Here I’ve listed 5 reasons why self-help could be ruining your life but I’m sure they’re plenty more of them.
Now before I get into the pitfalls of self-help, I just want to let you know that I don’t think self-help is genuinely bad. In fact it is a very useful tool which I have benefited from immensely. What I’m saying is there are a number of factors involved which can stop self-help from being helpful.
I’m sure some of you will relate to what’s written here. For other’s who don’t, that’s fine. Just close the page… No harm done. After all, not everyone can agree, it would be very peculiar if everyone agreed on the same thing.
Anyway, here are 5 reasons why self-help could ruin your life…
1. The reinforcement of what you lack
You either come from a place of lack or from a place of natural abundance. If you carry a perspective of lack, if you think you’re inherently flawed then no amount of self help will ‘help’ you and in fact it will be a hindrance rather than a useful tool.
If you read a self-help book and you feel intimated by the information written in it or if you feel that you’re not already enough then chances are you are operating from a scarcity based paradigm and self help will become self-torture. If I were you then I would stop reading or listening to anything that makes you feel inferior. “You should be doing this or you should be like this person” – ignore that nonsense, you shouldn’t be like anybody. Always be true to yourself, always be authentic!
By you trying to work on becoming more happy then you’re automatically sending a message to your subconscious mind that you’re not happy. This goes with everything that you’re trying to improve in your life.
Repeating “I am a beautiful person” to yourself will send a message to your subconscious mind that you aren’t already a beautiful person. That you need affirmations to convince yourself that you’re beautiful. All you have to do here is just accept yourself for who you are already. Honestly, you’re fine the way you are and everything is all right 🙂
Trust me, I know because I’ve experienced feelings of inadequacy when reading self-help books and the way to overcome this is to change your approach. Read it not because you are trying to escape from how you are or trying to improve yourself but because it’s fun. Seeing self-help as a form of entertainment rather than something that you must do will relieve so much pressure and will make it more enjoyable to experiment with the applicable advice shared by the author.
On the other hand, if you come from a place of natural abundance where you’re already content with yourself and life in general then self help can be a helpful tool as long as you don’t depend on it. (More on this shortly)
Until you accept yourself for who you are, for the mistakes you’ve made then no amount of trying to feel better through self help will benefit you. Accept yourself, give up trying to be happier and just do what makes you happy already.
2. There’s no science in a lot of it
Whilst I haven’t got all of my eggs in the ‘science basket’, It is still the most crucial factor when it comes to results in life.
When it comes to self-help, a lot of the ideas sound all wonderful like the law of attraction but there isn’t any science to back up the proof that this stuff actually works. Visualization is merely a tool to help you create a vision of what it is you desire in life. But without taking the steps you ‘need’ to take then visualization is a pointless exercise.
It makes you feel good at best but leaves you in exactly the same position as before if you don’t take any action.
The people who tell you that you need to visualize lots of money coming into your account are not coming from a true place of understanding. Sure it would be helpful but it’s not going to happen. Try it out: Visualize a £10,000 check coming through the post and let me know the results after about a week.
It’s obvious isn’t it! You’re not going to get that money out of thin air and anyone who advocates things like the secret should be ignored for your own good.
Most of this stuff is a placebo. It makes you feel good but produces no results. If this were the case then we’d all be millionaires by now.
My advice: Keep away from the Law of Attraction (metaphysical stuff) and focus more on the scientific type of self help like building new healthy habits through a process called neuroplasticity and I also highly recommend focusing on Stoicism and Buddhism/ancient eastern wisdom.
This is the self-help that has actually been scientifically proven to produce results: creating a gratitude journal, helping others in anyway you can, taking up a practice of meditation, structuring your day, making a living which has purpose, exercising, immersing yourself in hobbies, designing your ideal life and creating a plan for making it happen. Doing these things on a daily basis has been proven to make you happier according to science.
3. If you think success will be a smooth ride, you’re wrong
Again, anyone who tells you that success is a smooth ride with no obstacles is lying to you. One version of success to me is overcoming an anxiety disorder which I suffered the majority of my life. I implemented an anxiety elimination program which teaches you to remove the anxious pathways in the brain and return your fear levels to an appropriate level.
But was it a smooth ride? Not a chance! It was tough, it was scary, it was frustrating but ultimately my perseverance and compliance helped me cross over to the other shore. I knew that if I didn’t comply to it then I would still be lost and confused.
Wouldn’t it be great if it was just a smooth ride? It depends on how you look at it. In my opinion it would be pretty boring if life was just a straight line. Although I wouldn’t desire to experience what I went through, it taught me some important lessons. It’s hard for me to not be grateful.
4. Positive thinking is
the NOT the Key
This is where the self-help industry can become delusional. And yes it’s good to have a positive outlook on life but if you use positive thinking as a way to avoid your problems or suppress the feelings of lack then you will just perpetuate the negatives.
Positive thinking causes one to create an artificial high and when that high comes to a low (which it inevitably will) then you will feel like sh*t. I know, I’ve been there. When I was seeing a hypnotherapist during my years with anxiety, he recommended I practiced positive thinking and as promising as it sounds, it took so much effort and it made me feel worse.
Why? Because nature works in balance, in other words you cannot have a high without a low. So when you put all of your energy into building up an artificial high through positive thinking, it’s only a matter of time before a tidal wave of the opposite thoughts and feelings come crashing in.
The logical approach is to learn to be okay with how you’re feeling. By stop trying to think and feel better, you automatically return to your natural state of balance.
The logical approach to dealing with difficult situations is to actually deal with them. And if you can’t deal with them at this moment then you wait until it’s time to. But remember no amount of worry can help you before you have to deal with a challenging situation. But more importantly no amount of positive thinking will save you, it will just create disillusionment.
5. Self-help can become a crutch and an avoidance tactic
Okay so If I’m going to be brutally honest with you here then I was starting to become dependant on self-help. It was only until recently that I realized just how much of a crutch it was becoming.
When you think that you need self-help, you’re always sending a strong message to your subconscious that you cannot get by without it. In other words you’re not enough without it and that you’re weak… Really not a good position to be in.
You’re also avoiding real issues in your life by depending on self help, especially the stuff that makes you feel good. The challenging situations which we all encounter in life are not suddenly magically deleted because we’re training ourselves to think better.
Just because you have read 5 books on becoming confident doesn’t mean that you will suddenly become confident.
Ultimately the purpose of self-help is to come to a point in your life when you no longer need it. In fact you never needed it! This is not to say that there is not great self-help material out there, I have dozens of books on my shelf which contain massive value and I don’t regret having them one bit.
In fact the majority of the content I share on here are from them books.
But here’s the difference now: I’m no longer dependant on them, I’m fine as I am. I accept myself for who I am. The paradox is that self-help actually becomes more helpful when you are coming from a place of self-acceptance. When you’re not striving so hard to be a particular way or trying to become that perfect person who doesn’t exist
Here is another post which you can find more information in regards to why the self help industry can be problematic at times. In fact this is one of my favourite posts on this topic, enjoy! – https://goo.gl/oMRFWB
I trust you enjoyed the information shared here in this post. Be sure to check out the other post because there is great wisdom in it.
Let me know how this article has helped you by leaving a comment below.
Like they say about drinking sensibly on the alcoholic drinks Use self-help sensibly too because it can cost you a lot of time, pain and energy if you use it in the wrong way.
Until next time!
Peace, love and empowerment!