Are self-help books not having the effect on your life they promised? These 3 reasons could be the belief's holding you back from the personal growth you desire.
My home library is full of self-help books. From relationships, money, spirituality, kids and ‘finding’ yourself. You name a problem; I can pull out a self-help book to solve it.
However, despite the major problems I was facing in my a few years ago, the majority of these books were abandoned by the third chapter. I had resigned myself to believe, “Self-Help books won’t work for me – things will never change!”
Obviously, I now know that belief was incorrect.
It took a lot of personal honesty to finally realise the 3 reasons self-help books did not work for me and the real reason change was so hard in the past.
Before you give up on self-help books, (or even worse give up on yourself!), check out the 3 reasons that were keeping me from using them to change my own life. It could be the tiny mindset shift you need to go from where you are now, to who you want to become.
Let me know in the comments below if you identify with any of them!
3 Reasons Self-Help Books Won’t Work For You
REASON 1: I'M NOT THE ONE THAT HAS TO CHANGE
It's not me it's them!
Obviously missing the point of ‘self-help’, I wanted everything external to adapt to my idea of how my life should be.
As far as I was concerned, I did not need to change. It was them! (who ever they were!). Instead of reading the information and relating it to myself, I would self project. Share the idea’s I was reading to other people – making them responsible for the changes I wanted to see in my life.
That way, I could just keep plodding along in my comfort zone, be the same person, but have everything outside of me bend to my will.
Each time I would read enough pages of a self-help book and realise what the author was asking of ‘me’, the book would be closed and placed neatly on the shelf.
It took a long while to realise that focusing on other peoples weaknesses, allowed me to deny my own short comings. This reinforced my belief that I did not have the power to change.
Reason 2: " I Want the Result But Not The Process"
This is gonna take too long!
I was always looking for the quick fix. When I decide I want to change – I want it changed RIGHT NOW – TODAY!
My enthusiasm to change would start off all guns blazing. I’d buy new note pads to capture the ideas, quotes and systems, tell anyone that would listen about the new book and share all the ‘aha’ moments with my husband. One week later I’d look around and think – nothing’s changed!
Now, bear in mind for that one week – I only read the books. I didn’t actually take action from the advice. (I must have thought ‘reading’ what needed to be done – would get it done!)
So, why didn’t I take action?
Well to be honest, some of the steps were so time consuming. About four chapters in, the voice in my head would scream, “You want me to do what? For how long? I really don’t think I have the time!”
My mind kept coming back to stories I repeatedly told myself about failure in the past. My excuses rang loud in my head. Armed with an arsenal of reasons why this would take too long and may not even work, the book would again be placed neatly on the shelf.
REASON 3: "I DON'T WANT TO DEAL WITH THOSE EMOTIONS"
We're not going there!
Have you ever read something that exposed things you know about yourself but was not prepared to admit? Or even worse, brought up uncomfortable experiences from your past that you were not ready to deal with?
Some of those books got personal, I mean hard core personal!
I would stumble across a really inspiring self-help book. Be convinced I will follow through this time and then bam! Chapter six just goes and messes everything up!
When that happened, my defence barriers shot up. The voice in my head would say, “This author does not understand how much ‘that’ hurt me. What’s more, they want me to ‘get over it’ by getting into it!” Hell no! Not today!
I was not prepared to go down any routes that triggered negative emotions or challenged my entire being and identity.
And, without reading chapters six to eleven, the book was quickly retired to the shelf.
3 Reasons Self-Help Books Won’t Work For You
To get the most of what self-help books offer, it’s important to:
- Identify exactly what you want to change in your life.
- Know the reason you want to change.
- Be truly prepared to put in the work to achieve it.
Over the last few years I revisited the majority of the self-help books abandoned on my shelf. But now I know why self-help books never worked for me, I approach them with a different mindset and take the action to move closer to who I want to become.
Looking for good self-help books? Check out recommendations below.
11 Self-Help Books Every Woman Should Read
Let me know in the comments below why self-help books won’t work for you.
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A London born girl who got tired of her excuses & finally took action to change her life at the age of 41!
Join me as I share the habits, systems and mindset shifts that allowed me to lose 30lbs of weight, get out of £20k debt and accomplish new goals to create a fully brazen life.
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