A lot of people flee from the term “self help” whenever they see it somewhere, for example in a bookstore, in a magazine or on the internet. They wouldn’t want to be one of “those self help people”.
The reason for this is that there are a lot of prejudices against self help like “Self help is for people who are not able to handle their lives”, “Self help is for bored old women who don’t get laid”, “Self help is a big lie from people who want to take your money” or “Self help is for failures”.
None of that has really to do with what self help is about. If you look at the term “self help” and forget about all the clichés and pictures in your head, you get a more accurate picture of what self help really means: Self help is for people who want to help themselves.
This is of course a pretty broad definition. What do those people want to help themselves with?
Most of the time they want to help themselves
- to be happy
- to find peace
- to be motivated
- to attract and maintain a happy relationship
- to have a healthy social life
- to find a career they love
- to find out what they want
- to be more productive
- to be financially independet
- to spend more time doing what they love
- to be healthy and fit
- to practice spirituality
- to get a deep understanding of the world
Self help is less about specific skills which you would need for a job, for example, but about life in general. Maybe that’s why self help has such a bad reputation: People think that you got to have serious problems in life in order to get interested in it (and boy, there must be something wrong with you if you got problems like that…).
In fact, I remember a conversation with someone who believed my website was for people with “problems” but not for average people. But think about it, everybody has “problems”: We want to have things and don’t know how to get them. We want to feel a certain way but don’t know how to get there. We want to be in a certain situation but we aren’t there yet.
Self help does nothing else than say: “Hey there! You can help yourself and solve this problem! – so these are my suggestions:…”
Basically, self help makes you aware of your responsibility: It’s you who can solve your problems! You don’t need to wait until the circumstances change, until your parents say yes or until your lover takes you back. You can be happy right now. You can have what you want.
Of course there are people who just want to make money off our misery and are not genuinely interested in helping us. But that’s not a problem that’s specific to self help. You can find those people everywhere.
If you’re turned off by self help because you think you’re getting scammed, there’s a good way to dissect between scammers and experts (besides researching the subject): If someone promises you results for nothing (no serious investment of time or self discipline…), he’s probably a scammer.
Self help is not magic. It requires usually lots of work over a greater amount of time. Ask anyone who’s had success in this area. Most people have worked years (not 2-3 but more like 5-10) before society would define them as “successful”. On the inside it’s often different: High quality self help material is able to give you new ideas that will change your perspective on the world and your life forever. So even if self help doesn’t make you rich in the first year, it may very well motivate you to become it.
So if you can see self help for what it is, there is a chance that it might change your life in a lot of ways – as long as you get in touch with high quality material. It can help you no matter who you are or where you are in your life: By pointing out that you’re responsible and by offering solutions. It only depends on whether you accept that help or not.
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