Ok – so I’ve absorbed a ton of self-help through the years. I’ve listened to and read countless books; watched a huge number of TED talks; downloaded a myriad of apps; and been on a number of self-improvement related courses, including the initial CBT course that really kick-started my recovery just under a decade ago. I can’t get enough.
At those points in life when you’re unsure of which steps to take next, looking to the attitudes and behaviour of your role models can light the path ahead. When you’re feeling lost and weary, a life coach like Tony Robbins can inspire and motivate you into action. If you’re prone to self-sabotage and frustrated by your own thought processes and performance, listening to the advise of a psychologist like Professor Steve Peters can teach you how to become a better version of yourself.
To get the very best out of self-help, just remember the following things:
- If you’re not going to act on it, don’t bother: I can’t tell you how many times I proclaimed that a book had ‘changed my life,’ only to be sorely disappointed when nothing actually did. If you want self-help to actually help, then you have to complete the writing tasks, techniques and follow-up actions that you’re advised to. Learning new information is great – but if your daily actions remain the same as they were before you picked up the book, then don’t expect anything to really change.
- Don’t try to do it all: Human beings are unique, so even if you find a Life Guru who seems to speak to you directly, that doesn’t mean that you have to take on board everything they tell you. Through a process of trial and error, you’ll find things that work for you, and things that don’t. Bin the things that don’t and move on.
- Listen to advice, but follow your own gut: If you ingest self-help like me, you might find that you reach a point where you feel almost overwhelmed with information and advice. At these points, you need to take a step back and listen to your gut. Take care that you don’t come to rely solely on the advise of others – as useful as this can be, there are times when you just need to trust in yourself and look for answers inside of yourself.
Are you a fan of self-help? Do you struggle to take action after the inspiration? Do you prefer to follow your own path, learning from mistakes along the way? Comment below: