Self-help is a multi-billion-dollar business. It takes over bookshops and meeting places. It has turned individuals into media superstars and profited massively from recent generations’ rising self-consciousness.
However, despite the fact that it has impacted the lives of millions of people — primarily for the better, I suppose — it still lacks some trust among the general public.
Many people think it’s just a scam industry. Others merely laugh at the strange beliefs that are passed off as sound advise. Many people attempt self-help but are disappointed with the results.
God knows where half of these individuals come from when it comes to self-help. It is not a peer-reviewed industry, but rather a market-driven one.
It is the reader’s responsibility to go through the information and determine what is and is not believable. However, doing so isn’t always simple.
For this article, we will be going into a deep-dive into what self-help is all about, and if it could really help those that consume the content with self-improvement.
What is Self-Help?
Finding techniques to become and remain cheerful and motivated is an important life endeavor. You’ll have a better chance of succeeding if you follow this advice. If you fail here, your chances of succeeding are greatly reduced.
However, “self-help” exposes its toxic side when it’s used to blame others for their failures when they’ve been dealt with bad luck, especially when they have no control over their situation.
That’s why phrases self-help has always made me uncomfortable. Usually, it’s those born into privilege which promote it. They have little to no knowledge about what they are spouting to people who have to work day by day just for a small paycheck.
It’s unrealistic and, to be honest, unhealthy to be cheerful all of the time. Attempting to do so can lead to feelings of guilt, tendency to procrastinate, and other negative characteristics that will begin to bug you as time goes by.
You are respecting your body by allowing yourself to feel sad, as well as by expressing your emotions properly.
The next time you feel like doing negative habits, you should pay attention to yourself. It’s your body informing you that it’s time to take a break.
Whether it’s a day off from work or a thorough examination of your life, you must pay attention to what needs to be done, instead of trying to run away from your responsibilities.
How is Self-Help Toxic?
It can be addicting.
Self-help can leave you in an addicted state.
You get engrossed in every word of a self-help book. The fulfillment of completing the book, which convinces you that you have a stronger sense of self, being, and knowledge of what it takes to be successful.
It may become a never-ending cycle of increased drive after reading one book and instantly moving on to the next to learn more. You can never put what you learn or what you’re taught into practice because you’re always looking for the next pearl of knowledge that will empower you and propel you to the next level of “development.”
You may also feel empowered by the fact that you are somehow better than the next person since they are watching Netflix while you are working, reading, or hustling. However, in truth, you’re simply playing into the hands of the business and always feeling “not good enough.”
It is all about the hustle.
Hustle culture produces a toxic environment. This is where employees are pressured to work continually and feel as if they can never say no to an opportunity. Someone want to be seen as people who can handle whatever task you give to them, but this is not natural and should not be expected from everyone.
The concept of ‘the grind,’ will not work for everyone. Make a strategy, establish objectives, be diligent, and trust your tenacity to get the job done.
Remember that you should make time for rest and relaxation. We’re all different, that’s the truth. If you’re completely committed to your work and want to stay that way, then good for you. If it isn’t, then you shouldn’t force yourself to change.
When it comes to self-help, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. You are a unique individual with various interests, needs, and desires. You must occasionally make the best choices for yourself based on what you want, not what other people believe life should be like. The complicated challenges we confront in life do not have a simple answer.
Furthermore, it should all be done in a healthy balance, which is something that the hustling culture does not encourage. Hustle culture encourages you to cut ties with friends who don’t share your goals.
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The paradox of self-help is that admitting that you’re OK just the way you are. Realizing that you don’t need anybody else’s aid is the first and most important step toward improvement.
It’s the central belief, and by definition, you can’t get it from anybody else; you have to find it for yourself.
Ironically, it’s only when you realize that you don’t need anybody else’s aid or advise to become a decent person that their counsel becomes actually valuable to you.
In some ways, self-help is most beneficial to those who do not need it. It’s for those who are who get trapped in its web and spend their money on it.
Self-improvement is utilized to better oneself rather than to replace oneself. If you’re trying to replace who you are with something else, you’ll never succeed.
Also, you’ll be more likely to be pulled into rubbish and pseudo-science, suppressing your feelings of inadequacy rather than confronting them head-on.
In other circumstances, self-help enables individuals to project their emotions of inadequacy onto others, or to live vicariously by following a “guru”. It’s not so much advancement as it is the impression of progress.
What you need to do figure it out on your own. Why should anybody else know the solutions to your life except you?
It strengthens a person’s inferiority complex.
Self-help literature attracts two categories of people: First are those who believe something is fundamentally wrong with them and are prepared to do everything to improve it. Second are those who believe they are already a decent person but have some flaws and blind spots and want to improve.
In general, those in the first category are individuals accomplish just that — they take an ordinary and “OK” existence and want to transform it into something really distinctive and great over time.
However, even after years of “effort,” those in the second category improve a little, if at all. They may even worsen in certain circumstances.
People in the second category repeatedly fail because they have a core worldview that interprets everything they do. In this case, even self-help confirms their inferiority or lack of merit.
It affects a person’s self-worth.
Let’s say that you have already established the perfect routine. Your ‘perfect’ schedule is abruptly disrupted by life, and then you suddenly feel terrible. Your mind is then punishing you for not doing what you’re supposed to be doing.
Too much self-help reading may lead to this. It forces you to concentrate excessively on how you can improve and what you lack. We must remember that we are all ‘lacking,’ that no one is flawless. Finding a sense of completeness does not come from doing anything in the future; it comes from letting go of everything right now and embracing the present by being as aware in the now as possible.
You don’t gain that perspective with knowledge you pick up down the road because you’ve most likely been absorbing information about how to get to that place of clarity for years.
It is deluded.
Every time, it’s the same pitch, wrapped in a new way. You are promised with teachings on how to do the things you really want to do.
Your instincts tell you it’s simply a gimmick to make some fast cash. Despite this, you still rush out and purchase the material and the content. They claim that the formula is straightforward. Pursue every opportunity, and never take breaks.
You feel fantastic while watching this material and for a short time. You then set a new regimen start getting your act together.
Then the unavoidable occurs. After only a few days, your motivation begins to diminish. The cloud slowly dissipates, and your old, sluggish behaviors begin to creep back in.
After a few weeks, the experience has become so strange that it seems like a fever dream. The cycle continues anew, with your ego severely injured.
That just goes
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Why is Self-Help Not for Everyone?
Whenever I hear successful entrepreneurs claim to be a “self-made”, they seem to be forgetting the public infrastructure that enabled their company, as well as the workers that make it feasible.
Another annoying aspect of self-help that irritates me is that it is all too frequently used to defraud individuals who don’t know any better. For-profit schools, which prepare low-income students for professions that don’t exist while burying them in debt, are a great example of this.
When top management rams self-help down people’s throats, such as when firms demand that their workers to smile while working without providing them with any incentive to do so, the concept then becomes quite toxic.
While the movement’s inspiration and enthusiasm are important for personal achievement, it’s becomes absolutely inaccurate when it’s used as a policy solution.
It’s okay not to be okay.
When it comes to self-help, you should remember that there may be days when you are not feeling like being happy. And that’s okay. It’s your body’s way of coping with your life experiences.
A saying that applies to any aspect of our lives is “too much of a good thing is bad.” If you allow yourself to indulge in toxic positivity, self-improvement can devolve into harmful self-help.
You know what you need to do to improve your life most of the time. It’s not necessary to be happy all of the time or to put in excessive effort. Remember that you need not pressure yourself into performing as the best version of yourself every single day.
When you find yourself reading self-help books instead of doing what you enjoy, you’re engaging in a toxic cycle that will only result in stress and anxiety.
Remember that it is not healthy to push yourself beyond the limits of what your mind and body can take. You need to take due caution when it comes to pushing your limits. After all, you are a fragile human.
When you feel like resting, then you should indulge that whim. You should not feel guilty when you are taking a break. No one is designed to work 24/7. Also, that could cause an early onset of conditions which could lead to death.
I don’t really want to scare you, but I am just stating facts. You should always do something in moderation, from work, food, and vices.
Also, you should learn to do your research first. Self-help is a toxic industry that doesn’t really help everyone who consumes it. It is simply something that a lot of rich people already make money at. They make money from people by manipulating their emotions and making them feel inferior.
My advice? Consult a psychiatrist or psychologist if you need help processing your emotions. Do not give your money to something that might not even help you out in the end.
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