Launch Yourself

INTRO Module: understanding the "launching" problem

 by Luke Vu PhD.

If you've clicked here, odds are that you're struggling with a "failure to launch" or know someone who is. This means that you're probably experiencing struggles with low motivation, feeling lost, feeling adrift and a sense that you are lacking direction. I developed this e-course for those who want to launch but just seem to be unable to. This is the first part of my 5 module series that distills the core skills and tools required to launch. For more comprehensive tools and techniques, individual therapy is a good option.

Failure to launch

There are many reasons why you haven't launched. You've probably have a reason in your mind, and a reason you tell other people. If you're the introspective type, you might have examined yourself deeply and found some of the root causes or moments that lead you to feeling stuck.

A quick google search shows there are many reasons why people think "failing to launch" is a growing issue, and one that is typically thrown at the feet of millennials (oh the irony of getting the blamed for laziness and the forced responsibility of solving world crises). There are several strong reasons why young adults struggle with the transition to the next stage in their personal development but I feel there is a distinct lack of actionable solutions to the launching problem.

But talk is cheap, so I've broken down failure to launch into 4 different levels of skills that you have to acquire in order to self-launch. In each skill module, there are powerful and useful mental and behavioural tools for use.

It's a distilled work, its all bang for buck and no fluff. It is also important to note that the skills are not for those who are failing, but for launching at any stage. If you master the skills to launch yourself, you also master the foundation for self-coaching towards high performance. 

Understanding of Failure to Launch

I believe that 95% of people have an innate desire to do the "activities" or "things" that they find meaningful. It's an operational assumption, because if there is no part of you that wants good "activities" or "things" then there really is no intrinsic incentive for you to do those things. That's cool, not everybody wants to do something meaningful. IF you are in that camp, this guide is not for you.

On the other hand, if you have a want to do these meaningful things, that are good for you, that you want to do and you find yourself unable to. This guide is for you.


Remember you get to define what meaningful is for you (not anyone else): that could mean be a good father, be a loving partner, nurturing your talents, engaging in activities that fulfill you and etc.

I also believe that failing to launch can be broken down into 4 levels where you can develop mastery:

  1. Overcoming fear
  2. Adopting mindsets
  3. Effective personal systems
  4. Effective Interpersonal systems

What's really important: There are skills that are required at each level in order for you to launch, stay launched and keeping propelling forward. 

So why is this framework important?

I think for those who suffer from a "failure to launch" (and do not have an underlying or co-morbid mental health disorder), launching is a solvable problem through the development of important mental skills. Often these skills are "picked up" along the way for those who have already launched and are rarely explicitly taught.

"The Deep End" Metaphor

If you throw 30 adults (non-swimmers) right into the deep end, there's a chance that 10 of them will figure out how to float within a minute. Another 10 will figure it out in 2 minutes. Then there are 10 remaining that haven't figured it out and they cling onto the side of the pool wall. Holding on. Struggling.

Now ask the first 10 swimmers about their experience of swimming. Well odds are, they  might say "sometimes you just to figure it out, immerse yourself". They might even endorse that is the best way to learn to swim. "Figuring it out" is not really useful for the 10 swimmers still clinging onto the side of the pool and it misses the point completely. You can teach someone how to swim!

There are useful principles to understand and practical skills to swimming and by extension self-launching that can be taught and developed. In fact, if you taught all 30 non-swimmers the principles and skills necessary for you to develop a foundation for later skill development, Everyone benefits. If you can learn it, then it can be taught, and developed in another person. Even if the skill is almost entirely experiential, then a framework to interpret that experience will facilitate mastery.

This e-course covers the principles, skills and tools required for self-launching.  Click below if you are ready to overcome fear (Module 1).

Ready to overcome fear?

Luke Vu PhD. is a registered psychologist and former award winning university teacher that supports young people transition into independent adulthood. He currently treats clients from his private practice in Maroubra and is an invited speaker to high schools and universities to help young people overcome fear, support recovery from mental health issues, beat addiction and pursue meaningful goals.

Get in touch today.

The material presented here is educational and does not constitute mental health advice.

Copyright 2018, Luke Vu PhD. -   Disclaimer