse interests?
I understand and appreciate the importance of community and connection for individuals with diverse interests. A supportive environment not only provides validation but also allows Scanners to explore their multifaceted passions without feeling judged or confined.
To find or create communities that embrace and celebrate their diverse interests, Scanners can start by seeking like-minded individuals through various mediums such as online forums, social media groups, or local meetup events. Engaging in conversation with people who share similar passions can foster a sense of belonging and understanding.
Additionally, Scanners can consider joining or forming mastermind or accountability groups, where they can connect with others who appreciate their diverse nature. These groups can provide a space for individuals to share their interests, exchange ideas, and receive encouragement in pursuing their projects or goals.
Lastly, it is important for Scanners to embrace their own unique combination of interests and talents. By accepting and celebrating their diverse nature, they can attract people who admire and appreciate their multifaceted personality.
Ultimately, creating or finding a supportive community allows Scanners to thrive by receiving encouragement, inspiration, and collaboration, enabling them to fully explore and embrace their wide range of passions and interests.
7.The book explores the concept of “dabbling” and the value of exploration for Scanners. Can you elaborate on the role of experimentation and exploration in the life of a Scanner, and provide practical techniques for individuals to explore their interests without feeling overwhelmed or scattered?
Exploration and experimentation are essential components of a Scanner’s life. Scanners are individuals with multiple interests and talents, constantly seeking new experiences. Rather than being confined to a single path, Scanners thrive when they can dabble and explore various subjects.
To begin exploring without feeling overwhelmed, Scanners should adopt a few practical techniques. Firstly, keep a notebook or journal to record intriguing thoughts and ideas. This will help organize interests and serve as a reference for future exploration. Secondly, create a “project box” where materials related to different interests can be stored. This physical space will ensure that nothing is forgotten and can be revisited at any time.
Another helpful technique is to set aside regular exploration time. Dedicate specific hours each week to dive into different interests, without any pressure to commit long-term. This way, Scanners can indulge in their curiosity while maintaining a sense of progress. Additionally, breaking down exploration into small, manageable steps will prevent feeling scattered.
Lastly, connecting with like-minded individuals through communities or online forums can be immensely valuable. Sharing experiences, collaborating, and learning from others can provide guidance and support when feeling overwhelmed.
Remember, the key is to embrace exploration, follow curiosities, and enjoy the journey rather than seeking a final destination.
8.”Refuse to Choose” addresses the idea of combining interests and creating unique paths. Can you discuss the process of integrating multiple passions and finding innovative ways to express oneself, and provide examples or success stories of Scanners who have done so?
“Refuse to Choose” by Barbara Sher explores the notion of combining one’s various interests and forging distinctive paths. The process of integrating multiple passions begins by acknowledging that being a “Scanner,” someone with numerous diverse interests, is a natural inclination rather than a flaw. Instead of choosing a single path, Scanners can embrace their curiosity. Success lies in finding innovative ways to express oneself, creating custom-made careers or lifestyles that incorporate multiple interests.
For instance, one success story involves a Scanner interested in both technology and art. This individual found a way to blend their passions by creating interactive digital installations that combine stunning visuals with cutting-edge technology. By combining their expertise in both fields, they established a unique niche career.
Another example involves a Scanner with interests in writing, cooking, and travel. After time spent exploring their passions separately, they integrated them by creating a food and travel blog, where they share their culinary adventures from around the world. This venture allows them to indulge their love of writing while incorporating their passion for cooking and travel.
The key is to identify the common threads among various interests and envision creative ways to weave them together. By refusing to choose just one path, Scanners can create remarkable and fulfilling lives that celebrate their diverse passions.
9.The book also touches on the challenges of societal expectations and the fear of judgment for Scanners. Can you discuss how individuals can overcome external pressures and embrace their true selves, even when their interests and pursuits may not fit traditional norms or expectations?
Individuals can overcome external pressures and embrace their true selves, even when their interests and pursuits may not fit traditional norms or expectations, by reframing societal expectations and cultivating self-acceptance.
Firstly, it is essential to recognize that societal norms are subjective and often serve as limitations rather than possibilities. By challenging these norms and redefining success on one’s terms, individuals can liberate themselves from external pressures. Instead of conforming to societal expectations, they should focus on identifying and pursuing their passions.
Secondly, cultivating self-acceptance is vital for embracing one’s true self. It requires letting go of the fear of judgment and understanding that everyone has their unique strengths and interests. Engaging in self-reflection and introspection will help individuals discover their true passions and talents, aligning them with a fulfilling path.
Furthermore, finding a supportive community is crucial in overcoming external pressures. Surrounding oneself with like-minded people or joining groups of individuals who share similar interests provides validation, encouragement, and understanding. Connecting with others who have embraced their unconventional pursuits can significantly support personal growth.
In conclusion, individuals can embrace their true selves by challenging societal expectations, nurturing self-acceptance, and finding a supportive community. Success comes in various forms, and it is essential to honor one’s uniqueness and pursue passions untethered by traditional norms or expectations.
10. Can you recommend more books like Refuse to Choose?
a) “The Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One” by Margaret Lobenstine: This book is a great companion to “Refuse to Choose” as it addresses the same concept of people with multiple interests and passions. Lobenstine provides practical guidance on how to embrace your various interests and create a fulfilling life that incorporates all of them.
b) “The Multipotentialite’s Manifesto” by Emilie Wapnick: This manifesto is a powerful reminder that having multiple passions and talents is not a burden but a unique gift. Wapnick shares stories and insights from successful multipotentialites, offering a fresh perspective on how to embrace your diverse interests and create a thriving career and life.
c) “Pivot: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One” by Jenny Blake: If you’re feeling stuck in a single career path or unsure of how to navigate your many interests, this book offers practical strategies for making intentional career changes. Blake encourages readers to embrace their diverse skills and passions by constantly evolving and exploring new opportunities.
d) “Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More” by Courtney Carver: While not directly focused on multiple passions, this book explores the idea of simplifying your life and letting go of what no longer serves you. Carver’s insights can help individuals with many interests streamline their activities, allowing more time and energy to pursue their true passions.
e) “Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type” by Paul D. Tieger, Barbara Barron, and Kelly Tieger: This book incorporates personality type theory to guide readers in discovering careers that align with their unique strengths and preferences. By understanding your personality type, you can find ways to harness your multiple passions and build a successful and fulfilling career.