Wanna know why your 101 self-help books haven’t helped you yet?
D’ye know, I reckon I could start up my own public library with the amount of self-help books I own 😂
Some have been devoured and enjoyed, some have managed to consume a chapter or two of my time before they start collecting dust, an embarrassing amount haven’t even been opened yet, but very few actually cut through and deliver on their self-helpy promise. Y’know, the bit they’re actually meant for – helping.
And I know I’m not alone, raise your hand if you have, or have had, an addiction to self-help books 🙋 hollaaaa!
Part of us is still clawing on to the greatest of intentions, defensively claiming, ‘What do you mean? I’m still going to read ‘em/finish ‘em!’, but we know a million and one excuses show up (and have shown up in the past) that just never allow us the time, commitment or inclination to follow through. And then the ones we do read, we rarely actually implement what we’ve read and learnt anyway. It’s all consumption consumption consumption, and no implementation, right?
Well honey, I know why 😊 I know why our 101 self-help books haven’t helped us yet. Firstly, because we’re expecting a collection of bound paper and ink to swoop in, fix stuff and transform our life, and secondly (and more crucially);
Because the bigger answers you’re looking for are NOT outside yourself or in a book, they’ve been inside you all along.
And I’ll confess, I’ve only really uncovered this myself in just the past few months. I’m hands-up guilty of all of the above. But think about this. Your urge to buy a self-help book usually follows the process of someone you admire or respect writing about something you need help with, or something that inspires you. There’s a tipping point between what’s making you feel stuck, the time at which you feel stuck, and the opportunity of said book being presented to you. *Add to cart – parcel arrives – open parcel – put book on shelf forever more* 😊
Our instinct to procrastinate and shelve a self-help book, or start and not finish, or read and not implement, is actually bang on the money, because we’re only ever gonna read, absorb and implement what it’s trying to teach us, when we’ve first helped our SELF. So yep, the reason why your 101 self-help books haven’t helped you yet, is because there’s work you need to do on yourself first.
Work that no-one else can do, but you. And this is the work:
You need to take responsibility.
It’s not a bad book or a book’s fault if you don’t implement its tools and tactics. It’s yours. There’s a reason why one person can read a book and be floored by it and how much it helps them and transforms their life, but then you read it – and nada.
You need to take responsibility for alllllll the things. Every single square inch of your life. The good bits, the great bits, the crappy bits and the problems. Why? Because you chose how you think about them all. Consciously or sub-consciously, you are where you are because of you and you alone. Not because of other people, not because of circumstances, not because of misfortune or ill health (and just to be clear, of course people, circumstances, misfortune and ill health impact our lives massively – but it’s 100% our responsibility in how we deal and respond to them). That is our choice. That is our power.
It can be a crazy-hard pill to swallow, it can hurt like hell, but taking responsibility is the only way through. Without taking responsibility for what has been, you can’t take control of what will be. It’s impossible! But once it’s swallowed? Everything feels simpler, and everything comes easier. When we can reach that point of self-awareness, then and only then, can we empower ourselves to then also take 100% responsibility for what comes next. (The best bit – the bit where we get to grow).
Then you need to practice aggressive self-love.
I first heard this phrase on Jameela Jamil’s IGTV interview with the epic Lizzo (watch it if you haven’t already! Seriously – WATCH IT! It’s something else). It’s everything that I say on loop and I could never put it any better than these legends do.
You need to be sooooo on your own team, that it’s almost aggressive to other people! 😄 You need to be such a massive cheerleader of yourself, your goals basically become inevitable, like they’re just a matter of time honey. You need to learn to like yourself so much, you’ve virtually gotta kiss yourself you’re so pretty. Do you see where I’m going with this? You’ve got to be your number one.
THEN…re-read your 101 self-help books 😇
…and I’m pretty confident your results will be different. If you don’t take responsibility for all the things and practice aggressive self-love first, you essentially have an in-built belief system that’s working against everything you’re trying to absorb. So you can’t! You’ve gotta change those beliefs first, understand and accept that you are 100% responsible for where you’re at, before any self-help magic can happen.
I hope this has made you think a little and has made you feel excited to finally start self-helping yourself 😊 if you did enjoy the read, I’d give you a mahoosive squeezey hug if you cared to screengrab this post and tag me over on Instagram.
Big love for a flawsome week ahead darl. Mwah! 💋