When Self-Help Hurts
There’s this myth that originates from the self-help industry that happiness is contingent on “getting there.” This mindset keeps us stuck in a constant rat race of hustling, and the outcome is that we never quite get to the elusive “there.” So we move on to the next best self-help book, course, or method to hopefully get us that much closer.
Unfortunately, the reality is that instead of making any real progress, we get stuck in a never-ending search for something we can’t quite explain let alone reach.
One of the questions I get the most from my clients is, “Am I ‘there’ yet, Sam?” Like so many others, they are not only obsessed with “getting there,” but they are constantly searching for it outside of themselves.
Here’s the thing, when you over-consume any and every self-help tool or product that you can get your hands on, you are actually distancing yourself from your truth or “there.” When you are constantly looking outward for guidance and answers, you are denying yourself the light, love, and power that is innately within you in each and every moment.
We Create Our Own Barriers to Success and Fulfillment
I know this first hand. I spent years of my life unable to love and fully accept myself. The number one story that I told myself – which I later discovered to be untrue – was, “I am not good enough.” Day in and day out, I would self-sabotage to provide evidence of this story. Then I would find myself on the merry-go-round of self-help, pouring over books and blowing money on programs that didn’t work.
And the result of all of my efforts? Keeping myself trapped in the same vicious cycle of self-help overconsumption without integration. The only thing more elusive than “there” was genuine change.
The self-help industry markets to our insecurities and perpetuates our own self-perceived inadequacies.
Think about it. When your reality doesn’t align with self-help marketing, you feel ashamed and like a total failure. And then what do you do? You go out and throw money at the next self-help tool and hope for a better outcome.
The Truth is That You are Already “There”
Everything you need is already within you. It always has been. Which is why the best thing you can do for yourself is press pause on consuming self-help content. Give yourself a chance to connect with your higher self without any outside influence. You need to take time to listen to your inner voice and really hone in on your mind/body/soul connection.
There are different methods you can use to do this. A few of my go-to methods are:
- Journal: Freewriting is one of my favorite practices. I do it first thing in the morning. I don’t have a writing prompt or any sort of forethought, I just grab my journal and pen and write. I have some of my best ideas and revelations by journaling.
- Meditate: I sit in silence and stillness every day for an hour. There is no better way to connect with yourself than meditation. When you turn off all of the external noise and just fall into your body, there is literally nothing to do but connect with your higher self.
- Movement: I don’t necessarily mean an intense workout. Sometimes just stretching or putting on a song and just moving to the music can help you settle into your body and connect with yourself at a deeper level. It’s not about burning calories or working up a sweat, it’s about truly feeling into your body and strengthening that connection.
Take Time to Turn Off the Rest of the World
It’s frustrating when the industry that we turn to for help and answers can actually be a catalyst for a lot of our pain and frustration. That’s why it’s so important to remember that you need to take time to turn off the rest of the world and go inward. Take a break from the self-help books that are crowding your shelf and work on connecting with yourself on a deeper level.
Your focus should not be on “getting there.” Your focus should be on self-discovery and accepting and loving who you already are. I promise you that person is pretty amazing.
Images Courtesy of iStock