Hey, in case you missed it yesterday– a BONUS post/pod episode came out yesterday on the topic of recovery and sobriety! Click here if you missed it and I would be honored if you shared it with people you think might be helped from it.
Self help. What many jokes are made of and maybe some of us still feel a little embarrassed standing in that aisle in the bookstore. God forbid anyone will know that we struggle, don’t have all of our shit together, and want to change things in our life that are making us binge eat/drink entire bottles of wine in one sitting/try to control everyone and everything (er, not that I know what any of that is like).
And I’m fascinated why some people change and then others stay the same. What really fascinates me and what this post is about, is why some people want to change and know their lives would be better if they did that, but they don’t. There is much psychology behind the reasons, but what I’m talking about today are signs that it’s time for you to take a look at WHY you’re stuck in self-help-dom so you can hopefully make some changes in the right direction. So, I’ve compiled a list of signs you might be on the “self help hamster wheel” and what to do about it.
- Buying self-help books without reading them. I think we have ALL done this one. Someone recommends it, or we see it at the bookstore, or the title seemed to scream, “THIS BOOK WILL FIX YOU!” so we buy it. And it sits on our bookshelf unopened for years. And then we feel like shit about that. But really, sometimes I think we’re just not ready to read it. I know that sounds crazy, but I believe it. In some weird, serendipitous way, The Universe will know when it’s time and it will somehow make its way into your hands and into your heart.
- Signing up for self improvement classes, feeling relieved… and then not doing the work. Getting your credit card out before hitting “buy now” is not a magic wand that will fix you and ease your pain. The actual WORK will. There is a direct correlation between people that see growth and empowerment in their lives and doing the actual work it takes to get there. This includes worksheets, journaling, quality introspective thinking, doing what you commit to doing, listening to your intuition instead of your fear and more.
- Getting really good at telling your story about how screwed up you are and where your issues stem from. Don’t I know this one all too well. Here’s a typical scenario for the type of woman that is into self help: Step 1: She comes to a point in her life where she wants to feel better and/or she has a pretty heartbreaking turn of events and decided to change her life. Step 2: She tells anyone who will listen about her story. Step 3: She reads about helping herself and maybe takes a self improvement class here and there (and especially loves the ones where she’s invited to tell her story). Step 4: There is no step 4. She stays stuck in telling her story and actually feels better (temporarily) when people feel sorry for her. Now, if this is you, I’m not making you wrong for doing this. Telling your story can be healing and fuels connection between the right people. Where it can hold you back is when you get comfortable with that and don’t leave. What I would invite you to do is start by taking inventory of what you learned from your experience and how, going forward, it has made you a better person, or how you WANT it to make you a better person.
- You get on whatever self-help trend is the newest thing. Your partner and/or friends probably roll their eyes at you when you tell them whatever new method you’re excited about. You’re doing EFT tapping! No, wait, Bikram yoga is your thing. And meditation. No, wait, getting your tarot cards read this week with an appointment with your foot zoner, as well as your astrologer. I think what tends to happen here is that the person that does this is in a lot of pain and looking for that thing, that guru, that miracle that will fix them and change the way they feel. I’m all for trying new things and switching it up every once in awhile, but be careful here. Before you move on and leave behind what you were trying before, give it enough time to really sink into the learning of the method.
Did you resonate with any of these? Feel like you’re stuck and not moving? It’s really okay…knowledge is key!